Departing Greece bound for Australia, I left my iPhone in a friend’s car when I was dropped off at the airport. I went into a clammy iPhoneless panic. As you do when you and your mobile are inseparable travelling companions (pictured above enjoying freddo cappuccino together on Mykonos) and suddenly realise you’ve lost each other. My friend Janet very kindly put it on UPS to Sydney. I decided to track the phone’s solo globe-trotting adventure with United Parcel Service.
This is what happened when it went round the world without me.
Leaving Greece two days after I did, the phone was flown to the beautiful river city of Cologne, which is the fourth largest city in Germany. Cologne has 30 museums, hundreds of art galleries, and also makes pretzel men clutching maraschino cherries and little white pipes. I am not making this up. They look crunchy and delicious. I know this because my phone took a picture of them.
Well, there was barely time to bite the head off one of those pretzel dudes, because the same day my phone flew on the UPS plane to Munich, where a great deal of beer is drunk during Oktoberfest. Much of it by Australian and Kiwi tourists. Although it has to be said, the locals look as though they drink a bit too. About 6.3 million people visited Oktoberfest in 2014. They drank 6.4 million litres of beer. Security stopped 112,000 people from taking their mugs home with them. A pair of lederhosen will set you back 89 euros. The phone emailed the info to me, thinking it might be useful for something.
Soft pretzels come in various flavours including sesame, poppyseed, onion, salt and mustard, and chocolate coated. Here’s a simple, all-American way to enjoy soft pretzels that my phone thoughtfully wrote down in Notes:
1. Slice pretzel in half like you’re slicing a bagel.
2. Spread tomato sauce on inside halves of pretzel.
3. Sprinkle cheese on top of sauce, like you’re making a pizza.
4. Place pretzel halves in oven with grill on or in a toaster oven.
5. Toast until cheese is melted.
Philadelphia is also where Milton Hershey got the idea for Hershey’s Kisses. I know what they are.
After Philly, my phone went to Louisville, Kentucky, where they make Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt and Pepper. What else would you expect from the American state which is the official home of bourbon whisky?
Sadly, the smoked salt and pepper wouldn’t fit inside the UPS satchel. After saying a reluctant farewell to all that whisky, the iPhone flew to Honolulu in Hawaii. It would have liked to spend more time at Waikiki Beach, and then maybe schlep on over to a beachside bar to kick back with a mai tai or two. Free of work commitments, my phone could afford to chill.
But unfortunately the flight to Sydney was waiting. So it waved “Aloha” and boarded the last leg of the journey which took 10 hours and 38 minutes before it touched down at Kingsford Smith Airport on Botany Bay. It had to hang around another day to be cleared by customs before it was delivered to me, five days after leaving Athens. The phone is slightly jet lagged, but works fine. I’m envious that it’s now better travelled than I am.
We have no landline at home because we figure mobiles are sufficient. So how did it feel to be without any phone for a week? I’d like to say my world crumbled. But no. After the initial wrench I managed with email and social media on a computer. Those seven days were strangely uneventful. Sorry phone, didn’t miss you so much after all but it’s OK, we can still be joined at the hip pocket again. I really liked all the nice pictures and messages it sent me from distant, exotic places. I’ll chalk them up for future travels. Especially the mai tais. You can keep the soft pretzels.
Thanks Janet, and thank you UPS for the Excellent Adventure.