Well, my Nokia phone had to die sooner or later. It has lasted three years, treated fairly rough in that time, the vibration quit working some time ago, body pretty banged up and rubbed raw, but it was still pretty much all I needed for a phone to be – a phone. But the inevitable finally happened, and it wouldn’t turn on the other day.
So a trip to Market Village, the local, upscale mall about three miles from my apartment, was necessary. In Batam, previously, I could go to a local phone mall and purchase a knockoff iPhone for under $100. I did that once before, only to have it stop working four months later. The Nokia came next. But at least there I had the assistance of an Indonesian friend to help bridge the language problem.
I’m not sure if such a knock-off option is available in Hua Hin, so I went the normal route.
Now, to many of my friends’ glee, I had to go shopping for a smartphone. I was dreading the expense but also not looking forward to trying to find a phone I could use and someone who could understand me. Having a local Thai as a translator would have been good, but not an option.
The phone store area is on the third floor of the mall, and there are plenty of choices. I wandered into one store with a wide selection of phones displayed, with information in English and Thai. I had no idea what to look for.
Finally, I chose an Oppo for about $130, about as cheap as I could find. The young lady could understand enough English to get the phone set up for me, although we erred with the SIM cards. There were two in my Nokia, one with minutes on it for Thailand. However, that wasn’t the one we installed.
Later, I wasn’t even sure the phone worked, but all my numbers were in the old phone and couldn’t be accessed – because the phone was dead.
The next day, however, feeling as if there was something wrong, I pulled out the old phone, and guess what – it started! And I was right about the SIM mixup.
At first, I tried to put both SIM cards back in the old phone, but couldn’t get it right for some reason. So they both went into the new phone, followed by retyping all the phone numbers from the old phone into the new one.
Now I have a smartphone, which I will probably almost always use simply as a phone, not a computer, although at least at home I can use the WiFi network for free. The new phone is bigger and heavier than the old one, both negatives, but I guess I’ll get used to it.
And speaking about dying
I don’t worry about such things for myself, figuring when it’s time it will be time. But I do wonder about what would happen if I suddenly passed away here, far from anyone who cares. And I wonder about other travelers, like me, who may have the same thoughts. I would love to hear what plans they have made for such an occurrence.
I’ve thought about posting a sign in English and Thai in my apartment with emergency contact information, and probably should do that. Of course, if I should conk out, no one would find me until the smell became unbearable for my neighbors, so the emergency info would only be so helpful.
Someone would have to contact my daughter in the U.S. via social media or Skype. That someone would probably be a local Thai police or hospital official, and I’m not sure such a task is in their job description.
If I’m dead, what happens after wouldn’t really matter to me, except the hardship it would cause my family in trying to rescue, or dispose of somehow, my body. Personally, I would suggest cremation here so as to avoid the very expensive process of bringing my body back to the States. Other people might consider their bodies too precious for that option. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, whatever option you choose.
Anyway, don’t get the wrong idea. I’m in great health (except for the bed bug bites and rashes), exercising every day, walking a ton, eating two meals a day, keeping my weight down, and sleeping plenty, if fitfully. But when you are so far from family, such thoughts are never far from your mind.