When I first landed in the US I realized that you can’t dial out of the country with just 00 or +. Like Australia they need ‘special’ codes. Here it’s 011 (Aus is 0011 in case you happen to go there). So this means that the numbers of most people I usually send messages to from the US are stored with a 011 prefixed. Of course I do not usually msg (or ‘text’ as these Americans say) most people, preferring to pick up the phone and just talk. So well, my brother is one of those who happens to have received a message from me and also has sent me a few. And some of these have also been received and sent from my iPhone.
All well and good. I landed in India in Dec 2009 brandishing a hep iPhone and promptly put in my usual sim card which has validity till 2037 (yep, no typos there). It worked amazingly well, and with a prepaid GPRS for 90MB I was all set. All was well until I one day got a msg from my brother and had to respond.
And what happened next is the gist of this post.
1. I typed in my message in the box for it in the nice IM style interface and pressed ‘Send’. Wait, the number now had 011 attached as it was received from my brother even though the number that sent the message to which I was responding was a normal Indian cell number. So I got a failure to send.
2. I removed my brother from the to list and just typed in his number directly, without the 011 of course. But oh wait, my really smart phone saw that I had once messaged a similar number which existed in my contact list and promptly pulled it up and replaced the raw number I had input with my brother’s name and the 011 with it. Again, failure to send.
3. So I did the next logical thing. I went in and changed my brother’s number in the phone itself. And then I replied to this message. But oh wait, my super smart phone knew that I had once upon a time messaged a similar number and that number had a 011 before it. I am sure to need it now and plonk it came back in!
(By this time I was clearly at my wit’s end and was almost in the mood to fling it into the ground and see what happens. But remembering the fortune I had spent on it, I decided to just growl, shake my fist with the phone and swear. Of course, shaking the phone meant that it started playing a song. Did not help.)
4. So now I deleted my brother and added the number again. Well, you guessed it right. It still knew that there was a number I had messaged before and added it to it. All I could do was stare at it now.
5. Pretty close to hopping mad now, I re-created my brother in my cell phone and added his number with a 011 and then his number without the 011 as mobile. This time it decided to ask, seemingly confused by two very similar numbers. I chose the proper one and the message went out. Thank God for little mercies!
And funnily, all this while I could return his calls and talk to him without having to modify the 011 part. It just picked up the number from where a previous call came in and dialed it back. Wonder where that simple logic went when it came to messages!