I take advantage of Neil tiredness, to stay a little bit longer under the sheets, until noon. Then I have breakfast with coffee and Baileys and also some cupcakes. I must absolutely buy an American sim card. Neil should definitely buy a birthday card for his sister and father’s birthdays’ and he should definitely send them today, otherwise it won’t arrive in time for their birthdays’. We keep each other company in matters of our urgency. But I need to let him know it’s urgent, because the time is close and there is also risk that they could close the Post Office soon. Then we go to a supermarket express, where we find at the bottom, hidden between the chips and coke bottles, a shelf of greeting cards. Neil, a little disgusted, asked the girl who works there, if it’s just here in this department where you can find greeting cards? She nods in a way as if it was obvious.
We arrive at the Post Office: CLOSED! Neil with his tone of voice ; as if sounding like Laurel & Hardy, annoyed, begins with a “Oh nou!”
So we go in search of another Post Office, where he’s sure that it’s open on Saturday, until the afternoon. While going at a brisk pace, in my mind I imagine Neil – I quote the famous words of the two comedians, “Stenlio, you are always usually stupid! ”
The mail office is not open all afternoon, but until 2pm, so it’s still open, so while I make the queue, Neil is quick to write in the cards. I notice that the Americans ‘lines’, are considerably faster than the Italian ! Although there were at least a dozen people in front of me, within five minutes I am already next. I try to attract the attention of Neil, to make sure that he hurries up, if not then I will have to let someone, to go in front of me.
At the counter, the secretaries are all Asian, probably from China. Head down without even taking a look at the letters, weighs for the amount and says what it is, looking up only when Neil pulls out his wallet.
Next stop, SIM CARD!
In the same street as the Post Office we saw a shop of T-Mobile. Apparently, although there is credit on my Italian card, in the United States it is not working. At first I thought that it depended on the phone, since many phones must have a microchip in America. In fact when I was in Toronto in 2008, my phone was dead. Luckily my friends were able every day to go to school and I was at home and there was no risk!
While we were having breakfast, and before we continued on, I made a test with the American sim card belonging to Neil, just in case it depended on the phone and not the Italian sim card: I turned on the phone … IT COULD WORK! I said with the same emphasis of the mad scientist, Frankenstein Junior, who had gone out to buy the sim. When we arrived at the store, we asked what the reduced rate for text messages was. The clerk advised me, that for $30, including 10 already on the sim card, I could have 1500 minutes calling and 1500 messages to all numbers in the U.S. It seemed to me, a very good offer!
“Can I have your IPhone, please?” I was asked. It’s probably taken for granted, that I had an IPhone, and his statement made me feel a bit poor. I gave him my mobile phone, and he didn’t seem to mind, that I didn’t have an IPhone.
I passed my humble white Samsung with the qwerty keyboard, and so to remedy the previous gaffe, I begin: – “Ohhh you have a Blackberry!” – But instead of fixing the situation, things got worse. So when I reveal that it is a Samsung, looks a bit ‘disgusted, as if it was the first old model, Nokia 3310.
The clerk, while inserting the card apologizes for the indelicacy, but the only Samsung he sees are the Galaxy and they are more or less very similar to the IPhone. I’m a little offended, until the activation work is finished. I can’t help suppress a sigh of relief, I’m finally available!
As soon as I receive a note that confirmed this, I sent the SMS to all numbers American; to inform them of my new number. I have a dilemma. I don’t remember if Sid has left me a telephone number. I check the phone book and the sheet where I have several American numbers. There is a number written in the Wall Street section, perhaps he will be listed there?
For safety’s sake, I send him a message, which is a bit vague, about tonight. I suggest to him that I would have to see the room, so I try to send a text message to confirm our date for tonight.
“Hello Sid, for tonight, how do we organize ourselves? Where shall we meet where and at what time?” I text.
Shortly after, I get a text message that he was shopping near Chelsea and is free at 7pm, so I offer him to meet him at 7pm in front of the subway on 23th street.
Neil’s going to go back home and I walk to Chelsea ,which is not so far away and it is pleasant to wander through Hell’s Kitchen, on my way to Chelsea.