Socket map of the world via Strange Maps.
This map shows plug points (sockets) all over the world. Sri Lanka is in the worst of all worlds, whereby we have western, eastern and hybrid plugs, in seemingly random variation. Hence, we have two standard adaptors, each of which accept three kinds of plugs. It is also standard to shove pencils and keys into plug points to make stuff fit.
As you can see from the map, via the great Strange Maps, western plugs are two prong, square. These are not built into Sri Lankan walls (and you need a converter for bigger American items), but you can still plug an American phone into the wall with an adaptor. What I consider the ‘standard’ plug here is a three prong round pin, what the call the subcontinental model. This seems standard in India as well.
The trouble with Sri Lanka is that we use the Chinese standard as well, a three prong square pin. While I think most plugs are round, it’s kinda random. Sometimes you get a room full or round or a room full of square, seemingly at whim. Most imported electronics also seem to be square. Basically, you always need to carry a chunky adaptor, a device which is constantly breaking or being borrowed/stolen. Many times I have cursed, ‘my kingdom for a multiplug’.
It’s really quite debilitating, like if your laptop is dying two minutes before a presentation, or you’re in a random hotel room. If you can’t borrow a multiplug, you’re quite screwed. What I’ve found is that two pronged things can be jammed into almost any plug with the help of a pencil or pen, but after spending my childhood being told not to poke things into plug points, it’s weird how normal this has become.
There is also no multiplug that supports both square and round. They just convert one to the other. Hence, it’s not possible to have a truly hybrid wall socket. It’s also completely possible to buy a multiplug and come back and realize it’s the wrong one. It also means that you really need to take two multi-plugs travelling to truly be prepared , and they’re rather square and don’t pack well.
Le sigh. I wish everything just charged via USB or something standard. Actually, I wish things didn’t need to charge at all.