vodka bath: a new type of drunken dialing?
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on April 10, 2007
This past weekend was notable for more than the lovely Easter lunch my friend hosted. It was also a weekend in which I got a new phone.
The night began delightfully – a late afternoon coffee with my friend K that turned slowly into drinks and included the welcome addition of a third (as well as the flirtatious attentions of a sardonic waiter whose charms included not only his insouciant cap but also his generous offer to translate Armenian for us whenever we should have the need).
By 9:30 we had relocated to a new boîte in Gemmayze, adding people along the way, so that by midnight we were ten or so. (When we all arose to leave, the looks of pure joy on the table-less drinkers illuminated half the bar.)
At this point, the smart – or, at least, the lucky – went home. I, on the other hand, had agreed to meet another collection of friends at a nearby nightclub.
One nightclub turned into another, and I, eagerly anticipating the time when I could make a graceful exit and turn myself bed-ward, placed my phone on our table so I could keep an eye on the time.
I should note here again that I am not a drinker. Well, technically, I drink, but I drink in the way that a dry martini includes vermouth: I breathe on my drinks, rather than drinking them.
This made what happened next all the more ironic.
As I sat there, chatting with my friend S and watching the dancers, my mobile phone was showered with a few fingers’ worth of vodka.
It took a few minutes before I noticed – a few minutes too many, as it turned out.
I mopped and scrubbed, dried; mopped and scrubbed some more – but to no avail.
When I pressed the menu key, my mobile showed the number “8”. When I pressed the red button, it began dialing my sister in Seattle.
When I tried scrolling through my phonebook, it began dialing my friend S (not the S sitting next to me – this S lives in New York).
When the person from whom I had begged a ride home from the club called to arrange a time to meet, I could do nothing more than punch buttons ineffectually and curse at my drunken mobile.
The next morning I tried again, with no better luck. It was time to take stock.
1) no means of contacting the outside world, other than the internet
2) no alarm clock
3) lunch plans
Much as I hate mobile phone shopping, it was time to buy a new phone.
The Saturday before Easter is not the best time for emergency shopping. The grocery stores are all open, but many other shops take the weekend as a long holiday – even in West Beirut. On my way back from the gym, I looked in vain for open doors of the several mobile phone shops whose locations I could remember, and the ones that were open seemed to all offer old models at new prices – a combination I couldn’t quite accept.
I finally found a small shop open near the university, run by a sweet young man with mesmerizingly beautiful eyes. He didn’t have any old models at old model prices, but he did have a beautiful new model:
He was delighted because this phone is “the latest Nokia in Lebanon”. I was delighted because … well … its a beautiful phone, and I am a sucker for small and elegant.
As a result, I am now the proud owner of a phone with more memory than my laptop and more features than I will ever learn how to use.
My purchase included an extended lecture on the wonderful features of this phone, which went something like this:
shopkeeper: this phone has a memory card that can store all the cideos you upload.
me: oh, how nice – but I probably won’t upload any videos.
shopkeeper: this phone allows you to sync calls with video and music clips.
me: oh, how nice – but I probably won’t sync any calls.
shopkeeper: this phone has a media player that allows you to create your own multi-media clip from music, video, and anything you record with the voice recorder.
me: oh, how nice – but I probably won’t create any media clips.
shopkeeper: this phone has a special screen and a stainless steel case.
me: oh, excellent. is it vodka-proof?
Meanwhile I am still adjusting to the vagaries of a new phone: a new alarm tone, a different sms text editor, and … a new ring.
The first day, I missed several calls because I didn’t recognize the ring as my own.
Since then I have carefully taken my phone out of my handbag every time I hear music, just to be sure. As a result, I have been ready to answer calls arriving to the mobiles of everyone around me, as well as several cars passing by with particularly melodic music on their stereos.
Really though, I should learn to recognize my ring tone soon. I picked what I thought was a regionally appropriate tune: “belly dance”.