When you travel for an extended period of time you have to make sacrifices. One of the biggest sacrifices Barret and I made was our smartphones. According to Barret this has saved us $6,000 over the last three years, which means we’re either really savvy, really bad at math, or we had really shitty phone plans.
Part of the estimated savings was due to the fact that since living in Seoul we have only ever had one phone, aka the phone. It was not T9 friendly but it did have a dictionary that was really useful when Barret had food poisoning. Did you know that ‘salsa’ means diarrhea in Korean?
A second phone would have come in handy (two dictionaries are better than one), but we just didn’t have a lot of contacts and we sat next to each other at work. When you’re attached at the hip to the only person you need to call, you just don’t run out of minutes.
When we moved to New Zealand, our personal space was downsized from a studio apartment to the bench seat of a 1989 Mitsubishi L300. Once again, having two phones just felt redundant.
However, after eight months of living in Sydney, we found ourselves with different jobs and different sets of friends. So when Barret invited me to check out his office for the first time, I was excited to see how well his retro red panda poster clashed with the office décor.
The only problem was that after hours I needed a key card to use his elevator. Although I had the phone, Barret didn’t have a work line. I had also arrived later than planned, so there was the chance he had already left. I was stuck in the white marble lobby trying to predict his next move when a set of elevator doors opened.
Nope, not Barret.
As the minutes ticked by I couldn’t help but wish I could call Barret. Yet, for all the inconvenience caused, there were benefits to only having the phone. For starters when we made plans to meet up we always carried through and [ahem] we were more likely to meet on time.
Also, the time we spent with each other and our friends was of a higher quality. You’ll never see Barret and I pull out the phone during dinner. The calculator function is not enthralling and anyways you don’t tip in Australia.
Just as my self-doubt was kicking in, the elevator opened and out stepped a smiling Barret. “I had a feeling you were down here! Want to come up and see my office?”
See- all you need is one phone and telepathy.