no_technology (1)

Did we tell you? We’re back in the U.S. for a month, catching our breath, visiting relatives, friends, and doctors. You’ve read all the happy chit-chat about our adventures, but you may have noticed that lately that has all been coming from Tom.

Because I am a jinx. In Spain, my camera stopped dead. In Greece, the laptop went down. In Italy, my cell phone floated from my hand to the floor one day, and its touch-screen shattered into a million shards.

Naturally when three such deadly events occurred in a row, I figured the Universe was trying to tell me to take a break from all things technological.

I would like to tell you that I began to meditate and cogitate and journalize and enjoy the virtual silence. I would like to tell you that I began to write poetry and do watercolors. That I celebrated the purity of the non-digital life.

But that didn’t happen. In fact, I am as crabby as Maryland in July. This whole techno-free lifestyle is a bummer.

Without a camera, all the blog pictures were of me.

Without a phone, I could not contact people and institutions; even Expats have to dial 800 numbers now and then. I could not text Tom to tell him that I was trapped in some dressing room and would be late getting back. I couldn’t read the news in bed or play gin rummy on the bus.

But worst of all, of course, was not having a computer. Without the computer (or a phone), I absolutely could not read the news, Skype my kids, read my e-mail, order things from Amazon, compose blog entries, or keep up with my friends without borrowing a computer.

You know how other people’s computers are: the keyboards are clumsy, all sorts of odd apps appear and disappear unbidden, and the computer’s owner knows everything you’ve been Googling. With a borrowed computer, you never get enough time. Whenever I started looking up my horoscope or pricing real estate in Ibiza, bang! My time was up!

I felt so out of whack. I didn’t like it. It was not meditative. It was annoying.

But I am solution-oriented! Daughter Sybil brought me a new camera when she visited in May. A nice new phone ordered from Amazon awaited me in Rhode Island when I got there last week. (No phone service yet, so it does everything but make calls.) Yesterday a 10-inch tablet arrived from Amazon and now, for the first time ever, I am swyping a story.

I remember submitting copy on actual paper freshly turned out of a manual typewriter. Learning the electric typewriter was a challenge, then the first enormous shared computers in the newsroom, then the big PCs, then the laptops, and now this exquisitely tiny writing machine. And this blog entry will be published by an even tinier one.

So I must take heart in my ability to adapt. By the time my beloved laptop comes back from the factory in Taiwan, I will have totally moved on. Good. More room in the bag for shoes!


(Photo by Sammy0716 via Flickr)