Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Waterfall and the Phone

Ok it’s time for me to write my ode to the Samsung Galaxy S7, because if any cell phone deserves an ode, it’s that one.

It all started with someone’s need to celebrate her birthday this year by staying a night at the Giessbach Grand Hotel in Interlaken (ahem, me). Mike met me in Interlaken that afternoon, and one boat ride and charming old funicular later, we were at the hotel. It’s grand all right: a 19th-century hotel complete with long staircase entrance, sunset lake and a 500-meter waterfall called the Giessbach Falls. We had a little time before dinner so we went to check out the waterfall. It has 14 stages of roaring white water, and at one of the stages, there’s a steel bridge that takes you behind the fall so that you can look down at the hotel through a misty curtain.

Definitely a selfie moment so I took out my cell phone. Because it didn’t have a cover and the back is made of slippery glass, I told Mike, “I’d better not drop this.” Two minutes and six selfies later, I turned around and knocked into Mike’s hand which was holding the phone. The phone fell in excruciating slow motion, a Peter Jackson movie kind of slow. We watched it flip, flip, turn and disappear into the waterfall.

We looked at each other with the exact same thought, “Did that just happen?” Freak out. Quick calculation in my head of the pictures and files I hadn’t backed up yet. Then I remembered I was supposed to give the phone back to my company the next week! We left the bridge and I went to sit down on a boulder to hyperventilate properly.

Mike had the idea that he could try and retrieve the phone. Before I realized he wasn’t joking, he was climbing down the side of the waterfall. I yelled at him to come back, it wasn’t worth it, but the falls drowned me out. I watched his head bob up and down among the slimy black rocks, then he disappeared behind a boulder. I thought, I’m going to lose my fiancé AND my cell phone on my birthday.

Mike’s head reappeared. He was smiling, waving at me. Jacket wet and glasses misty, he skipped back and showed me my phone. He found it in a pool of water along with other people’s dropped objects: a teddy bear, selfie stick, scarf, etc. Turns out that all his mountaineering in Switzerland and hours at the climbing gym were actually useful.
The phone worked! Not a scratch. Screen clear. All systems functional. At this point, all my up-and-down emotions burst out into tears. Mike took the phone and snapped a picture of me sobbing into my scarf. As we walked back to the hotel, I grabbed onto his wet jacket and told him, “I have to marry you.”

So congratulations Samsung, you’ve created a waterfall-proof phone. It gave me a birthday of tears, joys, adventures with water and gravity, heart palpitations and declarations of love. Plus it takes GREAT pictures.