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How to Lose Your Cell Phone, Get it Back, Lose it Again, and Find it Again!

August 10, 2010

So you’ve decided that you, like me, would like to accomplish the incredible feat of losing your cell phone, getting it back, losing it again and finding it again, all in the course of less than 10 days?

Well I feel that I must warn you before you embark on this exciting adventure that it takes an incredible combination of stupidity and sheer luck to make this happen. Do not take this endeavour lightly, as the slightest moment of lucidity or unluckiness could ruin it completely. To serve as a sort of roadmap/instruction manual, I will now share my story with you…

After many adventures, we have been reunited, hopefully to never part again

It all started one uneventful Thursday when I went to meet some friends for dinner. I decided to share a cab with a friend on my way home and when I entered my apartment I immediately realized something was missing. Something vital. Something that was like another appendage to me. Yes, you guessed it: I had left my cell phone in the cab. Now before I continue I must inform you of the nature of leaving anything of value anywhere in Buenos Aires. Whereas in NYC or some cities you might have a chance of getting your beloved items back after making a silly decision of leaving them behind somewhere this is simply NOT the case in Buenos Aires. “Finders keepers; losers weepers” is the name of the game here.

So it was that I found myself facing the unpleasant reality that my cell phone was gone for good. “Hasta la vista,” “chau,” “have a nice cell phone life without me,” gone for good. But to my immense surprise, I awoke the next morning to a flurry of messages on Facebook informing me that my friends had gotten calls from some random cab driver who had my phone and was trying to find its owner. ???!!!! As I said before, this never ever happens. Every Argentine I told this to has stared at me in blank incomprehension and then told me I must be very, very lucky. Little did they (or I) know the adventures yet to come!

After a lot of back and forth calling from various land lines and borrowed cell phones, my host mom helped me arrange to meet the cab driver on our corner the following evening. I paid the $40 pesos (roughly $10) for him to drive across town to bring me my phone, and thanked him with chocolates. He was cute too, but unfortunately I decided that dating a cab driver in Buenos Aires was probably not in my best interests, even if he did return my cell phone. Anyway, at long last my phone and I were reunited, and all was well in the world . . .

With my girls on that second fateful night

Fast forward one week from that moment: I had spent the week double-checking my pockets every few minutes for my phone and decided it was safe to give it another try at going out with friends for the evening. I also made the slightly anxious decision to bring my camera because I really wanted to get some new pictures of everyone. And what do you know, half-way through the night when I did my habitual check for my belongings my cell phone had disappeared yet again, but my camera was still very much intact. Thinking I must have dropped it somewhere, because no one would steal a $50 cell phone and leave a $250 camera, I decided that this time, it was really gone for good.

That was 3 days ago. I spent the weekend cell-phone-less, mostly because I was too lazy to go to the store and buy another one (and I was still a little bitter about my last phone abandoning me yet again). Finally when I got home from school today I decided it was time to take the leap and get a new phone. I went to the store on the corner, only to discover that the least expensive phone they had in stock cost over $75. No thank you! They sent me to another location a few blocks away where an employee informed me that I needed my passport in order to buy a cell phone and told me to return two hours later when they wouldn’t be so busy.

I decided to clean my room in the meantime, and was busy hanging up my coats when I heard some change jingling around in one of my coat pockets. I reached in to discover . . . nothing. No change, or anything else. But wait . . . there was something . . . a hole? Yup. Ladies and gentlemen a hole in my coat pocket. And what do you know, that hole led to a nice big compartment in between coat and lining which contained both change and . . . drumroll please . . . my cell phone!

And so it was that I managed to lose my phone twice and get it back . . . twice, all in the course of less than 10 days. Given the crazy coincidences that led me to get it back without buying a new (nonreturnable) phone, I have concluded that I must be one of the silliest and luckiest girls in the world. Or maybe it’s just the magic of Argentina, reminding me that I am far from home in a place where anything is possible.

May your cell phones be loyal and your adventures magical!


One Comment leave one →
  1. Melanie permalink
    August 15, 2010 11:57 pm

    You will you lose your cell phone atleast once before you leave Buenos Aires. I had the most horrific cell phone stories, and a $1000 phone bill, I finally learned my lesson. Watch out going into the elevators, I ended up dropping mine through a crack and it feel 6 stories. 😦
    Can’t wait to read more about your trip. I miss Buenos Aires more than anything. Dale, besos!

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