The year was 2007. I had just ditched my crutches after 6 months of functioning as a triped in anticipation of our friend S’s visit to Chris’ hometown with us. There we stood, at the banks of the Loire River, sun just warming us enough to make the water seem tempting, although for my part just getting down there seemed excitement aplenty. Chris, on the other hand, was in top form, and decided to go for a dip. He found a spot deep enough to jump in and took the plunge…not enough to immerse him fully, but just above his waist…and then the look – not of pain, but of horror – he’d forgotten to take his mobile out of his pocket. It was brand new, or thereabouts. He loved it – the HTC Hero – and try as we did to dry it out, it was just too late.
Fast forward to summer 2009 – just about two years after the phone-in-the-river incident – and we’re visiting Chris’ college friends who now live just outside Marseille in a beautiful little lakeside town called Le Ranquet that sits alongside l’Etang de Berre. An etang translates into English as a pond, but in this case it’s a huge lake close enough to the sea to be saltwater. This one was stunning, and we all decided to go for a dip. The day was hot and dry, and the sun glistened invitingly on the water. Swimming in an etang is probably close to my perfect swim…all the things I love about a lake with none of the things I hate (icky goupy gunk underfoot, for instance). Chris and I swam together for a while, then he decided to see how far out he could get. I came out of the water to soak up the sun a bit and to watch him swim. As he came out of the water he was all smiles…and then the smile faded…and that very same look replaced it…he leaned down to his right pocket…and retrieved…his replacement phone.
What are the chances, right?
I invite you, gentle reader, to accompany me to the recent past – only a few days ago now – the trip I shall write about in my very next post. Siquijor…Island born of fire…full of magic and mysticism, and beaches like nothing you’ve ever seen. We’d laid our things down and made our way to the water – clear as glass and nearly as still at this beach. We were the oldest ones swimming…in the Philippines it tends to be kids who swim while the adults look on. The water was perfect, and Chris realized he’d forgotten to bring the goggles so we could peer down into it to see what lay below (which, incidentally, included sea grass, starfish, and sea urchins mostly). He swam back into shore as I watched, half freaking out a little as I tend to get quite anxious in Philippine waters, and half in bliss as the first day of our mini-holiday had been perfect. About two-thirds of the way to the shore, he slows and turns…with that look…the one I’ve come to know…”Your phone!” It was all he needed to say.
Getting back onto the motorbike roughly 20 minutes beforehand, Chris had suggested we take out the phone (also a camera) just in case any good photo ops came upon us. As I had no pockets, into his it went. And the rest is history. Do not think, however, that the fact that it has been almost exactly two years since the last incident escapes me. Methinks me and my phone will opt for a couple of months in the desert this time 2013.
It is, however, just a phone (well, erm, and a camera…complete with 12.5 megapixels…but I digress.), and one I’ve had for about 2 years now. The only real bummer is that we won’t have any pictures. I will, however, endeavor to paint as vivid a picture with my words as I can…