Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The other day Austin and I were in a cab in Bamenda. I was sharing the front seat with a Cameroonian (the breakdown for a full cab is 4 in the back and 3 or 4 in the front, the 4th having the driver sit on their lap) and the driver decides he can't shift easily so he moves our seat back. As he does that a guy in the back starts complaining about his leg being squashed. So there's all sorts of confusion as we're hurtling down the street trying to shift the seat back up but it won't latch. I'm pretty distracted at this point so I never even noticed that either the guy sitting next to me or the on in the back somehow slid my phone out of my pocket. There's still so much fuss about the seat that the driver just pulls over and tells Austin and I to get another taxi. The cab leaves us on the curb and drives away and Austin mentions that the whole situation reminded him of the time he had his wallet stolen. So I check my pocket and what do you know, no phone. Looking back it's like all 3 guys had to be working together or something. It was like some minor problem erupted into mass-confusion just to create a distraction and give the driver reason to drop us off before I'd have time to realize I was robbed. I wasn't too upset, this is Cameroon after all, but losing my phone meant losing all my numbers, which has been particularly frustrating because I'm in the middle of putting together about a dozen meetings/sessions. I went to the cell company's shop in town and was able to get them to reassign my old number to a new SIM card and luckily the phone I brought from the States, the one they told me in Yaounde wouldn't work here, does in fact work. So I didn't have to spend anything to get the problem fixed, but now I've got the task of recollecting all my numbers to look forward to. Still it could have been worse.