I was in the Rangoon airport a while ago when I came across this scene here. It is a space for some kind of public phone, but there is no phone there. There is a sign, and there is a table for a phone, but there is no telephone.

rangoon

A while after I took this picture, I walked by again and saw that someone had plugged a cell phone into the electrical outlet near the bottom of the table to recharge it. The person had moved the table to the side a bit in order to plug in the recharger.

I took this picture because it symbolized to me the passing of an era. When virtually everyone has a cell phone, there is no longer a need for public phones. The public phone is dead.

bangkok

Or that at least is what I thought at the time I took the picture. However, the following day I was in Bangkok and as I was walking down a street I passed by a public phone that clearly was not dead.

That said, it wasn’t being used in the “traditional” way that public phones have commonly been used. Instead, someone had written the following message in the phone booth:

“Sorry about all that I’d done. . . Now things are f%^&ed up. I really wish I could turn time back for us, for you. . . I miss you. I want to make things right. I will wait for you no matter how long or no matter what. I love [you].

I’M SORRY – WILL WAIT”

bkk

So I guess the public phone is not dead after all. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that the public phone has died but is now enjoying a kind of “afterlife.”