Over the weekend I had the misfortune of having my car broken into, drivers window completely smashed and my handbag and 2 phones stolen. All this in broad daylight (and with lots of people around) when I was just metres away flying kites with my kids.
Of course I am thankful that the car wasn’t stolen as well, and that no-one was hurt …. but HELL its a major hassle to have your wallet, Blackberry, watch and the entire mystery contents of your handbag just vanish within seconds.
Being someone who is pretty much constantly connected to social networks, email and txt its a very odd feeling not having your phone within handy reach. Its even odder to realise that you have no way of accessing any funds (cash or credit) – and no ID to show to get access to money. Your money.
I had no way of doing the basics – the car needed petrol, but how do you fill up without cash or cards? How far would the petrol in the tank last? And if it ran out of petrol, how would I call anyone anyway?
I had no drivers window, so locking the car seemed a futile exercise (but I still did it) and just hoped like hell that the car would still be there when I returned.
Even on my trip to visit the bank for a replacement my card, I realised that I couldn’t park in a carpark building just in case I wasn’t able to be issued a debit card – and then be unable to pay for my parking.
Luckily for me I was able to rock on up to my bank on a Sunday with no ID whatsoever and had a new debit card issued on the spot after answering a few security questions and demonstrating a flourishing signature.
Other things were strange though. What was the time? Without a watch or my phone I found that when I wasn’t at home, I was reliant on strangers in the street or random clocks dotted around to keep track of time. Its surprising how few clocks there are in public places. I even checked the till receipts once or twice for the timestamp.
How do I contact people when I don’t have a phone handy? Use a phone box? A …. what???
I have come to appreciate that ‘back in the day’ before mobile phones and 7 day shopping we had to be quite organised and plan our days ahead of time without allowing for any flexibilty. You can’t call to say you are running late, or txt a friend and arrange a place to meet while you are out. No siree, there is none of that spontaneity or easy and instant access to friends and family. You need to plan, plan, plan. And stick to it. There also feels like there is a lot of wasted time in your day. Standing in the queue for the till, you can’t do much other than, well, stand. There’s no tweeting, Facebooking, txting or just plain old phoning. You just stand. And wait.
But really – is that such a bad thing? Some people say that we are too connected, too accessible.
And after a day in isolation, I say that having the option would be nice.