Its 5am and the warm November Tenerife sun is about to come out. I'm stood outside a house waiting for the kind soul who 'happened upon' my phone to return it and am looking forward to getting home after another very drunken night which begun and ended as a solo excursion.
'I believe you lost your phone mate?' the guy says as both statement and question. Tiresome, drunken and altogether fed up I can only nod in agreement. He gives me a consoling look and begins walking in the direction of a nearby gateway to an apartment complex. We share some small talk for both situation and language constraint reasons as villain number two enters the set shielded by the black gate.
Carrying what looks like an ice cream tub, my latest villain is of Romanian descent. 'You want your phone back, you pay me 400' he begins whilst fumbling through at least eight iPhones in the tub. In the moment of exasperation all I could do was remember back to only a few days previous when I heard a radio discussion panel declaring that swinging an iPhone around at night-time was the equivalent of waving around a €300 banknote.
Crestfallen, indignant and more than a little annoyed with myself I pull out €180 from my pocket in partial belief the thief would be treating himself to some cash as well.
But sometimes the storm eases when you fear it's at its worst. There would be respite on this occasion and I guess I should be thankful that thieves are still as thick as ever. I'd be getting my phone back instead of the more obvious route of getting robbed for the lot.
At this point, rather hilariously, we had to figure out which of the stolen iPhones was actually mine. After a while of looking at photos of cats and strangers' girlfriends eventually he got up a photo of a car I had recently taken and I declared 'That’s mine'. As he handed me back the phone I correct myself by saying 'the phone not the car' with a giggle in a transaction which could only be reserved for absolute rage.
On the face of it I'd certainly prefer to lose the €180 than the phone and as a budding optimist that's the reflection I'll leave with. Yes I should have called the police. Yes I was being an idiot. But also yes to the capacity for rational thought and safe guarding of phones waning after the last of the '3 shots & 3 cocktails for 3 euro' is sunk.
Maybe you might learn something from my mistake. Hopefully I will.