The second day after my AerLingus plane touched down in ShannonAirport two months ago (though it feels like a year, and also a day at the same time), a group of International Students all went into Limerick to buy the essentials we couldn’t pack with us. While I now say this with a confident nonchalance of assuming I know my way around the city, on this trip, we really had no clue where we were going, funny how things change. Most of the group bought “pay as you go phones” to contact each other while we’re here. I planned to get the cheapest phone available, knowing its expiration date was about four months, and not wanting to spend any money I didn’t have to. All ten of us that bought phones got the exact same flip phone that looked like this, except silver:
No camera, no internet, no features, no touch screen, no music, the only game is Sudoku (which is a plus), but there isn’t even a clock on the outside! Needless to say, it was a slight change from my iPhone! Those first few days of all hanging out together and using our “new phones” was pretty funny for a couple of reasons. Because there isn’t an ability to take pictures for a personalized background, we had to choose from about 10 selections. There also is a limited number of ringtones. This meant that every time a text tone would go off or vibrate, nearly everyone had to flip open their phone and check if it was theirs or not. Amanda had the creative idea of buying foam letter stickers for the front, so we were finally able to tell them apart by looking at them. For students primarily owning smart phones, it was like we all stepped back in time. And the only numbers saved in the phone-book were the ones that came with the phone for customer service and the handful of friends I had made in Ireland. I have to admit though, that not having my phone attached to my palm the past two months has been somewhat relaxing. When I’m hanging out on campus with my friends, I don’t even take it with me sometimes, because I’m already with the only people who would normally text me! I’m going to attempt to continue the easy-going phone vibe I’ve adopted here, but when I come back to the US, don’t quote me on that!