Friday, December 12, 2008

More Cell Phone Blues

Yesterday was Burkina’s Independence Day. We ended up staying home most of the day and working on getting our house in order for Josh & Melissa’s arrival next week. A bit of painting, installing some closet shelves, sorting through stuff, packing some away and putting the rest out for recycling. By recycling, I don’t mean blue-box, curbside pickup. I mean putting it out on the veranda and telling the guards to take what they want and pitch the rest. There’s very little they don’t take!

Yesterday I thought my new cellphone was history. A few days ago, it stopped being able to send text messages. It could still receive them, and do everything else it was supposed to do, but I couldn’t send them. Which is probably the feature I use the most cuz it’s cheap and I can communicate what I want to say better than I could with an actual phone call, where I often have to compete with noise and mumbling on both ends.

So I took it back to the place I bought it from, which is one of Burkina’s biggest cellphone companies. The lady there spent half an hour trying all sorts of things, but couldn’t get it to work. She sent me to their main office. The lady there took only five minutes to figure out that she couldn’t fix it. She sent me to their authorized repair company. The lady there spent ten minutes trying what the other two ladies had tried, to no avail, and finally said they could do a physical service routine on it for about $7. If that didn’t solve the problem, it would just be better for me to get a new phone. Unfortunately, I’d have to pay for it since my one-month warranty expired two weeks ago.

Imagine my delight when, an hour later, I returned to pick up my phone and learned that they’d been able to fix it. The problem? Moisture. Don’t ask me how. This is the dry season in Burkina! Maybe I should stop wearing it in the shower. Or carrying it under my armpit?

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