Yesterday I entertained an authentic simulation of having been robbed of my phone. It proceeded as follows.
In my first full day in Santiago, Chile, I headed for some site seeing as well as certain errands, at least a couple of which required bringing a phone.
Contrary to common wisdom of not carrying the device in the back pocket, I do it all the time, in every country.
Part of me doesn’t particularly mind if the phone gets robbed. Part of me expects this to happen at some point.
I entered some central Galeria in search of a place to eat. Virtually all the restaurant windows I passed along one corredor, featured full-sized, seemingly organic (edible) displays of offered dishes. Only in Japan do I recall this level of diligence.
At some point I became actively engaged in a few-minute conversation with the waiter by just such a front window of a restaurant I’d chosen. Having settled on a meal, he led me to a table.
I felt somewhat lighter. Feeling the back pocket, it was empty. Nor did I find the phone in any other place I looked, not that I had too many options.
My conclusion? In the heat of the front-window conversation, mindless to all surrounding locomotion, the phone quiet inconspicuously visible from my back pocket, someone snatched it. This was inevitable.
I experienced an initial three-second shock, followed by a realization that I’m hardly upset. I was clear headed. In fact, I felt somewhat exhilarated at finally having been liberated of that burdensome gadget.
Waiting for the meal, I jotted some notes to gain clarity on the situation.
The Android phone had a Brazilian SIM card still. Upon my return there, I’ll have to acquire a new one. Check.
Don’t require Uber at any foreseeable future. Check.
Don’t care for the camera. Check. Contacts maybe synced or maybe not, although I can reacquire any missing ones. Check.
No memory card, no unsynced (or hardly any) multimedia, check. Can make VoIP calls from the tablet (my main computer), check.
Phone blocked with pin, cannot operate without a complete wipe, check.
Phone old, slow, and debilitating. Don’t care for it. Don’t count on it for most cognitive labor. Check.
Still have the Blackberry backup phone that can make calls and send SMS. This will do for a while. Check.
I ate my meal with a mighty appetite. Then I lifted my hat off the table. Under it was the phone.
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