It's dark and you want the light on. You flick the switch. Hey presto - light. Or - if it doesn't switch on, you are a tad frustrated.
It means one of several things - you haven't paid the power bill, or there's a blackout for some reason - or the globe's gone.
Whatever, you are frustrated - because you have taken it for granted that by flicking that switch - light naturally comes on.
Same with a tap - you want water, you turn the tap on. Again - magic. Water pours out. You turn the tap one way, the water warms up.
Go the other way, it cools down. Turn it off - the water stops. But again - you've taken it for granted that there will be water coming through that tap.
And if neither the light switch works or water doesn't come through that tap you are not happy - over to the telephone to ring the electricity and water board, or whoever.
Dial the right number and your call will go through. Again, taken for granted. Later you want to go to the shop - just up the road - or a couple of blocks away, which will take longer, darn it!
You get into the car, taking it for granted that the engine will start with the turn of the key. And if it doesn't - that temper isn't improving but nothing for it except to ring the local automobile club or garage and get help as quickly as possible. But sometimes they cannot get to you straight away - darn.
Later on, as you are preparing for dinner in the evening, after a hard day at the office or whatever you have been doing - suddenly visitors arrive unannounced.
Looks like they're here for dinner, too - you put on a brave face and throw on a bit of extra of them - or if you don't have it, quickly call someone to grab whatever is needed from the shop. Or - if worst comes to worst - one of the many nearby takeaway places or restaurants to the rescue.
All inconvenient? Absolutely. But at least such utilities and other services are nearby and, really, are convenient - along with all the emergency services.
But - this is in the populated areas - of most nations.
The story could not be more different - hundreds, sometimes thousands of kilometres away - in the outback of Australia.
The people out there do it rough and tough - make no mistake. They are unique - they literally struggle on a daily basis - simply to survive. Against almost insurmountable odds - both natural and human. It is almost more normal for their taps not to produce anything more than a billow of red dust - because there isn't any water - these people are usually in drought conditions.
Otherwise they could have been flooded - then they don't need taps anyway. And that light? A lot of those areas are now connected to the mains but there are still a lot that have to rely on their own generators. So if the light falters - yes, the globe might have gone but usually it means that the generator needs to be started - and often because it needs to be refuelled.
No hopping down to the nearest petrol station out there - it means another long trip into the nearest town which could be hundreds of kilometres away.
Communication out there has come a long way and telephones are pretty good - but even then, if you have to call for help - it's a LONG time coming - if ever. Distances are just too big.
Welcome to the mighty outback of Australia and its people. Yes, these people are doing it tough - very tough but most of them would not change it for 'civilisation' for the world.
Many of them have originated from that civilisation - but would not go back to it. In order to simply survive, many properties have moved over to tourism - without taking on extra staff. They continue trying to run their properties as well as the tourist side, themselves.