What do you do when you are late to catch a flight and upon reaching the airport garage you realize that you don’t have your smart phone with you. Well, I couldn’t turn back and drive 35 miles back to home. After all it was a six-hour flight to San Francisco and that would mean I wouldn’t reach work before end of day there. I had to go through the ‘rigor’ of getting my boarding pass printed out at the gate. Only after printing I realized I wasn’t at the right terminal. I would have checked this before entering the garage had I had my smart phone. On the flight itself, no listening to my favorite music! Wait!! That is almost a crime – else, I would have listened to nearly five hours of my favorite Kishore Kumar, Sonu Nigam, Lata and Alka. Good heavens – if this was what life was going to be over the next four days, then it would certainly be terrible. I was kiddin’, of course. Also next four days, there would be no checking Whatsapp – wow, another bummer. I would be so disconnected from my friends. How would I announce the next weekend hike or update the group of my yoga workouts? Luckily, I had taken up a new certification course and the time on the flight to SFO took some time off the dreary.
Upon landing at SFO, I walked into an InMotion store and asked for a prepaid cell phone. You would think a basic, flip phone should cost less than $10 in these days where the most sophisticated smart phone is available for $250 – I am talking about the One-plus-two, still not available in the US. It was $39 plus the expensive California 9% sales tax. It came with $10 credit to make international calls at 19 cents per minute. The slick marketing and user interface to activate will easily make you purchase additional call time even if you don’t need it. Local calls at 9 cents a minute meant the $10 credit for international calls would give me about 110 minutes of talking time. A lot considering I could make calls with my laptop using voip.
As I setup the phone logging onto the internet and activating it, it took me a while to figure out how to reduce the ring volume. I still haven’t figured out how to reduce the call volume on this ‘slick’ flip phone. BTW, the phone was definitely a used one with scratches all over the display. But who is going to go back through security and return the phone? Moreover, I needed it anyway.
After work, I figured I couldn’t use my flip phone to provide directions or check out the traffic on the way to hotel using GoogleNow. By the end of the day, I had gotten used to not hearing music anymore. I had my laptop if I needed to go to YouTube. But I had caught a cold over the previous weekend and that kept me down all evening and night.