An iPhone, an iPhone … My KINGDOM for an iPhone! Um, or not.

Mahmood Raqi District Afghanistan --  A friend took this pic of me a couple of days ago. I’m interviewing the Line Director for Women’s Affairs in Kapisa Province. Given the current situation, she’s one brave woman. I bet getting an iPhone is the least of her worries.

Mahmood Raqi District Afghanistan —
A friend took this pic of me a couple of days ago. I’m interviewing the Line Director for Women’s Affairs in Kapisa Province.
Given the current situation, she’s one brave woman. I bet getting an iPhone is the least of her worries.

I admit it, I’m a gadget-head.

Like most men who subconsciously (and foolishly) equate their coolness with how soon they acquire the latest gadgets, I’ll often buy something I think is really cool, even if I don’t need it.

Lately, I’ve been using my iPod Touch like crazy. (My uncle chipped in on it as sort of a going-away gift. Thanks, Unc!) It plays music, plays videos, stores my photos of Muna and Taj, and also has games on it. Here in the ‘stan, there are times when it’s handy to have in my pocket. (Like, when the power goes out.) About the only thing it doesn’t do is let me make phone calls ….

Enter the iPhone.

Yes, I know, the iPhone is not new. But now I want … no (dare I say it?) I NEED an iPhone here in the ‘stan.

My rationale: I have a government cell phone (with a SIM chip inside.) I have to have it for work. (The cell service in Afghanistan isn’t great, but at least it exists.) But carrying it, along with my iPod Touch makes for a bulky cargo pocket on my uniform. It would be nice if I could have ONE device that does it all … the iPhone.

Problem is, most iPhones are locked to carriers who only allow the device on their network. (Read: AT&T sucks!) So, now I’m on the hunt to find an UNLOCKED iPhone, one that will allow me to insert my SIM chip from my office cell phone (which uses an Afghan phone company,) so I can make calls AND have my music, videos etc.

So, a few days ago I was in a flurry, trying to rush to get an iPhone.

Of course, there’s everybody’s favorite supplier, eBay. But if you ever shopped eBay within the past few years, you know that eBay is no longer the fun online garage sale it used to be. Buying things on eBay is like gambling. You might get something, you might not. It might be what you wanted; it might not. Either way, you’re out some money.

I also thought about circumventing North American sellers (who only sell ‘em with AT&T service,) by trying to buy one from an international seller. (Cell phones in most other countries are unlocked, allowing you to use it with any carrier you choose.) But the poor performance of the dollar in other countries makes buying an iPhone out-of-country almost too expensive to pursue.

Meanwhile, I told you I went outside the wire Wednesday to visit the Governor. On the way, I saw children walking in dirty, torn clothing. Some had no shoes. I saw farmers irrigating large spaces of land by hand all by themselves. Waiting outside the Governor’s compound were women and children, hoping they might be able to receive some assistance from the US team that came to visit.

On second thought, I don’t really need an iPhone after all.

(But, I still WANT one!)

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