YOU MADE TRAVEL JUST A LITTLE EASIER
AND AT TIMES BEARABLE
I have a sixth sense.
But if only I could learn to read it and harness its power, I could use it for evil. Joke.
This week, I had that strange feeling I’ve had many times before – about a person, a place or some thing. A person or place or thing for no apparent reason suddenly pops into my head and lingers for hours, sometimes days. It’s like that obnoxious song you can’t get out of your head. It happens at the most random of times and try as I might, I just can’t rid my thoughts of him, her or it.
Generally, the thoughts are of someone I know, but more often they’re of some celebrity or public figure. Sometimes they’re of a country or more specifically, a city or town, and not necessarily some place I’ve already visited. The strange part comes into play when a day or two later or within the week, boom! Big news breaks about that person, place or thing. Then I think to myself, I was just thinking about that person or that place or that very thing.
I’m not sure it’s some sort of superpower or how is it even useful, but I almost always dismiss such nagging thoughts of whomever or whatever and go on with my day. Much more pressing things going on in my head push those seemingly mundane meanderings aside. It’s only after the news emerges about that thing, person or place that I then recall how much I had that subject on the brain only hours or days ago.
So I ask, does this ever happen to anyone else out there? Am I unique in this regard? Is it just all coincidence?
On Tuesday, I had a feeling something was up at Apple Inc. I don’t know why, I just did. It was a strong feeling that popped into my head. I wasn’t reading about Apple or doing anything that would make me think about Apple. I was simply tidying up my room, doing some other household chores. Then wham!, here comes Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs into my head. As always, I pushed the thought aside – or at least tried – but it kept coming back. It lasted off and on throughout the day, well into Wednesday. It was so strong that at one point I thought maybe Apple was about to make some big announcement about one of its popular products and my sixth sense was in high gear. A new iPhone? A significant product upgrade? Maybe a new iPad? An iPad 3? Ah, that’s it. Ah, yes, that’s it, a new and improved iPad, maybe one that finally supports Flash, good heavens!.
So now I had the iPad on my mind. So much so that while I was on Facebook I began to update my status with: “Look for Apple to soon announce the iPad 3! If you’re in the market for one, wait.”
But before I posted the admittedly bold statement with no backing or sourcing other than my wild intuition, I stared at what I had written for about a minute and thought, “no, that’s not it,” and erased it. Still, I launched Google to double-check how long the iPad 2 had been on the market. Just maybe it was time for a new version of the iPad, no?
So why was I now obsessing about Apple. I like Apple products – own some of them myself – but I am no Steve Jobs “fanboy”. Those who shed tears when Steve Jobs walks on a stage to plug his products need to have their heads examined or at the minimum to get a life. Or just get a grip! [Where is slap-happy General Patton when you need him?]
The fanboys may think Steve Jobs is the Messiah, but he is – gasp! – not. Talk about belonging to a cult, not knowing it, and attacking as stupid anybody else refusing to join!
When Wednesday came, I woke up very early in the morning to get to work, and after the routine swearing at the alarm clock, I took a shower and prepared a light breakfast. Somewhere between pouring the milk and the Mueslix, guess what popped into my mind? I then tried to explain it away: last week I had lost my iPod Touch at work, and I had been thinking about it off and on. I wasn’t so much obsessing or upset about it as I was thinking more along the lines that all my precious data was stored in that little glass and aluminum device. Who, just who had it in their sticky hands and were they using it for evil? No joke. The very act of keeping what is so not yours is evil. Looking at someone’s private information is evil. Any person who does that is evil. Oh well, an excuse to buy the latest generation iPod Touch, was my thought. Move on.
I walked in to the cavernous building at work, made a cup of Ceylon tea, and sat down to figure out the student lineup. Then as I walked to the office of my first eager-to-learn-English junior executives, one of the department managers – also a student of mine – approached holding up an iPod Touch. “Is this yours?”
Never thought I’d see that iPod again. It had been more than a week. It had mysteriously appeared on his desk, left there in plain sight. My iPod was reportedly spotted on the desk by another mining executive, not one that I teach English to every week. How had the iPod turned up on this desk is still a mystery. I suppose I could have security review the cameras, but who cares. The important thing is I got it back.
I think the person who found it and kept it had remorse and decided to return it, slipping it onto the desk while no one was looking. Just about everyone at the company knew I had lost my iPod and would ask daily if I had found it. They were genuinely concerned about finding it. This isn’t a company where stealing is tolerated, one of them said to me. From the security staff the housekeeping staff, they all were on the lookout. The messages I sent to the iPod’s screen may have also scared that person into turning it in.
For the uninitiated, if you lose your iPhone or iPod Touch, you can engage a feature called “Find My Phone” that locates it via GPS just about anywhere in the world. You can also remotely through Apple’s Mobile Me Website send any message you want to the screen -“Hey, you #$@&!! return my iPod! – or instantly slap a password on it to lock it and prevent its use. And in a final act to preserve your privacy, erase all the data. All this remotely from your home computer or laptop.
My messages that the device belonged to me and that it be returned or face doom, may have scared the person into doing the right thing. At least I’d like to think so. One thing: the GPS-backed function to locate the iPod on a global map did not work. Otherwise, I would have known where to go find the device. A chemical engineer at the mine, a pretty smart guy, attributed the GPS failure to our desert location where there isn’t a strong signal. I don’t know. It worked great elsewhere, most recently in Chicago when I misplaced it there. A map popped up on the computer and zoomed in on the building, and voila! Found it. Amazing technology and smart thinking from Apple.
So on Thursday morning, I had my iPod back in hand. By Thursday night, on that very same device came a breaking news alert from the New York Times: “Steven P. Jobs Is Stepping Down As Chief Executive of Apple.”
“I have always said that if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know,” Jobs wrote in a statement released by Apple. “Unfortunately, that day has come.”
So iPod Touch back in hand, it alerts me of the news from…..drum roll….Apple! There’s the big news, is what I thought, of course. Bigger news than the release of an iPad 3. Hey, I never said this mind power was about predicting the future. Just that some event – good or bad – is about to unfold in involving the people, places and things that invade my thoughts.
The very same week, I had actor Will Smith on the brain, but not to the degree of Apple. Then word comes the next day and spreads by Facebook and Twitter that he and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith are getting a divorce after 13 years of marriage. Okay. Coincidence?
I think that’s all I will reveal about my superpower…err…gift…err…weirdness.
One thing’s for sure: when it comes to travel, I do listen to my sixth sense. We refer to it as a “gut feeling”. But my gut tells me this sixth sense is about something more.