Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cellularly telephonic luck

Last week Alison's dad Simon arrived here on his third trip to China, beginning with his second visit to Hohhot. He left here on his solo adventure last night.

On the first night that Simon was here, we were at a restaurant and I couldn't find my cell phone. I figured it had fallen out of my pocket on the way out of the taxi or something. However on calling it we reached someone who apparently was neither a phone thief nor a lost-phone-salvage person, but a cab driver. After speaking with our (Chinese) friend Jessie briefly he told us to wait there, and a few minutes later arrived back at the restaurant and returned the phone to me! So I send out into the grand Internet universe two thank-yous: to Jessie for the provision of translation services at sudden notice, and to the very decent driver for not only returning my phone, but driving out of his way to do so.

I still plan to replace the phone next week, but losing it would have meant a bunch of inconvenience, plus the loss of photos, contacts, and my SIM card. It's on its way out still though because it's missing the back battery cover (which admittedly would only be 80 yuan to replace, much less than the price of a new phone), and also will no longer close (it's a flip phone) without freezing or turning off. (That in fact is another stroke of luck in the phone's recovery: The driver had closed the phone but somehow he still was able to answer it when we called.) Also it's a Motorola, and I've decided after two phones of that brand that their interfaces pretty much universally suck.

Camera in bitsIn other broken technology news, a month or two back a bunch of us did a trip to the grasslands, followed by a day in the desert. I foolishly kept my camera in my pocket while I was being buried in sand, so now it likes to say "Lens error" instead of working. I even cleaned it out a fair bit with a toothbrush, but there's some sand in spots I can't reach and although the lens assembly has gone from not-moving-at-all to moving-with-a-disconcerting-grating-sound, the camera still won't take a picture.

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