Mobile phone and Sim-card madness (Golden Oldie)


If there is one thing that could tip me over the edge, it would be that modern phenomenon; the mobile phone. I have always been a difficult customer, perhaps not meant for anything much more complicated than opening an umbrella or rinsing out the tomato- sauce bottle.

Perhaps my inherited frugal gene is to blame, forever ferreting to save and scrounge for the maximum that costs the minimum. My days of hanging around a phone waiting for calls from friends have long since gone with most calls now coming from unknown sources urging me into the world of a Black-Berry or some other mysterious device. Change your plan through us, they text. “You’ll save with us”, is the lure that got me last time and is now the cause for ‘over the edge tipping.’

I have become a victim of a device that connects five other devices. It does so wirelessly but not effortlessly. All you need do is insert a little card and you get connected to all those devices. That card is called Sim-card. Don’t be fooled by its short name. It’s holding the whole world to ransom. It’s a terrorist in disguise.

My own aim has always been to seek simplicity and certain disconnectedness. This aim is probably steeped in wanting as little responsibility as is humanly possible and… A kind of laziness not to get involved in anything distracting me from …whatever it is that fills my head at the time, most likely, nothing much really.

My dream still is to live in a square room made of straw bales. It would have a wooden floor and a cozy wood heater in the middle. I would live out of a suitcase and eat simple food, may be lentils or smoked pork spare ribs with apples cooked with rhubarb and crumble on top, a simple glass of red wine afterwards…Sleep on a kapok mattress and read Patrick White’s Voss under a kerosene light.

With the $30. – Pre-paid mobile connectivity, it kept me reasonably in touch with any emergency that might pop up. The emergency might be a call from the hearing-aid centre for an appointment or a cheerful reminder that 80% credit has been used up, nothing much more than the most mundane of calls.

I often wished I could get an insight why so many are glued to those devices. If not held to their ears they have them in their hands and they are so busy flicking up and down, even sideways. What am I missing out on? What sort of fascinating world is escaping me?

I believe that undertakers are flat tack with people having been run over by semi-trailers while crossing the road and stroking their IPods, IPad and multiple other connect devices with numerous Apps and Blackberries stand alone. What a riveting world it all has come to!

My latest sojourn into that, to me denied, world of devices was an invite on my $30.- pre-paid for a WeiWah wire free Wi Fi modem that would connect up to five devices. Can you imagine; five devices? It was guaranteed to open a world hitherto unknown to me. Not only that, for a mere $49.95 a month it was going to give me 10 gigabytes of this ‘open world’. It was just too tempting.

Of course my ignorance in those matters I keep close to my chest. Not wishing to show my ignorance and lack of confidence in general, I quickly nod in agreement when experts try and inform and instruct me on device connectivity. Any gadget that uses electricity, especially if it has a screen with options and menus instantly fills me with dread.” Open up tools, please”, they tell me. “What tools”, I ask. I then quickly resort to seemingly understanding it all.

I can’t tell you how close I came to tipping over the edge. Optus must now be having conference calls over it. I became the despair of the Philippines call centre. India gave up on me a long time ago. No matter how patient they all were, nothing connected, nothing worked. I removed the dreaded Sim-card, wiped it and even put it in reverse, all to no avail (as they say in romantic novels when the hero just can’t seem to be able to seduce a recalcitrant virgin).

I must have spent an entire year of $49.50 per month in trying to find this so much desired connectivity. It finally turned out the mini Wi Fi WeiWah wire free was faulty. So, there you go. All that modernity, all those wonderful opening up of a new world, once again denied through a mere faulty ‘device’.

Where are the straw bales?


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6 Responses to “Mobile phone and Sim-card madness (Golden Oldie)”

  1. Lottie Nevin Says:

    Where are the straw bales indeed? I confess to having one of those all singing/all dancing phones but in truth I don’t derive a lot of pleasure from it.

    My biggest pet hate, along with all the expense and endless texts from my provider is seeing couples out for an evening together, glued to their phones. What’s the point? why go out to dinner only to sit opposite each other, in silence and playing on a phone all evening? I just don’t get it.

    I’m happy to be of the generation that hopped on a bicycle and rode up to the village to use the public phone box – now those really are memories!

    iphone, Blackberry, Samsung eat your hearts out!


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      There has to be somting, some electrical gadget that could jam mobiles within five metres or so. I am mean now, but at times one just get those feelings of a re-dress or of balancing things out.
      I know a friend who told an invited guest to a dinner party to leave when she kept answering her mobile. A brave deed.


  2. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Probably one of the truest, funniest posts ever! Whatever happened to the days when all you had to do was push the “on-off” button?


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you Kayti. Everything, not just mobiles (cell phones) are now having too many options. Why do they all have to tell the date and time or tell us GPS remote where we are.? We need a single off button for the lot of them, or a melt button whereby the gadgets would just revert to a blob of plastic..


  3. Andrew Says:

    I’m with Lottie. Press Button B for your money back – in a kiosk. I have a “smart phone” I confess. An iPhone to boot. It overheats and shuts down. The battery lasts about half an hour and I can never call my wife because she hates the ringing tone so much she always keeps it on silent. **** all use as far as I am concerned. The only redeeming feature is that I can read your blog posts. Alexander Graham Bell would be spinning in his iGrave.


  4. gerard oosterman Says:

    Your phone overheats? Can you cook a piece of salmon on it? That at least would be some use.
    I remember putting asparagus stalks in the hot water kettle at a motel once. They were delicious.


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