The hand-over - photographing the new phone with the old one.
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More room could be found in the floor-boards of a house and it might have also been a lot cleaner I thought as we scurried around the basement floor of an overly exposed shopping centre. We both knocked and were knocked as the pace of creatures slowed towards the half-filled window displays. Customer interrupted customer only to be interrupted by the customer who was interrupting another customer. Human heat united with display-lighting heat as potential customers sniffed and nudged at the windows while pointing out the various models available.
For a year I'd carried two phones in my left trouser pocket, one I photographed and was occasionally reminded of birthdays with and the other I excepted misdirected calls withFor a year I'd carried two phones in my left trouser pocket, one I photographed and was occasionally reminded of birthdays with and the other I excepted misdirected calls with. Partly for technical reasons and partly due to lack of effort I never got the superior handset unlocked from its UK network. As a splendid gift from my dear mother and sister I received a more superior model than the last (thanks again) yet this time around I'd arranged the unlocking prior to my receiving the handset. A childish joy befell me as I tossed the manual to the side and liberated my Iranian SIM card.
"'Inactive SIM', it says, you sure this was unlocked?" As I was to later find out, the Islamic Republic, in an effort to stop black market trading have called for all phones as of October 2006 to be registered. There are two ways* around this for me: the 'right way' is to find some office, bring the box, a receipt, my passport, my flight ticket and maybe money; the 'wrong way' is in theory less bother, or so I thought until visiting the basement of bull shitters.
"They don't even say anything, they just lift their head with a 'tut'", my friend exclaimed as we leap-frogged shop-to-shop. Aside from this response there was, "this phone is the only one that can't have this done", and, "50,000", "70,000", "90,000". The price increased with each shop that boasted the ability yet my desire to give up increased with every person informing me that this one specific phone can't be tampered with.
So it's the 'right way' for me now, yet I'm not expecting the process to be any less clear or frustrating.
*There is a third, which involves joining the recently introduced private network, IranCell, boasting many (long overdue) new features to the Iran market (MMS, WAP and the likes). This company have broken the monopoly and brought reasonable prices for SIM cards as well as putting a boot up the arse of state-run oversubscribed effort.