Karma Chameleon.

There comes a time in ones life when their whole life is brought to a ground-breaking crash and nothing makes sense anymore and you are just not sure whether you can deal with waking up in the morning. Yes, I’m referring to the time one loses their mobile phone.

Before I dull you with my whinging and whining about how sad I am that my beloved yellow iPhone is now in the hands of somebody else, I’ll share the rest of the story because honestly despite the cannonball of sadness of my dearly departed has knocked me out with, the events leading up to the incident were a bunch of fun. As my year of au pairing is drawing closer to an end, the realisation that the time I have with my au pair buddies is going faster than Usain Bolt on roids. With that in mind, my closest gal pals – aka the ‘Animals’, because, well ladies is hardly an accurate way to describe us – have decided to make the most of our last moments together and enjoy them thoroughly. Marking the birth of my friend IB and the approaching departure of my friend A we decided to make the forty-five train ride to Amsterdam for a night of frivolity and Animal antics. Luckily, the weather Gods of Holland have been particularly generous these past few days, blessing us with sun, warmth and happiness. Taking full advantage of that we left for Amsterdam mid afternoon. IB, E and myself left before A and her two German friends, however due to us choosing the worst train in history to get on, we had to change three times and ended up on the same train as A and her friends anyway! We dropped our bags at Amsterdam Centraal Hotel (the lockers at the train station, more on that soon) and headed off to enjoy the sun and being in this wonderful city. A’s two friends had never been to Amsterdam before so we walked down to Dam Square and through the Flower Markets before settling down on the grass in Rembrandtplein with a Starbucks iced coffee, enjoying life. The beautiful weather had encouraged everybody outside and the entire city was jam-packed with people getting some vitamin D. There was some soccer match going on so it looked like a mini Kings Day with Dutchies dressed head to toe in orange. Nothing like the Dutch, they sure do love to dress up. We lolled around on the grass for awhile before wandering through streets of lopsided houses and serene canals towards Museumplein. Picking up some picnic supplies and the necessary bottle of wine (or three) we plonked down on the grass and feasted on our best picnic yet. It was around 6:30pm and the sun was still high in the sky. The Rijksmuseum sat grandly in front of us and the IAMSTERDAM sign was littered with tourists climbing all over it. Groups of people surrounding us where doing the same as us and enjoying dinner in front of one of the most iconic sights of the Netherlands, the whole atmosphere could only be described as very gezellig.

Finishing up our picnic we walked back towards Centraal Station where we checked into our budget accommodation and prettified ourselves for the night ahead. Now when I say Amsterdam Centraal Hotel, I’m not talking about a budget hotel at the station, instead being ever so thrifty (read: cheap) we opted to use the public amenities in the station to get ready. Our wardrobe was the Starbucks bathroom and our bathroom was a mirror outside the locker area. I’m sure it was a sight to see a bunch of girls sitting on the floor of the train station putting on their make up in the first mirror they could find. Once prettified, we finished off our wine and headed into town.

First stop was to show the first-timers the Red Light District. Normally I avoid this area like the plague. I just don’t like it. Though as we walked and pushed our way through the throngs of drunk/high/horny tourists, laughing at the signs for sex shows and poking fun at tourists who paid for the expertise of these Red Light ladies, some coming out from the little rooms clearly satisfied, others exiting hastily hoping nobody saw. We sat by the canal and watched the show around us before deciding it was definitely time for another drink. Heading towards Dam Square we stopped by popular tourist bar Belushi’s which was filled with people and decided this was a good starting point. From there the night turned into a blur of free drinks, bad dancing and making friends with strangers.

The end of the world begun at the Australian pub Coco’s Outback of all places, which leads me to now believe you should never enter an Australian pub in another country but Australia. The place was filled with inebriated locals and foreigners, particularly a very rowdy NZ rugby team. We immersed ourselves in the dance floor, being shoved around as we moved along to the music. We were having a blast, boogieing along to the music. I left for a toilet break and reaching into my bag to check the time on my phone, I felt around and that piece of plastic which I rely on so much wasn’t there. Heart starting to race, I opened up my bag at a free table and realised my wallet full of other very important pieces of plastic was missing as well. Suddenly I was sober as a nun. My heart was sitting somewhere around my ankles and a wave of emotion ran over me. Bar my passport, my wallet and phone were my life. I couldn’t understand, only twenty minutes before I had used it to buy a drink and now it had gone AWOL. Freaking out, I pulled my bag apart and searched around on the ground. No luck. I went back into the dance floor to find the girls and deliver the bad news. I pushed through the sweaty bodies, eyes focused on the ground, hoping that my little yellow phone would appear. I raced over to the bar and asked if they had any wallets or phones handed in. They said no. Now starting to come to the realisation of having a wallet full of credit cards, bank cards and I.D’s being abducted, I did what any self-respecting girl would do. I cried.

Marking the second time I have cried since moving to Europe, I blubbered and blustered at my friends who were amazing at comforting me. We went outside for a moment to think of a plan of action and I cursed in every language I know at the asshole who pinched my things. Wiping away my tears I went back to the bar and asked again. This time a friendly guy who was more helpful than the first girl said they had found a wallet. He asked me what colour it was and I answered black. The guy grinned at me and held up my missing wallet. I deadset nearly jumped over the bar and kissed him. Thanking him profusely I checked if anything was gone and luckily the few coins I had left was the only thing missing. My surroundings started to come into focus and the mini Hulk that was resting on my shoulders jumped off, allowing me to breath again. Clutching my wallet I raced outside to the girls and told them. While it wasn’t both my belongings, I was slightly more glad that my wallet had been returned because of the massive hassle I had just avoided of cancelling cards and ordering new I.D’s etc. We stayed outside for a while, not keen on going back in and I accepted the fact that my beloved phone was in the hands of a new owner. Realising the time, we hot-footed back to Centraal Station where we managed to make the train with a minute to spare and eventually got back to Den Haag around the same time the sun started to rise.

Facing reality the following morning/afternoon, I rang the bar to see if by a sliver of a chance my phone had been found, but unfortunately no luck. Annoyed that I had to replace the phone I had only bought at Christmas time, but eternally thankful that the God’s of Coco’s Outback allowed me to be reunited with my wallet. I knew a phone was much easier (albeit a bit more expensive) to replace. As the day went on I realised how dependant I had become on my phone. I was constantly reaching for it and disappointed when I remembered what happened. It made me think that perhaps I depend on it a little too much. And maybe, the karma chameleons that rogued about, giving back to people what they deserve, had decided it was time I learnt that. By the following day I started to stop reaching for my missing phone so often and actually got a chance to finish my book. I managed to leave the house without clutching it in my hot little hands and I fell asleep peacefully without it buzzing on the bedside table beside me. So as shitty as losing my little phone is, I began to think that this little detox was meant to happen. Maybe every now and then the karma chameleons decide what’s best for you and you just need to go with it.

 

From the girl who is in stage 4 of iPhone loss – denial.

J. x

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