Turn to page 18 if James should take the elevator. Turn to page 20 if James decides the stairs would be the safer alternative.

I woke up to the sound of my hotel room’s air conditioner turning off. Abruptly. My hand reached out to find the remote, fancy AC’s have remotes (and you probably don’t refer to them as AC’s), and pushed the on/off switch futilely. Rolling over to see how much time I had left to sleep, I couldn’t find the alarm clock. Because it was turned off. Lights? Nope. Great. Awoken too early by a blackout in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

No alarms were sounding, so I figured this was a common occurence. I made sure my cell phone’s alarm was still on and the power outage wasn’t mysteriously affecting the treo. Good to go, time for a little additional shut-eye. Well, for about 20 more minutes. 5:45am used to be so much earlier.

Stumbling on the way to the shower, I found that two lights in the room worked; one directly over the door and one in the shower. I opened the hinged window in the shower and peered out into the illuminated street. “Not as widespread of a problem as I thought,” I thought, as I waited for the water to get hot.

The curtains usually serve as my morning insulation, but today they gave way to the light. It was the easiest way to make sure that my socks matched for the rest of the day. Still no progress returning to a state of electrocution as I exited my room more than an hour later, but the hallway lights were triggered when I stepped into the corridor. Now, do I risk the elevator?

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