Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A new mobile phone, a new century

Eugene came home last night with a new mobile phone for me. My old Nokia which I inherited from him has definitely seen better days. It has survived my crude handling, and a crack on its casing is getting larger over time. It had also gone swimming in my jeans pocket once...no, it wasn't in the washing machine. It was a swimming pool, but that's another story (some of you should remember why I went into a pool in my jeans!)

The new phone is another Nokia, a newer model with more features than I think I'll ever need. When Eugene asked me what type of phone I wanted a couple of weeks back, I told him I just needed one to make and receive calls and SMS. And preferably one with a camera so that I could take pictures on the go without having to lug our rather bulky digicam along everytime.

So he got me a black Nokia N73 which has a camera and other features for downloads, web service, music and who knows what else (Call me simple and practical, as you can tell, I'm not crazy about over-featured gadgets). I was simply happy to get a new phone to be able to get around in this modern world. Caitlin was near ecstatic when she overheard the 'new phone' conversation. She went, "A new phone?!! Wow, it's coooool. Does it have games?"

Kids nowadays are so different from the time when I was a kid. The only phone I knew then was a black table-top type with a circular dial which went 'clack, clack, clack' when it retracted after you dialled the number. Even then, not everyone had one in their homes. We had one and I remember many neighbours and friends from the 'kampung' nearby used to come over to borrow our phone to make calls.

The games I played were home-made, for e.g. 'five stones', 'hantu galah', a skipping-jumping game using rubber bands strung together to make a long 'skipping rope', and kicking some contraption made of chicken feathers stuck to a small circular rubber base. Sometimes that was substituted with a bunch of frangipani flowers tied together with a rubber band. The TV images were black and white (colour only came when I was in Standard 5)and we never ever thought games could be played using a TV or a phone. And a computer? It never existed then, what more a PDA.

My almost-five-year-old daughter now talks to people using a mobile phone,and a cordless phone, plays various games on her dad's mobile phone and PDA, and the computer and TV. When I was five, I lived in the 20th century. Caitlin was born in the 21st century. I can already see a generation gap. I wonder what it'll be like for Caitlin's children towards the mid-21st century. Hopefully grandma Anna will still be around to blog about it!

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