Goodbye, Old Friend

Well I finally did it, and it was not easy. I should have known it was going to be a wrench because the same thing happened when we bought our house.

I opened a bank account with the Perth Building Society, or PBS when we first arrived in Perth in 1981. I kept it until that organization disappeared and my account was moved to the newly created Challenge Bank. It had the same green colouring in the branding and also was proudly Western Australian. It also had a branch very close to my house, which was good. It was this branch that my mate’s boyfriend (who was going through a spectacularly patchy period after becoming addicted to opiates while working in palliative care) tried to hold up in such a pantomime fashion it could only really be described as a cry for help. Although why he needed to use her car as the getaway vehicle, no one could understand. That was not good.

Later that bank became Westpac and even though it was now a red bank and its name had changed three times, it still felt like my bank so I felt a terrible sense of betrayal when I walked in to withdraw nearly all the money I had in my account so I could buy a house through a mortgage with another bank. I did try them first, but they were way more expensive so I followed the lower interest rate with a heavy heart. The ladies in the bank that morning were so nice as I completed the transaction that it made me feel even more guilty.

Why do we get so attached to things? The sentiment is purely one way. I had the same sense of betrayal today and I finally consigned my old phone to retirement. It just so happened that I has also been watching an episode of Mad Men where one of the employees was told to take six months’ leave and then come back, but knew damn well the door was closing behind him on the way out. I felt I was lying to my old phone in the same way as e headed out to the shops. My phone is an old Nokia, and although not my favourite of the Nokia models, has not let me down. It is cheap to run, quick to recharge and has a nice monochrome and easy to navigate menu, but it is dying. The battery is failing to recharge and now when someone calls, I have roughly a 50% chance of being able to answer it and a 50% chance that it will shut off before I can. My parents are aged and I do not want them to call me then find I have apparently ignored them, because when the phone shuts down, it does not register the incoming call that cause it to collapse as a missed call.

A while ago, my work phone was upgraded to an iPhone 5s, which is fine. The battery life seems a lot better if you actually want to use it to make calls and the software ran well on it. Because the 7 is now out, my phone carrier is knocking the 5s units out at much less than half price – and they have the 3mm headphone jack. Today, I looked at my tiny old phone with its failing battery and decided that I had to move on.Slowly I went through the contacts stored on the SIM card and wrote them down, then headed to the shop where they had a 5s put aside for me, handed over my credit card and rendered my tiny faithful grey Nokia, one of the last of its kind, a brick.

So long, my faithful friend. I wish 2G was sticking around, but technology is a heartless mistress and today I have left you for another. I am sorry.

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