Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The cell phone fiasco

Yesterday was one of those days where essentially everything goes wrong.  
And it just happened to be Monday.  Ugh.

We finally attempted to get cell phones set up, which was easier said than done.  Thinking we’d be able to use the phones left behind by the teachers we replaced, we taxied our way to the cell phone store with the director of the school (for translation), as soon as the bell rang for lunch.  However, when we got there, we were informed that one of the phones “wouldn’t work” for us to use, and the other needed to be signed off by the previous owner.  We were out of luck until the former teacher returned to Busan later this week from traveling.  Knowing one of us would inevitably have to purchase a phone, I stepped up and picked out an affordable but cute used option.  Ryan had to leave to teach a class, busing back to school alone.  After the "ten minutes" the saleswoman claimed it would take to process the phone turned into over an hour, I bid farewell to lunchtime, as well as a coveted break of mine backing up to it.  I heard the phrase my parents can't seem to get enough of, repeating in my head:
"Things always take longer than you think."
But eventually, I was the proud owner of the perfect new (to me) phone.  Or so I thought. 

When I arrived back at school, rushing to prepare for my next class, starving for lunch and still trying to regain my normal voice from a cold I've been fighting (please forgive the pity party), I asked one of the Korean teachers if she would change the language for me on the phone.  After my class was over and I went back to my desk, she hesitantly approached me. 
“It’s not going to work…” she said. 
“There is no English on the phone, it’s too old.” 
Well crap. 

Wasting no time, I griped to my other co-workers about the frustrating situation, and one spoke up.  She is two weeks from ending her year-long contract and returning home to Canada.
“I’ve learned that nothing here is as easy as it should be,” she offered. 
 Not exactly hope inspiring.

After asking my director what to do, she phoned the woman at the cell phone store, then told me I could go back after my classes at 7:00, and exchange the phone for one with English.  As happy as I was (not) to take another trip, (this time alone) to the cell phone store at the end of a long day, where the woman couldn’t understand me and I couldn’t understand her, I was relieved when one of the other foreign teachers volunteered to come along.  She needed to reload her cell phone minutes so she joined me.  Unfortunately she wanted to walk.  The hill hadn’t seemed that bad from inside the taxi, but making the trek with my laptop (and still starving) was a different story entirely.

Of course it all worked out, and I got another phone, and it was in English.  So again, I left the store feeling satisfied.

And then I discovered the new phone was possessed.  I mean really.  Possessed.  Without even touching a button, it was skipping around to all the various options, claiming there was no set menu, and that I had to create one, choosing an icon for each application.  I wondered how I could do that when I wasn't even able to keep up with what the phone was doing.  It basically had a mind of its own.  Still starving, I went home and found something to be happy for.

THIS came today!  We ordered it online Friday, and it already arrived.
It may look like just a microwave to you, but to me it means that I can have POPCORN.  FINALLY!  And that makes me happy. 

Not to mention the beautiful plants we got over the weekend at the festival behind our apartment.  They make me happy too.
So yesterday wasn’t a total drag after all.  And inevitably, today was a better day. 

{I hate to make a "label" for "Frustrations", but let's face it, I know there will be more, hopefully (in hindsight) just as silly as this one : ) }

1 comment:

  1. Your parents love to be quoted.
    I loved the photo of the hula hoops in the previous post.
    I liked the way this post went from "ugh-endless frustration,"
    to the enjoyment of the small, simple pleasures that
    make life so sweet.