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  • Writer's pictureNigel

Losing a mobile phone - Your worst fear? 10th January 2022

Updated: Apr 1, 2023

It may be hard for you to believe, but recently I was without a mobile phone for 14 days. It was not long after getting off an ICE train at Frankfurt, and was sitting comfortably in the local S-Bahn, that it dawned on me that I had no ticket to show the ticket inspector. Why? well of course, because the ticket was ON MY PHONE. So I approached the burly, no-nonsense official and explained my predicament. His job is to follow procedures, and soon I am in possession of a very long strip of paper printed in miniscule type. The bottom line: If I can't produce evidence of a ticket within 7 days then I will have to pay €60.00.

Did I get my phone back within 7 days? Of course not. So €60.00 it was, and shall be, for ever and ever, amen.

My friends were all horrified and offered condolences. I was even sent a nice video of the lost property office in Tokyo, where beaming, happy citizens get their belongings back regularly. お持て成し - " hospitality; reception; treatment; service; " rather lacking here - I mean, who would want an old iphone 5 anyway?

But all this has had a strange effect on me. During the phone-free 14 days I was forced to slow down, using my desktop for anything important. I could use Skype, Listen to BBC and hr radio, check my Japanese spelling and use that old medium - email.


I realised that I had become a slave to my phone, and now I was back in control. And that is a GOOD feeling. I actually sat down and wrote out all my important telephone numbers on a sheet of paper (I'm sure you were on the list 😉 ). And in this supreme moment of analogue mindfulness I thought of each one of you as I wrote your name. Now how about that.


However there was one thing that I really missed, and that was the phone as camera. No more fun photos to share on Instagram or send to friends. However, in the meantime, I rekindled my secret passion of taking photos with real film. Here is my beauty ............

...a Pentax from the 1980s.................but you only get 36 chances 😅 Now I'm not suggesting we all go back to dialling like this......

(It's an eye-catcher in my workshop!)....but some time out is not necessarily a bad thing. A musician friend of mine who loves walking likes to go to the Tyrol each year and stay in a small village. There is no Internet reception there. She is not an unhappy person. p.s. You might like this article by Susanne Bearne, a business reporter with the BBC . The people deciding to ditch their smartphones . Jan. 2022



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