Chapter 21 – Hell No, Moto

In January of 2006 I took my then-girlfriend on her very first trip to Tokyo, Japan. That was pretty neat. Way cooler was that we could use our Fido SIM cards for the very first time in the hitherto inaccessible land of the rising sun. It was all thanks to Vodafone Japan, who rented us a pair of unlocked Motorola A835s upon our arrival at Narita Airport.

There was just one problem: The damned things didn’t work.

Okay, that’s not entirely fair — I was able to send and receive text messages, at least. But repeated attempts to get the web browser to connect to something, anything, failed. Nor could I make either of our A835s do that other thing mobile phones are supposed to do. What was that again… oh right, make phone calls.

The handsets were butt-ugly, especially for Japan. Perhaps it was a good thing that the data didn’t work; I’d sure hate for the wrong person to see me use it, and be chased out of Akihabara by a jeering mob of keitai otaku (mobile phone geeks). I did manage to snap some blurry, pixelated VGA-quality photos here and there — certainly nothing worth printing out and getting framed.

What I  remember most about this phone was using it to text my girlfriend in a frantic attempt to find her among the many and confusing aisles of Shibuya’s Tokyu Hands “Creative Life” store. When I finally found her she told me that all the while her phone had been in her purse and turned off, and why was I asking anyway?