THE BELOW ADVENTURE .. AS YOU WILL SEE .. TOOK SEVERAL DAYS TO FULLY ‘PLAY OUT’ .. In the end, as I look back on it, the entire episode became a great victory for me. I got bothered .. I got disturbed .. Yes I got frustrated .. BUT I did not come even close to ‘losing it’. As I got further into it I just kept saying to myself .. “I am NOT going to come unglued over a few dollars.” And? I didn’t. IF you read along here smile to yourselves. My meetings also have been of great support because I have been talking extensively about steps 6 and 7 and resolution of character defects and shortcomings such as impatience. So? Here we go loop de loop .. Here we go loop di li .. 

Cap says to the ‘Again-Pregnant Woman’ .. Don’t we ever learn? .. Can’t we learn from our experience? Cell phones for me and more children for you can be such challenges ..

What to do? I need and I use and I want and I actually (well I think that) I MUST HAVE A CELL PHONE.

Taa-Daa .. Out and Off I go to ‘MY’ local MobiCom office to buy a cell phone. How much simpler can it possible get than this?



Wait a minute! .. Stop the printing presses! .. Excuse me Captain .. You just wrote that .. “I need and I use and I want and I actually (well I think that) I MUST HAVE A CELL PHONE.”

“Don’t you HAVE a cell phone Captain?”

Good observation. I left out one critical word. So let’s try this again.

“I need and I use and I want and I actually (well I think that) I MUST HAVE ANOTHER CELL PHONE.”

GOOD GRIEF CAPTAIN .. /signed/  Snoopy and Linus and Charlie Brown ..

My wanting to have two cell phones dates back to last August 2015 when my smart-phone was stolen on a bus by a pick pocket. By having another active and ready-to-go cell phone almost instantly (within a short two hours) I was able to be back on line and in business.

‘My’ MobiCom office has a very nice accessories counter with many cell phones and batteries and chargers and fashion cell phone holders and you-name-it ..

Several weeks ago I purchased another spare battery for my current cell phone from ‘MY” above MobiCom store.

I got my brand new battery home and charged it with my separate battery charger. It did not work. The charge did not ‘take’.

Then I charged it with my Nokia cell phone battery charger. Same story! De nada! Zippo! This charging attempt did not ‘take’ either.

Long (and boring) story I finally got another battery (they were very nice about swapping-out the batteries) and this one ‘took’ a charge. All is well that ends well. Still it was a ‘hassle’.

***For the time being ‘file-away’ somewhere in your mind the above story about my MobiCom problems-with-a-new-battery story.***

Into ‘MY’ MobiCom store I go.

First order of business. I purchase an additional M5,000 worth of air-time for my current cell phone. The below receipt is critical to this story..

I received (see the above photo) a nice, formal, computer-generated receipt for my M₮ 5,000.

I then walk over to the accessories counter and I select a new cell phone (shown on the right below).


Isn’t 20-20 hind-sight just wonderful and absolutely and totally useless!? I picked out the one I wanted. The lady reached down underneath the glass counter top and removed and handed to me my new cell phone.

Knowing what I now know .. in 20-20 hind-sight .. I should have kept my money in my hand and run out of the store with my money.


In 20-20 hind-sight she did NOT NOT NOT go and get me a brand new cell phone in a box with all of the seals and warranties and stickers and printed directions and charger and .. you get it. She just handed me a ‘bare-naked’ cell phone and nothing else.

I didn’t run away. Instead I handed her M₮ 100,000 / US $ 49.07. Smiling she gratefully took my money.

I said .. “Where is a battery charger for my new cell phone?” Smiling she reached into the tall display case on her left ..

She took out a ‘generic’ cell phone battery charger and handed it to me saying something about ‘this will be an extra cost’. I made it plain to her that I wanted a genuine official Nokia brand cell phone charger.

AT THIS WRITING I HAVEN’T GOTTEN ONE. I probably will never get one.  I don’t actually need one. I ALREADY HAVE THREE OF MY OWN THAT CAME WITH MY THREE NOKIA CELL PHONES. I have a ‘right’ to another battery charger don’t I? Would you rather be happy or would you rather be ‘right’?

‘Yet Again Pregnant Lady’ what about these additional children of yours and my cell phone adventures .. They are going to do both-of-us-IN.

Things here began to smell just a little bit day-old-fishy to yours truly.

Now came my .. Taa-Daa .. Sixty Four Thousand ($64,000) Dollar question ..

“Where is my receipt for the 100,000 M₮ that I just handed to you?” Smiling always smiling she scribbled down some numbers on a very unofficial looking ‘form’ (below photo right side) and handed me the form.


At this point I called the official MobiCom lady to please come over to the accessories counter.
DSCN8264[1]I showed them both my official MobiCom receipt I had just gotten for my 5,000 M₮ re-charge. And I began playing Charades* with them.

*Charades (noun used with a singular verb) a game in which the players are typically divided into two teams, members of which take turns at acting out in pantomime a word, phrase, title, etc., which the members of their own team must guess.

DICTIONARY.COM .. I love LOVE love you! .. Andrej I am ROCKING with copy / paste using Notepad ..

Goodness with the actual life practice I now have at playing real Charades IF I could go back to my 1950-1954 High School years I would now be the KING CHAMPION of Charades.

Wonderful! Now The beautiful .. The Haunting .. The Sad .. Henry Mancini song .. Charade .. circa 1963 is now reverberating around inside of my mind ..

Sad little serenade
Song of my heart’s composing
I hear it still, I always will
Best on the bill

Love LOVE Love her .. My MobiCom lady understood. Using her own ability and experience at playing Charadeswith not only yours truly but with each and every customer of hers who do not speak fluent Mongolian she made it very crystal clear (holding my receipt with her arms crossed in front of her mimicking a large X) that plain and simple:

The nice smiling and gracious lady facing me ..

.. Did NOT WORK FOR NOR HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH MobiCom and as a result there was absolutely no possibility that I was going to get a MobiCom receipt for my new cell phone.

Of course! I should have known! She is not dressed in the formal MobiCom attire.
DSCN8313[1]I called Changer.DSCN3838[1]

“That’s correct Cap. She is a totally independent vendor. You just bought a used cell phone with no guarantee and it is no doubt probably a ‘gray’ market imitation Nokia look-alike cell phone.”

Life wisdom ..

I have money. I have ample money. I have NO money worries or issues or concerns. I will NOT allow a few dollars ($50) to get-to-me. Maybe I just got ‘taken’ .. Maybe I didn’t. Maybe the used, gray market, cell phone that I just paid 100,000 M for is a good one and will work well for me.

A ‘sexist comment’ .. How can you possibly get upset looking at this charming and beguiling face?
DSCN8311[1]I said to the still and always smiling lady ..”I want to purchase an extra battery.” She handed me one. It too was ‘naked’. It did not come in a small box or plastic wrap protective covering around it. I gave her 6,000 M₮.

***For the time being keep ‘filed-away’ somewhere in your mind the story at the beginning of this Post about my MobiCom problems-with-a-new-battery story.***

Now I had to activate my new (since it may NOT be new it is new-to-me) Nokia cell phone.


Thank You Oh God of Abraham for this young man. I will call him My Man.

A close-up of the lovely flowers on the window ledge on the left above.

The process had only just begun. I had to go to a computer terminal against the wall and select a new phone number for my ‘new’ cell phone. This was a totally new-to-me process. In the below photo the man on the right (see him pointing) is showing the other man on the left how to navigate this process.DSCN8263[1]

My Man did the same for me.

Face-To-Face with a MobiCom high-tech gadget stood Me and My Man ..DSCN8314[1]

He said to me .. “First you must select your own new phone number. You pick your own. Here on this computer you have a list of all of the available phone numbers.”

He showed me how to bring-up a key board and enter all of my pertinent information.DSCN8096[1]

Having selected my new phone number I did-the-drill. I showed a copy of my passport. I answered some questions. I PAID 5,000 M₮ the requisite fee to the MobiCom associate. Yes! Below is a different receipt from the ones shown above.
DSCN8317[1]As I walked out of ‘MY’ MobiCom store I profusely thanked several times My Man above.


I snapped a photo of My Man with His Lady. Wow! Wowie! What a couple!DSCN8262[1]

Finally I walked out of MobiCom with my new-to-me cell phone. I got home and I began to charge the new-to-me cell phone.

Way WAY up above two (2-count-them-times) I asked you to :

***For the time being ‘file-away’ somewhere in your mind the above story about my MobiCom problems-with-a-new-battery story.***

The new-to-me cell phone battery would NOT NOT NOT ‘take a charge’ using my Nokia charger. Then I tried to charge the second battery I purchased using my independent battery charger.
DSCN0055[1]That battery would NOT NOT NOT ‘take a charge’.

Back to Square One .. Two (2-count-them) batteries that would not ‘take’ a charge. This is why I feel I am dealing with gray market imitation fraudulent products here. A first cabin out of the Nokia box battery would ‘take’ a charge.

I wanted to say .. NO! I wanted to scream at the very top of my lungs out loud .. “Holy Suffering Christ.” .. I didn’t .. Again I thought ..”Holy Suffering Christ! I just played out this very same battery-won’t-take-a-charge story.”

Back to ModiCom I went. I took with me both my independent charger and my own Nokia cell phone charger. At the counter was a Mongolian man who spoke absolutely fluent English. I did not have the presence of mind to photograph him but I wish I would have.

I told him and the always smiling lady vendor who is NOT affiliated with MobiCom that neither battery would ‘take’ a charge. I had her plug into her electrical outlet first my Nokia and then my independent charger so she COULD SEE WITH HER OWN EYES that neither battery would ‘take’ a charge. On the cell phone and my independent charger there were no bars flashing like they do with a charging battery.

She and the gentleman had a nice, polite-sounding, little chit-chat.

He said that she said .. “Please come back tomorrow at 10AM when the store opens and she will have new batteries.” .. “Holy Suffering Christ! Will this ever end!”

I did NOT go back at 10AM. I KNEW that neither she nor new batteries would be there then. 

Many (NOT all Mongolians and certainly NOT Changer) people here in Mongolia as do many Alaskans in Alaska operate on a different time-standard. 10AM loosely means some time tomorrow morning I will be here with new batteries.

I went back at 4PM. I took both my Nokia battery charger and my independent battery charger and my new-to-me, fake, imitation Nokia, gray market, fraudulent used cell phone.

“Geez Dad! Ease up on me will you Dad? I am going to prove-to-you that I can stand-and-deliver for you Dad!”

/signed/ my new-to-me, fake, imitation Nokia, gray market, fraudulent used cell phone.

Seemingly ever happy and smiling lady handed me two new batteries.

I plugged in the new-to-me little cell phone with my Nokia cell phone charger. Bing Bing Bingo he began flashing lights. He was working so his new battery was OK.

I plugged in the extra spare battery using my independent cell phone battery charger. Bing Bing Bingo he too began flashing his lights. He was working.

I was shocked. I was stunned. I fell down on the floor. I hit my head. I was rushed to the hospital. I am going to sue them all.

Just having some fun with life .. That’s all .. YOU ALL HAVE TO KNOW .. That if anyone was too upset there would not be all of the above smiling photos.

Back home (for the umteenth time it felt like it) I went. I finished the overnight battery charging process for each of the batteries. Both came up to 100% and I was good-to-go.

I took an incoming phone call from Patti on my new-to-me cell phone. Zowie. Hot Diggety Dog. “Houston we have lift off.”

I tried to call Changer. No luck. I tried to call Saki. No luck. I tried to call .. No luck ..

Have I said this before in this Post? .. “Holy Suffering Christ will this ever end?” 

I called the MobiCom check-your-balance phone inquiry. I got through.

It said .. Tany undsen dansand 0.00 tug baina. THAT sports fans translates to: You have 0.00 M  (Mongolian Tughrik) balance.

What do you all see below. You see my paid in full formal MobiCom receipt for 5,000 M₮ that’s what you see!

Back .. Back Yet Again .. Back Back Back again .. I walked .. to ‘MY’ MobiCom office. Down I sat with my official MobiCom representative. I gave her my receipt for the the 5,000 M₮ I had paid. I brought up on my new-to-me cell phone: Tany undsen dansand 0.00 tug baina. I pointed to my receipt for 5,000 M₮ and to my cell phone showing a 0.00 balance and just ‘shrugged my shoulders.’

She and I are getting-to-know each other. She conveyed to me that the 5,000 M₮ I paid was only for the SIM card and getting me registered into their system. IF I wanted to purchase some talk time she would happily assist me.

Smiling at her I laid down a 5,000 M paper note. Now I have yet another MobiCom receipt for 5,000 M₮.


And now I believe that I have a second cell phone that I will have at-the-ready should I have any issues with my main cell phone.

As all of this nightmare was coming down .. Each time I walked past it I snapped some more photos of ‘MY’ ice skating rink ..

Hi again all of you! It sure was fun-while-it-lasted. Thanks For The Memories .. I will never forget you!DSCN9916[1]


Ah the exuberance of youth! A new season is dawning and they are Ready To Go into Spring and Summer .. Then Autumn and Winter ..

In the above and below photos .. Something is missing .. Something is gone .. Something has vanished .. Something has disappeared ..

Yes! The ‘warming shed‘ has been removed ..DSCN9909[1]

So in my many MANY walks back and forth to MobiCom as I walked past the ice skating rink I communed with it and reflected on the passages of life itself.

This helped me greatly to keep-MobiCom-in the proper perspective.


It is a Spiritual Truth of the Universe that IF one of us can do this .. All of us .. YOU TOO .. can do this.

Good Luck and Best Wishes and God Speed ..

Cap ..

Talk about the exuberance of youth ..

Captain it IS truly .. Time to Press Publish .. Thank You My Dear Patti for proofing this with me .. Much Love ..

Will these labor pains never end .. Am I or aren’t I going to have this baby .. Smiles ..

6 thoughts on “MAR 30, 16 .. ANOTHER! .. CELL PHONE ADVENTURE

  1. z

    Thursday, March 31, 2016 – 1:00 pm

    Hi Cap,

    Out of curiosity, is the vendor, “Mobicom” the store you went to a “real” Mobicom; or is the store a “knock-off”, i.e. a fake? As we all know when you buy a new phone you receive it in a new box with details and all the other goodies, etc, etc… I must admit you showed a tremendous amount of patience in sorting out all the issues! How long did this “thing” take, that is, how many days back and forth and how much time it took you to get from your apartment to the Mobicom? (An often used comment, “What does Cap do with his time every day”) I could never guess! Ha!

    A long story short, a few years back the company that I worked for had a seminar on “fake” construction items such as switches, panels, fuses and other items; hence sorry to say that there are a lot of “bad folks” out there cheating on a whole lot of people – pity, pity!

    BTW, I haven’t heard a lot about your camera situation – are they all working? It seems as though a couple of years ago you had the same hassle with your Nikon cameras not working? So far your pictures and photos are just great – keep them coming!

    I am always looking forward in the morning to check your blog and see what “DRAMA”, or episode is going on with you! Ha! And naturally to check your photos which are truly worth a “thousand words”!! Your pictures always tell a great picture along with the people and there lovely smiles!


    1. cap chastain

      I have to believe I am dealing with an official MobiCom store. The logo is all over it inside and outside and the staffers are all dressed in very official red and white outfits. My MobiCom lady wanted nothing-to-do with the vendor lady. It was a three day play-out of drama. It’s a ten minute walk each direction. I really do enjoy the local atmosphere going and returning.

      The gray-market stuff is almost impossible to distinguish. In fact I don’t know how one can tell. It is rampant in all industries. So far I have not had one single down-day with no camera working. I hope to get the one repaired IF possible.

      Yes indeed I had my camera issues a few years back also. THE main issue then was with the re-chargeable cameras. Now I have cameras that use basic standard AA batteries.

  2. Shaddy Peters

    When you make up your mind you need something, you obviously do whatever it takes to get it and get it right. I commend you for all your trips to and fro. It’s a shame, really it is, that you had such a hassle.

    You were persistent and won the battle!!!! Hurray, Cap!!!

    I surely hope you find your new, old, independently sold, gray market, imitation Nokia works for you for a long, long time. You WORKED so hard to do what should have been accomplished in one visit.

    Thank you for setting a fine example of patience in the midst of adversity.

    I understand why you want a backup phone. As much as you use a cell phone, it’s great that you have a second that you can grab up if the need arises. Eliminating possible panic in the future is a wise move.

    Take care,

    1. cap chastain

      My back-up Nokia is NOT fully functioning. I am NOT able to send text messages with it for some reason. I need to again re-visit the store and try to find out what is wrong. I am not optimistic about success. The official MobiCom lady will just sigh and convey to me .. “I can’t help you with your cell phone.”

      As this drama played-out I couldn’t believe it. Back and forth and back and forth again and again. Much Joy .. Get unpacked from your Florida trip!

  3. Jeanne Follett

    Well, I always travel with at least two cameras and one is the back-up just in case. So, I can understand the need for a backup cell. BUT!!! What about Patti’s loaner phone and my loaner phone??? Where are they? Perfect backups and probably still had time on them. Reading this post was like watching an episode of Hoarders! Drove me crazy. I would have returned everything for a refund and gone to your official MobiCom in the State Department Store. Then I would have gone to Millie’s Cafe (or KFC) and celebrated.

    1. cap chastain

      Patti took her cell phone home with her. She used it so we could visit as she left Hong Kong and waited for her flight to board. The cell phone you were using went with a friend to India so he had an immediate ready-to-go-cell phone with an India Vodafone SIM card. I will get that from him this May in Seattle. I don’t think I had a chance in holy hell of simply returning the cell phone I got from the independent vendor. It is NOT fully functioning at this writing. Thanks for you interest!

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