And it lay there and it lay there, and I was afraid the phone may even have felt offended after being left to lie there for quite some time – it was never designed for that. By all means leave a common Nokia in a drawer for ever - as people can understand that. But the iPhone, with its sleek appearance, numerous features and countless applications does not deserve this neglect. Besides that, before you know it, it will be heartlessly exchanged for an updated version.
I realised how ridiculous this talking at my phone was and realised as well that if I wanted something done I would have to do it myself. I suppose this is similar to being at home on maternity leave and your partner/ spouse/ friend arrives home later than promised. No matter how hard he may try to explain that he was caught in a traffic jam, you are not in the mood for his lame excuses. He should have factored the traffic jam into his travelling time and he should at least have brought flowers. (Never mind that stopping to buy flowers would have completely destroyed his time schedule, because what are five miserable minutes when the *#?@! traffic jam delayed him an hour.) You punctuate your argument with foot stamping and screaming and you know it’s time to get things going yourself.
So, I paid another visit to the MTN retailer in the hope of buying a microsim card for the prepaid contract. This phrase, not surprisingly, becomes easier to say as time goes by.
The first young shop assistant I encounter becomes a target for my frustrations and I carefully repeat my request.
He replies, ‘No, we don’t have the microsim cards for prepaid options but we may get stock in later. Leave me your number and I’ll call you as soon as they’re in.’
I had a growing suspicion that South Africans collect phone number like others collect sugar packets. I can even see organised events where the sole purpose is to exchange collected numbers accompanied by loud cheering and obscene dance moves. Certainly, no-one has ever called me back.
So I change tactics and viciously hiss,
‘Ok, thanks, I am changing to ANOTHER service provider.’
‘OK’, he says.
Apparently I am more impressed by my new approach than he is.
And so to another service provider.
‘Sorry we don’t have SIM cards in stock, perhaps you could try your luck on the other side of the mall?’
‘Can’t you just check if they have them in stock?’
‘No, you will have to go there yourself, if you know what I mean?’
I understood all too clearly what he meant.
It is as if someone were to cut a bean in half and ask me, ‘Can you see I’ve cut the bean in half?’ Basically there’s nothing to understand. However if you were my Maths teacher and asked me about the root system of the bean, well, that’s different. (I might possibly agree to understanding that the bean had been cut in half just to make him feel better.)
Anyway, Boris and I are drinking a milkshake and we agree that most problems can best be solved by Joost. Boris, because he still believes his dad can solve anything and me because I’m about to kill my phone be it male or female.
(Btw. to conclude the story, I have this tiny sim card now. Unfortunately it came with a new number.)