I’m lucky in life and love. I’m not lucky in tech or travel.

Extraordinary things happen to me when I travel. I’ve woken up in the middle of the night in the deserted, uncoupled last car of a train in Germany. I have lost my obsessively-checked passport between airport gates. My luggage has been abducted by aliens. I’m bad at this.
Same thing with technology. If I try to set up or fix a device, something bizarre will happen. To the degree that when I surrender it to a young person, they start tapping away with confidence and then get this funny look on their face and squint and tap some more and then say “Huh,” and hand it back, all sheepish. When it comes to travel or technology, apparently I’m the gremlin.
So I wasn’t eager to set up my new iPhone when it arrived. Transferring my stuff from my old phone to the new is supposed to be a snap once I download the “Move to IOS” app, which I did. But things involving an iPhone are a snap only if they do not also involve a developmentally-disabled old Android and, of course, me. I set it aside for a full three weeks before tackling it.
But everything did go smoothly. I don’t use a lot of apps and I’d already unloaded all my photos on the old phone to relieve its chronic indigestion, so basically I just wanted my phone contacts to sail over. Per instructions, I plugged the phones in, clicked on all the right things, put in a code, politely averted my eyes while they rendezvoused, and after a while both phones said the transfer was complete.
Somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, my passport caught a passing zephyr and appeared briefly in the real world.
It was a while before I checked my contacts on the new phone. There were a whole bunch of them in there. More than I thought I had. And almost no phone numbers. And I didn’t know who a lot of them were. A little more sleuthing and I discovered these were my sister’s contacts. 
My sister’s been dead for thirteen years. She’s the type that could come back and send a message from beyond the grave if anyone could, but this was just mean. Upon further review, I recognized a lot of my own contacts too, again mostly with email addresses and no phone numbers, and eventually realized that although I put my “Move to IOS” app in the old phone, it ignored all my phone contacts and instead vaulted over to my abandoned desktop computer, Old Sludgy, in which my sister’s contacts were stored, and took THOSE contacts. How could that happen?
“It probably got them from your bluetooth,” my friend Leslie said.
“I don’t think I have a bluetooth,” I said.
“Yes, you do,” she said, and I never argue about things like that, because I’d be wrong.
I’m a big girl. I took the phones to the fix-it shop around the corner and asked the nice man to make them talk to each other. He said he could, but he just knew I could Google the answer myself, and save some money, and I felt ashamed and went home and Googled.
There are lots of ways of transferring contacts. But since the “Move to IOS” app is the slickest, I decided to do it again, after first (deep breath) wiping the new phone clean. After all, whatever was in there had only been in there a few days. This time I turned my desktop computer off and sent it to its room, and went in a whole ‘nother room. “Your contacts have been transferred,” my phones both agreed, and I felt a little lift.
Somewhere near Roswell, New Mexico, my luggage dropped to the desert.
I checked the new phone. Same damn contact list as before. No phone numbers. Okay, maybe the sucker scavenges contact lists from everywhere, but shouldn’t it include the ones from the phone it was shlorping data out of? Huh?
Second method: Export contacts from old phone into a VCF list. I followed instructions and did that. VCF list created. I don’t know where to find it though.
Third method: SIM cards. I looked it up and I still don’t know what or where the hell my SIM card is.

By the time I researched the fourth method, and considered the shame of going back to the fix-it shop, I was worn ragged with the sort of despair only tech challenges can put me in. It wasn’t healthy. I went for a fast walk. And when I came back, I decided to put the phones side by side and type in all my phone contacts by hand.

I thought about the time I wanted to paint salamanders and frogs on the floor of my studio using a stencil only to trace, and then fill in the paint with a tiny brush by hand. It’s the kind of project that never gets off the ground if you think about how long it’s going to take. But I came home from work and put in one salamander a day, and before too long, I had the whole thing done.
And you know what? While I was typing in all the phone numbers, I felt calm. I knew what I was doing. Yes, it was taking a long time. Two hours in, I was only up to the H’s. But I feel better than I have in days. I can do this. It will get done. One salamander at a time.