Thursday, April 24, 2014

An island unto myself

Five days ago, while sending photos from the Easter wine tasting up in the foothills of Mt. Etna that we had just left, my phone died in my hand.

It didn't sputter and slowly peter out. At 27% battery left, it just went black.

That night when we arrived home I plugged it in and repeated "please don't die" about a hundred times before closing my eyes and attempting to turn it back on. Nothing.

Next morning? Still nothing.

Almost a week later in an entirely different region of Italy? Yep. Still nothing.

Which is exactly what you want when you're in between three countries and have just arrived in a new city (Milan, to visit my brother). I cradled my little phone and took it to a Samsung Service Center this morning and was told (none too nicely) that my phone is American and they only fix Italian ones (what?!). Then R, having done some major Googling, told me there was a guy in Chinatown who's apparently a miracle worker. I took my phone to him this afternon, but he was fresh out of miracles.

I wouldn't care too much about my phone, except, (1) I don't like traveling about without a way to get in touch/find my way around; (2) while my photos/videos are automatically backed up to the cloud, we were sans signal on the hillside so I lost almost all of the great images I had just taken. Luckily I had just shared a few on Whatsapp right before my phone went down, so I do have some visuals from the day when my brother and his wife and their baby, myself and R, and R's brother and his girlfriend all spent the holiday together—I don't know when we'll all be in the same place again, since we'll soon span three countries, so at least there's that.

Five days into my mandated disconnect, I'm oddly calm—even knowing that I won't get a new phone until next weekend (when we're back in Stockholm and get Swedish numbers, which come with a nicely discounted new phone).

Besides the phone situation, I've been quiet recently because I wasn't able to get online from my laptop (welcome to mountainous southern Italy). I had so much to tell you about our trip to Calabria, the last few weeks in Sicily, Easter...but now it's almost too much to catch up on, so perhaps I'll just gloss over it.

Besides access to Whatsapp and Google Maps/Keep, what I actually really miss is Instagram. I loved taking snapshots and sharing glimpses, as well as following along as my friends did the same, but at the same time, I just spent the day running around Milan trying to get myself sorted out with handwritten directions and a list of important numbers tucked into my passport and there was something vaguely poetic about it all.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I'd been hashtagging recent pics "#siciliandetox", but maybe a deeper, digital one was really needed and that's why this all happened. Who knows.

Whatever the reason, I can't really do anything about it, so I'll just settle in to my little pre-1998 self.

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