Friday, April 06, 2012

Jailhouse Rock ... or Being Locked Out of Your Cell on the Other Side of the Planet

Okay, now I am committed to relocating to Cambodia … not because I have landed the fulfilling, leverage a bit of my seasoned skill set salaried position that will cover the nuts on both sides of the Pacific ... but because tomorrow I purchase another BlackBerry Torch 98something.

Not for the $49 AT&T charged.  No way naturally. But waaaaaaaaaaaay more.

Why? Went to the phone store today on Sihanouk Boulevard in the shadow of Independence Monument celebrating the victory from French rule.  Mobitel. THE one all my darling new friends recommend.

Waited for the mostly English-speaking sales person, waded trough the options in curlicue Khmer and bit the bullet to purchase a 60 day package. $20 bucks + $2 for the 3.5G SIM.  Twenty-two dollars. American.

What are our mobile phone providers thinking? Not going there.

Anyhoo ... after I purchased that 3.5G SIM for my old tried and true purchased-on-eBay-for-a-song quad band Motorola Razr, we discovered that my unlocked, spend no money backup is, in fact, locked. Tighter than a steely bar door along a dark and dingy jailhouse cell. Block, that is.

With butterflies in my stomach I acquiesed, said ‘no problem, why not’ this is the new me, the bold, courageous travel across the world to a frontier nation adventurere ... removed the virgin SIM card nervously from my BlackBerry.  Drum roll. Not only is it locked (so much for the AT&T and CrackBerry online unlocking tutorials) but someone threw away the key.  Lock, stock and barrel.

When I slipped the SIM gently back into its cradle it doesn’t recognize it.  Flashing notice on my screen: New Sim Card! Need password to access.

Okay. Easy. Have it memorized.  I gingerly entered the correct passcode NINE TIMES. One more time and my phone goes on permanent lock down. Gheesh.

Nevermind that I am 8500 miles from the closest 800 number access to any help line, but Internet is down  all afternoon at the charming boutique hotel where I am temporarily residing.   

So tomorrow at 8:30 and not a moment later, Tony (my very own Cambodian tuk-tuk driver ... AKA chariot with the red leatherette seats) is taking me to get a new BlackBerry Torch activating e SIM. Beaucoup $$$ but frankly with all that I am going to do here (got an email from one of my PP contacts re starting a consulting firm) feel this is the right way to go.  

The proud owner of yet another smart phone. Smarter than me. And with my new besties in Ha Noi this weekend no one to walk me through the laborious procedure of setting up four email accounts.  No assistance. None. Nada. Rien. K'mee-un ay dtay.

Not going to sweat the small stuff. 

Not at all.

Finally able to fill in the blank of my computer generated business cards. And with luck the Khmer-god kings will smile from on high and I will stroll gracefully into my first work week in my almost new home.

Cheers from the lemongrass!

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