A fortnight without cellphone calls
Can you imagine a day without getting a cell phone call or SMS? Difficult, right?
I had a chance to experience a fortnight without this when I made a business trip to US for two weeks. My company did give me a choice - a local cell phone or a calling card. I chose the later.
I took my cell phone with me to US. Of course, it had no signal once I landed in US. I saw the battery running out rapidly, as it tried to get a signal in vain. After a day or two, I realized I could do one thing that stopped it from doing that - turn the "Flight Mode on".
You will ask me why did I have the phone running. Ah, it was a smartphone. Besides the call, it did a few other things - alarm, music, camera to name a few. And internet (through wi-fi). Since both my office and hotel had wi-fi, I could use the phone to do stuff on the 'Net!
In fact, the phone saved the day on my first day at work, when I reached my office at 8 AM and found myself facing a locked door. My phone picked up my office wi-fi and connected to it (using the same credentials that worked in India). I could then connect through Skype to a colleague and tell him about my predicament. He then called someone inside the office, who opened the door for me!
I found the need for a phone which could receive/make calls when I had to meet up with friends. I had to take a local train to a station a few miles away and then had to be picked up by a friend. I could call my friends, of course - from the hotel before I started. Luckily my destination station had a payphone from which I could call my friend to let her know I had reached.
This was not the case in another instance, when I met up with another friend in a restaurant. I reached early and could not find a single payphone anyway in the vicinity. I realized that cellphone had made pay phones redundant and put them out of business - even in US! I could distinctly recall more payphones 10 years back.
More than the voicecalls, imagine the relief from SMS - most of which would be spam. As if we did not have enough spam emails!
It has been a welcome break and it will end the instant I land in Bangalore over the weekend. Let me enjoy till then!