So apparently you cannot fling an iphone to the ground multiple times (with long intervals in between) without it breaking down. To its credit, it took more than a year. It would have been nice if it had chosen to die on me within the year, because then it would have been within the warranty period, but life never works out like that, does it?

So yeah, the phone finally copped it. Although visions of a new phone began floating through my mind, I quickly came down to earth (nudged by V) because I cannot really afford a new phone now. Nor do I want a new one actually. I really like my phone, and it’s been only a year. I did know that it was on its last leg though because the last time if fell, part of it bulged out of the case and it took a bit of deep breathing and a sharp crack to get it back into place.

Anyway, V who has never been a fan of repairing electronics suddenly decided that we should try to repair this. I really had my doubts because although its not that old, the phone has really taken a beating, between the kids flinging it around and me the klutz. I guess the difference between this one and my old phone, the iphone 3G, was that the latter only had me and my butterfingers to contend with and not the rage of Mimi’s right hand. Also, because the iphone C has a pretty cover, I kept it case-less for the longest time.

So urged by V, I called the hotline. I was just getting set to explain the situation to someone with Hong Kong English which is usually the case on these phone lines, when someone with super-fluent English in an Aussie accent picked up. He was very friendly and helpful. He took me through a number of steps to see if my phone could be resuscitated. Unfortunately, though the software seems to be working, the screen seems to have conked off. Fortunately, I could get an appointment at the Apple store that evening at a time that suited me.

I wasn’t hopeful, but we went anyway. The store is always a sight because there is usually an actual line of people (tourists, most often from the Mainland) waiting to get in. We got the eye because we waltzed in due to our appointment.

The experience of the Apple store – if you haven’t been to one – is also pretty cool. The shop assistants do everything, including billing, with their own phones. Sort of a demo of the product itself. It’s usually a good experience. You’re left to yourself to play with the products, unless you need something and then someone is there pretty quick, even given the throng.

Anyway, the technician pretty much told us that we could give it in ‘for repair’ but essentially, what they’d do is quote us HK$2000 and give us a new phone. This is more expensive than we had expected, but in my mind, if it’s a new phone, it’s not a bad deal. Because I always feared that even if they ‘repaired’ it, it wouldn’t really run for very long, though V had more faith in the repair process.

So I turned my phone in, and then was phoneless till we figured out a new phone for me. Again, we didn’t just run out and buy a replacement phone. V floated the idea of trying to use a really crappy phone we have at home and although I was quite sure it wouldn’t work, I agreed (I don’t think it’s going to work.) I could get a cheap phone really cheap and yet, I’m ok with not. I called a friend and asked if she had an extra.

V is always telling me I’m addicted to my phone. Probably I am. I do look at it first thing in the morning before even getting out of bed. It helps me get out of bed. I know. I should be rushing out to hug the kids who are already awake but what can I say, I’m a reluctant riser.

Thing is, before I had a phone, I had a book. I was never the person who wanted to interact with people more than ideas. I was always lost in my own spiral of thoughts and interaction with some non-living-breathing-interface. The phone actually is easier than a book because I don’t get so sucked in. Contrary to popular opinion, ahem.

So I didn’t have a phone for two days, and V kept teasing me about it. I suppose he was looking for signs of a total collapse. But I was okay. There were moments I reached for the phone and it wasn’t there and I just shrugged and did something else. That someone else might have been the iPad, but not when we were out. Or in bed.

V always contends that I don’t talk to him because I’m always on the phone, and this unintended experiment has shown that I don’t talk to him because I don’t have that much to say anymore. So if I don’t have the phone, it’s not like I’m talking 90 to the dozen anyway. There was a time when I’d fill every silence with conversation, but with him, somewhere along the line we switched places and I became the silent one. I was replicating him and then became him. And I don’t want to be chatter-chatter anymore. Sometimes, often, I know that my own thoughts are going to be more interesting than a conversation just for the sake of it, and I don’t have the patience to test that theory anymore.

And I think this is okay. It’s not some sad gaping fact that we’re not going blah blah at each other every moment. I’ve actually come around to V’s position, that’s the irony of it, and now he can’t handle it. Maybe because my silence makes him insecure (just like his used to do to me, though his could be attributed to the male personality while I was always chatty even for a girl.)

Also, with the kids. Possibly not having the phone made me more engaged with them, but I’m not sure. I’m coming to realise that I’m as engaged as is possible for me, because I never claimed to be super interested in kids in the first place. I find mine a tonne of fun, but there are lots of times I’m spacey and not awww how wonderful that you jumped off the table for the hundredth time. So with the phone, I might space out on it, but without it, I might be a tad more engaged, but I might also just space out in my own head which I’ve had three decades of practice of.

So yeah, this whole thing about if we didn’t have this technology we’d be having ‘real’ interactions may not quite cut it with me. Maybe 3%-5% more, but not much more than that in my case.