It’s been over a month since I lost the cellphone inside a cab. I don’t really remember how it happened. One minute it was in my pocket; the next, it was gone. I can only assume it slipped out during the short trip from the bus terminal to my house.
I didn’t worry over it. My only concern was that it wasn’t mine to lose. My sister had lent it to me a year ago so I would look “suited” to my new job in a US organization. She even had me buy a new case for it, since pink didn’t look “suitable” enough. I was just happy to have a phone that worked. While I loved my six-year old phone, its screen kept dying out. I had to swing it in every direction so I could read my messages.
Reluctantly, I stuffed the old thing deep into a wooden drawer, where it has lain silently for over a year along with trinkets and other ornaments that I have forgotten to use.
Until today. I dug up the old phone from where it hibernated, snatched its outdated charger from the same hole, and plugged it in. I pushed the power button that had already undergone repair in the past, and whola! The screen came to life. There was even a message for me: “Ipasok ang SIM card (Put the SIM card in) .” I had forgotten that my phone’s language setting was in Tagalog. Cool.
I knew that SIM cards are affordable now. I just had no idea how cheap they have become.
P45, that’s how much they are from that card kiosk just a few steps away from my place. Over 10 years ago, I bought my first SIM card for six times that amount inside a mall. They were not available anywhere else.
Excited to see if my old phone still worked, I quickly inserted the SIM card inside the back panel, battled with the casing, and pressed the power button again. There was another message, “Code ng Seguridad (Security Code)”, above a formidable-looking rectangular box.
I typed in four digits, but the screen blinked red: “Maling code (Wrong code). Stop!” I clicked on more combinations, but the screen kept screaming stop. So I did. I had no idea what number I had used to lock my phone against possible intruders…or me.
Good thing I found a website that dishes out the master code, the one code to rule them all. Good thing my phone was an old Nokia model, otherwise the code wouldn’t have worked.
I keyed in the master code. Whola! My phone was up and running again, asking for the petsa (date) and oras (time). The screen seemed to be working perfectly.
Over a hundred messages were in the inbox. I thought shortly if I should go over each one to see if any was still important. But I decided to delete all of them. They were important a year ago. I wasn’t about to delve into the past any further.
Now that I have something to connect me with the rest of the world again, I find myself hesitant to let people know. I have managed without a phone, and I feel unwilling to give up this quiet interlude devoid of that classic beep-beep calling on me to check a message or answer a call.
I was even able to travel without a cellphone. The people I care about knew I was still alive through one or two text messages sent from the mobile phones of my travel buddies. I got along pretty well, except when I was texting through a QWERTY phone. That blasted miniscule keypad made it seem like I couldn’t spell.
But I probably have to let people know soon. My phone is out of hibernation. Maybe it’s time I do that, too.