The day I lost my connection with the world

With no home phone or Internet and not the strongest of social networks yet in place – the smashing of the iphone (my favourite electronic device) was a catastrophic experience.  I viewed it as my link to the outside world – certainly to my email account, Facebook, twitter and all my family and friends in Australia, Hong Kong and elsewhere. If I couldn’t check these at least 20 times a day for possible updates as well as check what the weather was like in HK, Sydney, Adelaide and Vancouver, check the Sydney Morning Herald headlines and try for a new high score on Flight Control in between my four school drop offs and pick ups what else was there for me?

When Telkom tells you it will be 6 weeks plus until you have a home phone (it was 10 weeks and then we could only receive not make calls for three days) and then another two or so weeks until you have a broadband connection (such as they are in South Africa – still don’ t have) then the first thing you should do is go and get some kind of metal box to put any current connection you have to the outside world in to keep it super safe until such time as you have alternative methods of contact. I know this now – at the time as I marched into the gym juggling my car keys, sunglasses, water bottle and towel and my gym card with the phone tottering somewhere near the top of the pile it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind.

SMASH went everything onto the slate floor. Embarrassed to have dropped everything I was carrying at the entrance of the gym and not wanting to draw attention I quickly picked everything up and ran on – once inside I stopped to check the state of my possessions, my heart skipped a beat and then raced – my iphone screen was blank and white, not black which may have meant it turned off somehow, still on and white.  Then it beeped the text message sound – phew I thought  – it still works.  However try as I might I could not work out how to see that text message. I spent at least five minutes trying on and off and all manner of things to get that phone to work.  It took all my effort not to turn around and walk straight out of the gym, jump in the car and speed to the Apple shop.

I got on a machine – can’t even remember which and tried to concentrate on doing 20 minutes of whatever silly exercise I had selected – but I had to keep going back to the phone and testing to see if there was any change.  The next machine I did three lots of five minutes – stopping each time to check the phone. Nothing! At some stage I received another text message and jumped straight to it – but alas still nothing.  I then moved upstairs to do something else that I can’t remember and one of the trainers came and asked me how my phone was as he saw me drop it on the way in – I told him it was probably broken and I was very upset – ‘Shame man’ was his reply. Shame! Shame!?#% – Too bloody right it was a shame – did he have no concept of how awful it was?

He then asked me (quite bizarrely I thought) if I was going to walk home? What? I said no – thought I would drive as it was a tad far but I appreciated his comment and knew I should be working out a bit harder at the gym. It was then that he waved my car keys in front of me, seems I had left them downstairs on another machine in my haze of upset about the phone. That was pretty much enough for me – I checked my watch, I had been there for an hour so I was out of there, speeding home for a shower and onto the Apple shop for some kind of fix.

By the time I got home, had a shower and made a tearful phone call to my husband on someone else’s phone – If you need us today you will have to call Gina’s phone because my iphone is broken (pause for sharp intake of breath) I’m very upset here, all my contact with the outside world is gone – sob sob – It was time to pick up my kids from school. Then I had to do homework and play dates and tea parties so it was THE NEXT MORNING before I could get to the Apple store for what we all know now was further devastating news.

Well – if you had bought the phone here in South Africa we could do some crazy thing on this computer and try to restore it but because you bought it in HK it has some strange lock thing on it and there is nothing you can do…..sorry (I think that I now know that wouldn’t have worked but it was devastating to hear just the same)

But I have been looking online (in the Apple shop since I got there – as had NO OTHER INTERNET ACCESS – just trying to show how devastating this was for me) it says this type of problem can be fixed – even if its not by Apple.  I am prepared to risk it –where can I go to get someone to look at it?

I’m sorry the only places that might be able to fix it are in Capetown or Johannesburg – nothing here in Durban.

Okkkaaayyyy – well then (my absolutely wonderful husband had said to me if it couldn’t be fixed I could look into getting another one – he knew how hard I was hurting) how about getting another one? What are the costs?

Oh – we don’t have any at the moment – there’s a shortage in South Africa currently.

At this point I felt that tears were appropriate – but apparently the Apple shop guy didn’t so I compromised with quivering chin and walking blindly out of the shop feeling quite nauseous.

I did pursue the options he mentioned in Capetown and Joburg but they actually never answered their phone – and I must have rung them 10 times – their web sites were also well dodgy, so I decided I wasn’t putting my iphone in a box and sending it somewhere that I wasn’t sure actually existed. There was probably some very high tech way to contact them via some messaging system I am not yet familiar with but – it was a no go.

I went back to the Apple store a bit later when I was a bit more together to put myself on the list for a new iPhone when they arrived (sorry we can’t tell you when – NO!?!?) and waited and waited and waited.

The following week my husband went to Hong Kong for work (lucky bastard) and tells me he even tried to find me one there but apparently the cupboard was also bare.

I pulled an old pink mobile phone out of the cupboard and began using it – after all I didn’t have a home phone and I couldn’t sulk forever and I needed to be able to text and try to check out facebook, twitter and so on. It was never the same and there was not a lot of love – every time I tried to check facebook it would cut out and the predictable texting drove me crazy. I still really missed my iPhone – as did the husband, mostly because he was pretty sick of me complaining about it.

6 weeks later (still no home phone) I had a call from a friend – she had an iPhone on order at Vodafone and they had called to say they had a batch of 10 in store – BLESS HER – she asked them to reserve two and one was for me…….!!!!! YAY

After I picked it up I went into the Apple store to let them know I didn’t need to be on the waiting list anymore.  They said OK just as well as they didn’t know when anyone was getting any in and the list was very long.  I told them Vodafone had some – they were shocked.  I don’t understand how these things work but you would think the Apple store could get some of their own stock before a Telecom provider.

Either way I am back in iPhone heaven and happy to be there – no metal box yet but trying to be much much more careful – no more juggling!  Now I just have to work out how to change from the HK itunes store – no doubt an effort that will take another few months. And the Apple TV bought from HK is still in the box – awaiting some kind of broadband connection at home – but I am back with my baby and I am loving it.

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One response to “The day I lost my connection with the world

  1. What a saga. Did you have your blood pressure measured at any time during this ordeal? Glad you’re OK.

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