Quick Fingers

phone reflection

I had my phone stolen a couple weeks ago. I was on the Metro in Brussels. It was late at night. I was standing. I had it in my hand and then I noticed that a seat had come up. I must have put my phone in the side pocket of my backpack before crossing the carriage and sitting down, a distance of all of about six feet. By the time I sat down, it was gone.

Stupid.

I’m normally really good at being aware of my surroundings and belongings. I’d never been pickpocketed before and I like to think it’s because I am smarter than other people. But putting my phone there was a bad decision.

I sat and stared at the people in the seats beside the aisle. One of them certainly had my phone but when it’s late at night and there are no staff or police around what do you do? Given the circumstances I just didn’t feel comfortable making a scene. So I stared at them.

At the next stop a guy got up to leave. He was holding a phone in his hand that may or may not have been mine. We made eye contact as he got off the carriage.

I’m nowhere near as addicted to my phone as a lot of other people but it really put a damper on the end of my trip. Up until that point in time I had been enjoying having a phone so I could use the maps and look up reviews of places I was thinking of eating at. After that I felt a bit lost without it.

I’ve been without a phone before. I navigated successfully without one on a previous trip home from London and I adjusted fairly well to what I imagine was the way that people used to have to act. The biggest difference in my behaviour was that if I was planning on meeting up with people, I made sure I left earlier so that I would definitely be on time. That’s a thing I’m trying to do more anyway as I’ve gotten a lot more precious about my own time.

But losing my phone has been pretty disruptive of my workflow. I got a new one earlier this week but I’m still in a bit of a funk, and I still feel pretty stupid for losing my other one. I’ll get over it, I’m sure.

The above is a photo of the back garden reflected in the screen of the lost phone.

Granada

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I didn’t know much about Granada before I decided to go there. It was a snap decision made after seeing a random photo in my Instagram feed of a fashionable young woman in a black dress on a street paved in river stones with geometric designs.

I don’t regret that decision one bit. After booking my ticket I learned that one of the major attractions in Granada is the Alhambra, which was high up on my list of cool places I will probably never visit. I also learned that food and accommodation there is very cheap, which made me a bit sad that I hadn’t been before.

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Getting there was a bit of an ordeal. There was a problem with our plane which resulted in a five hour delay, during which the poor pilot and crew looked lost while engineers tried to read pdfs of the technical manual on their iPhones. Our plane was mostly full of families on holiday and the children became increasingly restless and annoying. I felt quite bad for the parents. It was a relief when they finally let us off the plane with some meal vouchers because the cabin was beginning to smell like hot, dirty diaper.

By the time we arrived in Malaga I had long since missed my bus and the ticket office had closed. Luckily I was able to book another ticket on my phone, otherwise I’m not entirely sure what I would have done.

I was surprised by how well I dealt with the temperature, which was pushing 40 degrees. I suppose it was because it was a dry heat, which allowed sweat to evaporate as it should. Being from Vancouver and living in the UK, I’m used to hot, muggy air clinging to your skin and making you very uncomfortable. But in Granada I was fine; I just had to drink massive quantities of water.

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I enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere in Granada. I’m very glad that I got the chance to see the Alhambra. I spent the better part of a day there soaking in all of the patterns and textures and didn’t have to spend as much time in line to get a ticket as I was expecting to. The only downside was that there isn’t much choice in the way of food up there. On the one hand there’s a cafe that does coffee and buns with meat or cheese in them, and on the other there is a Michelin star restaurant that is quite pricy. There isn’t anything in between.

I wandered down the hill, deciding to patronize what seemed to be the city’s only vegetarian restaurant, to find out that it’s only open for about four hours a day. It was the first of many failed attempts during my trip to support veggie restaurants.

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