Editor’s Note: Earlier this year, Justin wrote Iceland, a blog about his band’s American tour. Justin isn’t on tour anymore, but Iceland continues, twice a week, on City Desk.

“I am planning a trip to Europe,” I informed a Sprint PCS representative.

“Excellent!” exclaimed the representative.

“Thank you,” I replied.

“You’re welcome,” the representative offered.

“I do find the crumbling Old World quite droll,” I remarked. “So quaint compared to America’s vicious, ordered skylines.”

“Excellent!” exclaimed the representative.

“The prospect of my to friendly, ancient Europe, planned for October 10, 2007, until November 15, 2007, does indeed excite me,” I continued. “However, I was disappointed to learn that my Sprint PCS phone will not work overseas because your company invested in PCS technology, an American network, rather than GSM technology—-the global standard.”

“You are correct,” the representative acknowledged.

“I have even heard the PCS/GSM debate compared to the VHS/Betamax wars of the 1980,” I ventured. “Just as the creators of Betamax lost the videocassette war, it seems that provincial Sprint PCS will lose the cell-phone war to globally-minded competitors.”

The customer service representative did not reply. I accepted this silence as tacit agreement. After all, the representative could not speak his mind. Our conversation was being recorded for quality assurance.

“As a Sprint PCS customer, do I have any options for international service?” I queried.

“Indeed,” the customer service representative replied. “You could rent a phone in Europe through our company. However, you would have to pay a rental fee, plus a fee for any minutes you use. In addition, though you are not using it overseas, you will have to pay your usual monthly cell phone bill.”

“Since my contract has expired and I could easily switch providers to avoid these outrageous fees, your proposal is nonsensical,” I concluded.

The customer service representative did not reply. I accepted this silence as tacit agreement. After all, the representative could not speak his mind. Our conversation was being recorded for quality assurance.

After further pleasantries, I wished the Sprint PCS representative well and hung up. I thought of the picturesque shores of the Adriatic, where lush Italian hills roll their way into the glistening sea. I placed my cell phone on my writing desk. A familiar tune ran through my head. “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore,” I sang softly. Amore indeed, I thought. Sponsored by T-Mobile.