In Memory and Celebration of my Broken Phone

I’ve come to the realization recently that I am only a productive blogger when I want to make fun of the pitfalls of my otherwise sunny-side-up life. I’ve deemed mild inconveniences like having to speak French in France or sobbing with John Lennon glasses on or being harassed a record twelve times in two hours (post coming soon to an under-utilized blog near you) as highly satisfying enough to share with the digital public. While these have been personal experiences, today I would like to speak about an issue that has captured the attention of the general public since the mid 2000s: broken phones.

Now on my fourth broken phone, I can say with conviction that there are virtually zero disturbances when you don’t have a phone to provide you instantaneous gratification and distraction. With my phone out of service, I am forced to do actual things with my time instead of worrying about the race and gender dynamics of travel photography on Instagram. I’ve already written an in-depth analysis on how technological memory is just as fallible as human memory, thus enhancing the ontological arguments that Ms. Bowers taught me in grade 12 philosophy. I’m more social already, as exemplified in the party I attended Friday night, armed with a flip book of sticky notes so I wouldn’t miss out on asking for people’s numbers and giving out my email address.

the aforementioned sticky notes. let it be known i had to angle my laptop and use photobooth to take this photo

One of the greatest pros when rendered phoneless is a distortion of my sense of time. This may seem disorienting, but in fact has endless benefits. Firstly, I get to sleep in every day because I don’t have an alarm to wake me up! Time is a colonial construct, so I am actually subverting imperialism by refusing to help my situation and purchase an alarm clock which would mean supporting both colonialism and capitalism. Furthermore, there’s this fun game I like to play in public where I find the most attractive boy in my vicinity and ask him what time it is. If you want to play, all you have to do is ensure you don’t wear a watch!

However, if you do decide to play this fun game, ensure that you choose a boy who will not take advantage of your phonelessness. I can’t deny how unnerved I feel when I’m walking home alone at night and notice a man staring at me from across the street. Something makes me grip my keys tighter in my pocket and briefly wonder if such thoughts are the products of gender-based violence within a society that renders women inferior, or simply my overactive writerly imagination.

The only way to go forth from this grounding experience is to share these humbling lessons by recommending to all of my dearest friends and family to go throw your phones in a lake or something. Or maybe do what I did: try to back up your phone because you fear losing all your important things, and in the process have the software crash on you, thus permanently deleting all your data and any possibility of restoration. If you’ve read this post and still insist on living with a phone, I just want you to know that you’re really missing out on the chance for a wholesome life.

Also, um, does anyone have a spare phone I can borrow for a few days?

as soon as i finished writing this post i got this email.
i asked the company to communicate with me via email only 🙂

How To Say Goodbye to Your Foreign Lover at the Airport


When living in a foreign country it is inevitable that you will fall in love with something. Perhaps not necessarily a person, but maybe a city or quiet park or secret cafe. Given the “foreign” factor, it is inevitable that you and your love will be forced to part ways at some point. I say not necessarily a person, but judging by the title of this post you know I could only possibly mean someone.

This is nothing of a new narrative in the expat or exchange experience. It comes as a matter-of-fact, an essential loss you must pay for having the most beautiful times of your life: the pity of being forced to leave someone you love. There is no cutesy 1920s romance filter I can throw over this tale to make it seem less tragic to myself. One minute you are strolling along the Seine, brunching in Monaco, taking night trains to Italy. Laying in parks with empty bottles of wine and thinking maybe, just maybe, this life could last forever.

Soon it is the end of July and the past three weeks were the best of your life. But they are ending, even though your visa isn’t. You are packing up suitcases that aren’t even yours and hiding love letters in them just to have something that will survive the distance. Of course you will go to the airport for your tragic movie-esque farewell, which is every bit sad as you imagined.

Yet, there are some things I wasn’t aware of before I set off to say goodbye to my foreign lover at the airport. So to ease the pain of the farewell and embarrassment of crying in public, I wanted to present to my loyal readers of this under-utilized blog with my top six tips for the broken hearted traveller to survive saying goodbye at the airport!

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salida is spanish for exit (you should start tearing up now)
  1. if you are the one departing: do not watch a sad movie on the plane

I will admit that one of the lowest moments of my life was when I sobbed in the midst of eating Air Canada’s finest coleslaw while watching Her on a plane. Tears were streaming down my face as I tried to chew through the rubbery vinegar cabbage, all while the Quebecois man beside me pretended like he wasn’t staring. Opt for something more heartwarming like going to sleep where you can forget all about your life for a few hours!

      2. be aware of your closest bathrooms at all times

It is crucial that you locate the bathroom closest to your designated farewell spot ahead of time. This step is often overlooked by lovers saying goodbye, yet it is a key component of keeping your cool at the airport. Having knowledge of the closest bathroom will allow you to make a quick dash there to lock yourself in for a good cry as soon as you’ve bid farewell, otherwise onlookers will be staring as you wander in a daze, crying loudly through the maze of suitcases and tourists.

      3. bring sunglasses to the airport

It is inevitable that you will be sobbing during the goodbye. While bystanders may find this tragically adorable and even touching while you are together, you must remember that eventually you will be forced to turn and walk away….alone. To avoid people staring at your puffy watering eyes, bring sunglasses to hide your shame and heartbreak. The bigger the better!! Darker too!!

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really worried i sound like bella swan in New Moon

      4. don’t forget tissues either

If you have forgotten your travel size pocket tissue pack, please refer to tip number two. But to save time it is better to stop at your local Monoprix beforehand to avoid trying to discreetly wipe your nose on your beloved’s shirt.

    5. do not wander around the arrival gates

There is a great disconnect in the aura between the departure and the arrival gates at the airport. No matter if there is a Mango, a Laduree, or a Starbucks located near the arrival gates, avoid this area at all costs as it is full of pre-travel excitement and happy reunions between lovers and families. The departure gates are 100% more likely to have sad goodbyes, as every day people leave their foreign lovers without any inkling if they’ll ever see each other again!

Scan 2smoke
we only smoke when within proximity of high quality cameras

     6. if your goodbye is in Paris: fly from CDG, not ORY

Paris Orly Airport has a serious disadvantage if you are planning to say goodbye to your significant other there, mainly that the only form of public transport is a nausea-inducing bus that is always crowded. If possible, opt for CDG airport which is connected to the RER B train. It might smell like urine but at least you won’t vomit on your way home while you are crying and sitting backwards across from highly uncomfortable men who don’t know how to deal with public displays of emotion.

I hope my tips help you survive your sad parting with your significant other! If you are like me and now live in Paris sans amour, at some point you may wonder is there a point of even living in the City of Love if you don’t have a lover anymore? It will surely be sad, maybe just outright depressing, and maybe you won’t be able to eat the same food or listen to the same music or go to the same places anymore or even hate coming home to your formerly shared apartment, but there is never any ending to Paris. If there is anything that lasts, it will be the love this city has fostered and annoyed many city officials with on its lock-covered bridges.  

We Accept the Stretch Limos We Think We Deserve

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our chauffeur hitting the breaks

On the first day of spring break in the City of Light, the metro was flooded with Parisians running with every kind of luggage you can imagine. This week-long holiday coincides with Paris Fashion Week, which results in many unfashionable folk fleeing the city to escape the harsh reality that they have zero style.

Instead of loading up my backpack and buying a budget airline ticket to Vienna, my best friend and blogger-mom-to-be (Jacquie at and I decided to have our own STAYCATION at her trendy residence in northern Paris. With the city all to ourselves, we made the best decision of our entire 20 years: we loaded up our metropasses and hailed ourselves a private STRETCH LIMO!

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some would call us best friend GOALS

The Paris stretch limos are a well kept secret that many tourists don’t know about. If you are planning a trip to Paris anytime soon, I would recommend omitting the expensive double-decker tour buses and just hailing yourself a stretch limo. Otherwise, you might find yourself squished like a can of sardines with all the Parisians on the stank bus (more commonly known to locals as the RER A).

We caught our first ride on Monday to Jacquie’s twentieth birthday, arriving in style at the Eiffel Tower where we would later ascend to the champagne bar on the top floor. All we had to do was stand on the side of a cute street and look at these little boxes that light up with how long you have to wait until your limo arrives. For those of you who are tech-savvy, you can compare the experience to using UberX, just with less harassment.

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so easy to use!

The next day our limo picked us up at Gare du Nord after our day of exploration was thwarted by rainy weather. Just as we had hoped, we had it all to ourselves! We cozied up at the back of our ride with a blanket we brought from home and put our feet up, ready to see Paris in STYLE! In that moment, I swore we were infinite. 

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the comfort is unbeatable. just like home!

The chauffeur was even kind enough to keep the lighting dim on the bus, which was really helpful because Jacquie surprised me by pulling her laptop out of her bag. She then hotspotted her phone’s 3G to Solar Tv, which allowed us to catch up with the latest episodes of the Bachelor. We were having a great time bonding over this season’s unlovable bachelor, when we were rudely interrupted by a Parisian man who told us to put our feet down. He didn’t seem to have gotten the memo that this was our private stretch limo. I guess we forgot to tell our chauffeur that we didn’t want to pick up hitchhikers, but we were close to our stop anyway so it was okay. 

For anyone who is planning to visit Paris soon, we would recommend taking stretch limo No. 74. Make sure you keep your head on swivel when on this route, otherwise you’ll miss some cute cafes that would look great on your Instagram. On Tuesday night, after we were hungover from the Eiffel Tower champagne bar, we just rode the 74 around and admired all the beautiful lights along the Seine. Sometimes the chauffeur forgets to turn the heat on, so we would recommend bringing your own fuzzy blanket so you can feel right at home.

If anyone has any questions at all about the stretch limos, please don’t hesitate to comment below! Hopping on a stretch limo is the quickest way to feeling as trendy as Karl Lagerfeld drinking an espresso at Café de Flore. I guess it’s true what Owen Wilson says in Midnight in Paris. Paris really is most beautiful by bus!

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Jacquie enjoying the view