Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Lost in a Cloud...

©Brigitta Huegel

Dear You, 
"It's a sign!" a friend of mine said, "a sign for something new and utterly adventurous that will happen!"
Well - one might see it like this, though I'm not that far advanced in Positive Thinking - will need still two more days at least to see the silver lining on the horizon, where maybe (maybe - well, they are talking of a cloud, aren't they?) all my telephone numbers are feeling free, absolutely free to dance a dance of joy... incognito...
A few days ago my Galaxy SIII smartphone was conking out. Of course it is a shere coincidence that the contract with O2 ended two months before that... and The Youth (I'm speaking of my son) said: "What's the matter? Two years and two months - that's a good result!"
"Oh aye" I answered, seizing the opportunity to drizzle a bit of Detective Superintendend Andy Daziel's Yorkshire utterances into the conversation. See, I'm still Old School (at least in the section durability of consumer goods - hahaha: there still exists the synonym "durables", if I am not erring.... hear my bitter laugh from Berlin...).
Of course it is absolutely my fault that I did not save toutes les telephone numbers by copying them into - another - cloud.. And all my SMSs are lost!!! And it is very, very disturbing that I cannot find the address-book that I have ... somewhere...
At least I kept my mobile-number. But - new smartphone in hand - I pondered by whom the SMS was that I had got (without a name at the end!) -- a very interesting text, but I know two persons who might have been the sender - and one of them I do not want to encourage - so I answered very neutrally back --- ending with the hilarious question "Who are you?" (True story!).  
(Well, it was the right person - at the moment I am grateful even for little favours).
After rummaging through a few drawers I found an older address-book from Hamburg.
It contains about two-thirds of my numbers.
I had to calm down and remind myself that normally I act on a maxim: when someone calls me on the phone and I do not want to be disturbed at that moment, I think: "If it is important, the person will call again."
Up till now they do.
Or, as an old count I know said so derisively to a host who interrupted a conversation with him to hurry to the telephone that rang: "You let yourself being rung?" (Oh - that's a horrible translation - the meaning was: like a salesperson the host ran to get his orders).
Very Old School, that count - but it has a ring to it... 

PS: And why is the new vocable I just learned in my Italian class haunting me? It is the wonderful word the Italians use for "scrambled eggs": uovo strapazzato - stressed eggs. I mean...eh... it's only the word "strapazzato" that seems so appropriate now -- and the saying: There is no use to cry about broken eggs - oh no: that goes: No use to cry about spilt milk. 
Ah - whatsoever... I think I'll make a pan of scrambled eggs.... 



20 comments:

  1. Ah Britta ….. the joys of modern technology !!!! These problems didn't exist a few years ago, did they ?
    Uovo strapazzato seems to fit the bill perfectly for you right now !! I could do with a plateful myself at the moment !! XXXX

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    1. Dear Jackie, I love eggs (and the very special way they use the egg's articles in Italy :-) But though I moan sometimes about complicated technology, as you - owner of such a beautiful car - I adore and buy it.

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  2. Could you give up the phone and return to pen and paper, Britta? Or can one still send telegrams in Berlin? No better way to make an evening assignation.

    And I wish Amazon would still sell me a copy of your book (if ever they did sell one in English, it is not clear from the entry). It is surely full of the sort of wisdom I need.

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    1. Dear Mise, I am one of the last letter- and diary-writers in Berlin, I think, just came back from the KaDeWe where I got the last seven (violet) packets of ink cartridges they have... No, the problem are my idolisers! Not knowing how to end an SMS properly, I fear worse for them writing letters ... on the other hand:: in so many novels letters rocked the boat, so maybe a bit of precaution is quite sensible :-)
      As to my book: the publishing company is just discussing if they will publish the umpteeth new edition (and if, I hope they will choose the first title and cover) - if they do not I am very happy because then I get my rights back and can e.g. translate it).

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  3. I have lost many addresses and phone numbers on my computer for various reasons. I try to keep paper copies too but often I forget where I put them. What to do? I like the term stressed eggs... very lyrical.

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    1. Dear Emma, I am a bit lazy with filing things in the computer... but I will do it from now on (that's what they always say :-)
      Good luck: I found the new address-book almost there where it belonged to be - just one file behind - but as a librarian once said: a book put in the wrong place in the library is often lost forever...

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  4. Whatever will we do with a generation that believes two years and two months life is a good result?

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    1. Dear Joanne, I think this sort of question is "the" one (beside of "manners", that all generations before us have put in an earnest tone - but, surprise, surprise: the next generation always managed :-) I have a lot of trust in - and admiration for - the young ones.

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  5. Oh, Britta... At the 2 year mark with this new phone, you must immediately replace... Don't leave the security of your contacts to fate! As loving son said... 2 years is a good result! So sad isn't it? How I miss the little black rotary phone of my youth! Smiles... Susan

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    1. Dear Susan, appreciating your kind words - yes, my son is - of course - a marvel: he told me which newer - and cheaper - smartphone to buy (next day I had a motorola - instead of a Samsung), and gave me tips how to recover part of the lost informations (and a little lecture on the value/necessity of filing, oh aye...:-)
      And though I hate it when things expire just after their guarantee (in Germany they made a new Law: it is from now on forbidden to manipulate products to expire by deliberately included faults to make them kaputt after a certain time - but HOW will I prove that, I ask?) - I also have to say in all fairness that technology has become extremely cheap -- a lot of things we can buy now that were unthinkable expensive some decades before. So one compensates the other - it is only that I regret the environmental burden that is created this way.

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  6. I have just decided, based on this post, that "stressed eggs" are the solution to any problem!

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    1. Dear Sue, hahaha - one might solve anything with that - but consider: how many eggs might be broken - if one doesn't want to "walk on eggshells" :-)

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  7. Dear Brigitta,
    I have a Nokia cell phone I bought 15 years ago, when I was still working as a gardener. It works. It does not take photos, nor can it text. I have not checked my messages in 6 years. It saves no numbers. There is no cloud. This week, my 77-year-old friend, Willie, sent me an email. It said, "What is your phone number?" I met Willie in 1965. If he doesn't know my phone number by now, he is obviously not as primitive as I. I use an operating system that was considered revolutionary when it appeared: writing phone numbers in a cumbersome address book. Unfortunately it is considered anachronistic by modern standards. Sometimes primitive is good. Do not be beguiled by clouds, no matter what wonders they promise.

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    1. Dear Geo., 15 years - that breaks the record that Husband held with his old cellphone - he loved it, it was yellow and quite a brick. I don't know my cellphone number (too often changed - I need my memory for Italian - but I carry a calling card with my number on it, in case of need...)
      Of course I write into an address book - but as that had slipped off... (Good that I kept the one from years before - and now I found the recent one again - as Husband says: "The house doesn't lose anything".) "Clouds" I look at with real distrust - and even the DVDs and harddrive with my photos on it do not make me feel very ensured.

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  8. I must be the only person in the universe who doesn't own a mobile phone - so I don't have these problems - but I do rely on my address book and lost it over Christmas when I needed it to write out my Christmas cards - disaster. Luckily it was found in the end - but I would really have been stuck without it.

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    1. Dear Elaine, the wonderous thing is that it is possible to exist with a cellphone :-) As I can without a 'navigator' (can't find the English word for it - the thing that tells you where to drive to find a certain street or city).
      I own such a navigator, but do almost never use it - I love the adventure of relying on my own mind. Though I would miss my mobile phone (not those silly apps - but I love to be able to remind husband when he is shopping for the menue that I forgot to add "bread" to the list, for instance).
      Luckily you found your address book - so you could send Happy-New-Year-cards.

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  9. Elaine isn't the ONLY person in the world without a cell phone. I don't have (or want) one, either. But I can sympathize with you losing all your info in yours when it went belly up.

    It's a modern-day dichotomy. Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds from what it was fifty years ago, but nowadays, very few things are built with a goal of durability and longevity. For example, years ago, AT&T's standard was to design and build products that would last at least forty years, but now, as your son said, two years is considered "good". Is it really? No, I don't think so. I think we've just gotten used to built-in obsolescence and cheaply constructed products designed for the fickle needs of a throw-away society.

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    1. Dear Susan, I also know a person who doesn't own a cell phone, but she has difficulties with meeting people if something changes suddenly. From your generation a few people in Germany even don't know how to use a computer - they had not to learn it to work, and now they do not try to learn it.
      As to durability: right, I also expect things to last. On the other hand: the generation of our children will get a "lasting" gift from (all of) us (ancestors): it remains unclear what mankind will do with the undestroyable leftovers from atomic plants, and our children will inherit a greedily looted earth and climate warming.

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  10. Sono pronto per la prima colazione. Che ne dite di uova strapazzate? Per quanto riguarda i telefoni, riportare la manopola!

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    1. Chiaro! Gli abissi dell anima mia (!) ho guardato per alcuni momenti - ma adesso basta. Telefono dopo (after Italian class 2 :-)

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