Out with the old, in with the new is how we tend to live. Technology is constantly changing. New gadgets are introduced and the ones they replace are rarely thought of again. But, just as the sun rises and sets at different times depending upon where you are in the world, so does the evolution in technology. Recently I encountered two fossils in Abu Dhabi that have been out of rotation in the USA for quite some time.
First, the Nokia cell phone. My first cell phone was by Nokia and it was last used more than a decade ago. Cell phones and cellular service is handled differently here altogether. The market for inexpensive cell phones with prepaid service is bustling. I believe that this is due to the high volume of imported service workers. Most of them use the very same Nokia phone pictured in this post. It’s easy to obtain, inexpensive and does not require data service like smart phones.
My iPhone quit working half way during my trip here because AT&T does not have a network that spans the globe. To keep us functional, my husband handed me the Nokia pictured in this post. I felt like I had traveled backward through a magical, but not so nice, space time continuum. Suddenly I was reduced to punching the same key multiple times to select a single letter. The screen was small and the text was black. There was no retina color display or high definition. I had a handful of ringtones and the preset was that infamous Nokia tune. There was no itunes store or playstore; no Words with Friends or Angry Birds. It was just a phone. I could talk and text. that was all. Boy am I glad those days are over.
Next on the list is a phone even more obsolete than the Nokia…a pay phone. Unlike the Nokia I’ve never seen one being used. They are however all over the cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I’ve seen them outside of businesses, like the one featured in this post and at gas stations. They are sponsored by the phone companies (Du or Etisilat) and some seem new enough to accept credit and debit cards.
It really is eye opening to see how other people live. Sometimes we become so engrossed in life in our own little corner of the world that we don’t even consider that things are different in other places or that things we personally deem as obsolete hold value to someone else. Hang on to your fossils because the need for them may surface again.