While waiting for my flight back home at JFK airport, I was having a nice little chat with an older gentleman from Fort Lauderdale about equipping boats with wireless internet via satellite. He told me that he had just flown from Long Beach to install modems and satellite receivers on some rich guy’s boat so he could use the internet while at sea at the whopping rate of $7.00 per minute for a 7k (slow) connection. He elaborated that a usual charge per month could reach up to $2000 to $3000 per month. All this just to be connected while at sea where there are no wireless towers around.
And here I am attached to the wall with a charger I just bought for $58. Kevin (who kindly let Tony and I use his apartment in NYC) accidentally took my Treo charger and I have been without juice for the last 3 days. I was surrounded by people in the city and yet I felt so disconnected. I didn’t have phone, text messages, emails or the net! Everywhere we went, I scoured for cellphone shops and electronics stores to look for my charger or to at least get a charge for 5 minutes. After a while, I resigned myself back to the 1990s–back in the days when cellphones weren’t attached to the hips.
It felt scary, liberating, and lonely all at the same time.
I remembered that we humans have a basic need. Love. Connection is my way to receive and send love.
Perhaps I need a healthier channel?
At the Apple store in Soho, I googled Palm stores and found one in JFK. My plan was to go to the store, ask if they could charge my phone and then be on my merry way. I didn’t realize it’d be such a hassle:
A) My flight was in terminal 6 and my charge was in terminal 9. You need a boarding pass to pass through securit check, and somehow I managed to get snatch up a special gate pass afte haggling 4 people.
B) For extra precaution, the lady that gave me the special gate pass ordered that I be searched from head to toe– you know the “special” suprise search they give people after the conveyor belt and metal detector.
C) After walking another mile through the terminal to find the Palm store, they said it was store policy to not charge people’s phones. Understandable, but I was desperate.
I asked myself: what is the price of feeling connected?
I had just checked my voicemail through Tony’s cellphone–only a couple messages. So I knew that I didn’t have anypressing matters waiting.
But I kept thinking… What if? What if someone I loved were to try to contact me? Afterall, March 6, only a day before was the 4-year anniversary of the accident that changed my life and the lives of my friends. I would have liked to give and receive phone calls for my re-birthday. And indeed one of the messages I received was from Regan, but without a phone number (trapped in my phone), I couldn’t call to show my love, appreciation and respect.
I suppose the price of feeling connected turned out to be $58 (bargained down 10% or perhaps the salesman just felt really bad for me) for an international travel charger + cradle. I figured since I will still have a charger once Kevin mails it back to me, I should buy something different and something I can use at work.
Connection at last. But is this real? I find myself searching for an outlet in the terminal like a wolf searching for prey. And once I find an empty outlet–next to the satellite internet installation guy from Fort Lauderdale–our little chat makes me realize that I am far too dependent on things electronic. While I’m not paying $3000 for an internet connection on a boat, I think it’s ironic that the boat-owner would go to great lengths to leave civilization only to want to feel connected via the internet.
I’m not trying to make any profound statements here but let’s just say that I’m not going to be installing internet on my boat any time soon (not that I have a boat, but you get the point).
Rey | This msg was sent via Treo