Shortly after I got to Tanzania, I bought a cellphone for 20 bucks. You prepay for your minutes here, so I bought 10,000 shillings’ worth and hardly used any. I wanted it for emergencies during my two weeks of travel, but I was going with a friend and ended up letting her make all the calls
I finally figured out how to text home, which I did a few times before I used up my charge and realized I’d forgotten my charger back in Moshi.
When I got back here, I didn’t bother getting more minutes. It was too hard to remember how to text, and too hard to use the crappy little navigation buttons. In hindsight, I probably should’ve gotten a local sim card for my iPhone, but in hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t.
I finally bought more minutes when my friend Samwel texted me and I wanted to get back to him. Before I could, though, I ran into him on the street, proving once again that I didn’t need a cellphone.
Alas, I’ve started using it to text people, and I carry it around, and every now and then I take it out and look at it, like everyone else is doing with their cellphones. There’s nothing to see, but it still calls for my attention.
It was a great few weeks without an imaginary friend. When I get home I will miss the loneliness and try to find a way to keep my distance.