Friday, January 8, 2010

My First Cell Phone

Last weekend I got my first cell phone, ever. (cell phone = keitai in Japanese) I haven't been delaying it on moral grounds, but rather I think cell phones are generally expensive and I don't talk much on the phone. I feel like most people spend over $500/year on their cell phone, which is a lot of money to me for something that would only occasionally be useful.

So why did I get it? Because it finally made financial sense. Because of a girl. It's really (really) expensive to call her cell phone from a landline (or from Skype to a cell phone). But with this service provider (AU), I can get the cheapest plan (~$20/month) and pay for a 'friend plan' (+$4), which allows me unlimited calls to three fellow AU users. When it's all said and done, I should pay about $26/month and get ~30 minutes plus the use of email. This is far cheaper than my recent phone bills. The problem with cell phones, of course, is that one must sign a contract. So before we walked through the doors of the AU store, I checked with the girl: "you're not going to break up with me soon, are you?" She smirked and said "I don't know?"

I was pretty happy to score a used phone off a woman from a military base. It was $70 - about 30% of its new price - and, more importantly, cheaper than the brand new most simple phone offerings available. So I spent less money and got a semi-high-endish phone (not that I even know the difference, except it's thinner!). See that little lion thingie (Okinawan shisa) attached to the phone? It's called a 'strap' and actually included a pink strap, which I removed. They are really popular in Japan. I was keen on not acquiring one, but then Mariko gave this to me as a present, which prompted the question: "should I use it because she gave it to me?"

So I don't really know how to use this phone. I can make calls and write and send emails, but I'm super slow at it. But I don't know how to exchange info through the infrared, or access the internet, or use the dictionary, or the camera or video, or.. many things I don't even know exist. (One cool feature is the ability to watch live tv for free - unfortunately I don't pick up any stations where I live.)


Wren said...

While I respect your reasoning (both money and the girl), I still gotta say it: Oh how the mighty have fallen.

(You can say the same to me when/if I ever I get a cell phone.)

Cliff said...

I actually considered not getting one cause I went through a scare phase where I thought a cell phone would give me brain cancer and it was killing all the bees, and thus speed up the end of the earth.

Then I was in Japan for a week and changed my mind.

Btw, you are totally the dad from Cloudy with a Chance of Meat Balls, who runs a sardine shop and doesn't know how to use a computer.