I can’t count the number of times my dad said this to me in the week prior to this France trip, when I was still busy with preparations and all that; and I can’t count the number of times I firmly told him that no we can survive without our phones and no it is not an addiction.
I think I’m starting to sway a little. Probably because a day in Paris without data access is the epitome of a living hell. We were all pretty hyped about finally being in France. But the excitement soon died when we couldn’t get our hands on those prepaid 3G SIM cards. It didn’t help that we spent a large sum of the day searching for them.
At the airport
We were directed down to the first floor, then up to the third, and down again a total of 4 times. Groggy from the 13hour flight, drooling at the fresh pastries rolled into PAUL, and dragging our mega luggages – it all added to an unpleasant experience. Lucky or not we managed to snag 1 SIM to be shared amongst the 7 of us, which we later found out was made for iPads and could potentially ruin my phone. Yikes. On a side note, how inefficient is it that the airport does not carry these elusive phone cards?
View from our apartment
Walking along the streets
It’s really odd how, try as we might, we never found a single tele shop. Not a telecom provider, provision shop or phone shop in sight. The smaller provision shops that we were told carried them, didn’t. With all 7 people latching on to that 1 SIM, we were pretty darn afraid of being separated.
After 8 hours of having our hopes mercilessly crushed, we finally stumbled on Orange, one of the telephone providers! You’d have to be there to really understand the shift in mood. The absolute unadulterated joy we felt at holding a functional telephone. Suddenly everyone was super perky and up to take the world! We walked streets under the rain, singing songs, holding hands, being stupid. But extremely happy.
Sad half-equipped tourists that we are.
In hindsight, we were never really cut off from the world though cause we had 1 SIM to share. And we weren’t really gona die outside cause we had cash, which meant getting lost wasn’t much of a problem what with the prepondence of cabs and all. But holding the phone that allowed us contact with everyone around the world seemed so important; even if we weren’t using the data connection, we all felt happy just knowing it’s within reach. I guess it’s a really psychological thing.
Needless to say after we got that data access, everyone walked with their heads bent, eyes locked to the screen, fingers running frantically over those electronic keys.
Maybe Dad’s right for once.