Tuesday, 4 April 2006


What's the day today? April 4! Happy International Be Reliable Day. Voilà, that's done!


I've been meaning to post about this for a long time. The fact that I don not own a digital camera to post the relevant illustration put off the idea. I thought about it again yesterday and decided to go ahead with the post... When I get a picture I'll post it, the literature should do for the time being.

I live in a town called "Quatre-Bornes"; right in the centre of the island. When you live in "Quatre-Bornes" you have easy access to any part of the island. I guess that's where the name came from. They also call it "La Ville des Fleurs"; Flower Ville. Many of the avenues bear flower names. My avenue is Glaieules Avenue. I've yet to see a single Glaieules along the Avenue.

Now, I think it was two years ago, a branch office of the local phone company (BOLPC) was opened on Quatre Bornes Route Royal. Two cabins; one local and the other international have been set in front of the BOLPC. Great, everybody thought. There was no phone cabin there before and you had to walk to upper town to make calls if you did not have a phone.

I always thought there was something wrong with the phone cabins. I never could figure out what. I'd pass in front of the cabins on the way to the bakery or the bus stop and giggle for, apparently, no reason. The people using the cabin would make me laugh. There had to be something wrong. I don't think am a mean person and I laugh WITH people rather than laugh AT them .

It took me a while but I finally figured it out.

Now, the two cabins are situated on the Route Royal. The main road. The road almost every car uses to go from one point of the island to the other. The cars go vrrrrroming and brooooming all day and night long.

The people calling are forever shouting: "Parlez plus fort, je vous entend mal!!!" Speak up, I cannot hear you. They glare at the passing cars and at you when you pass by with a bunch of loud friends.

"Allô? Allô? Allô?" shout they.
"Cling, cling, clang..." goes in the coins.
"Mince. Oh lala!"
"Tsst. tsst. tsst" go those who are waiting for the turns, shaking their heads.

They do the "tsst. tsst. tsst" thing more when its a foreigner using the cabin. They must think that the poor devils have no idea how to use the cabin. Only, they too go:

"Allô? Allô? Allô?"

"Cling, cling, clang..."

"Mince. Oh lala!"


when its their turn.

I wonder how long its going to take everyone to realize that there's absolutely nothing wrong with the phones. It is the cabins they're in.

You see, they're open cabins situated on a main road where cars and motorcycles go vrrrrroming and brooooming all day and night long .


Egan said...

Darn, the photos aren't showing. I really enjoy your pictures. Hope you are well.

atpanda said...

Awe! I can't see the pics either. Bummer.

I can just see you giggling on the street. :-)

Fitèna said...

Egan, Atpanda, the pictures you're reffering too are actually jyst little animations...
I hope somebody will lend me their digicam to get a piture of tose cabins!!!


suleyman said...

That's one thing we don't really have here, phone booths. Here and there we have little alcoves with a phone and a phonebook attached to a large metal claw, but no actual booths. In fact, I don't think that I have ever used an actual phone "booth" in my life.


Fitèna said...

Suley, I've never been anywhere phone booths do not exist. This is the first time I hear such a thing... intersting...
Here we have some people whose idea of showing off is getting in a phone booth and gesticulating to atract others attention! Crazy!

ChickyBabe said...

No pics for me either... and I was very reliable! Unlike my computer...

Neil said...

I've read that some people in America get on their cell phones and talk loudly to NO ONE -- just so they can look like they are important business people.

Fitèna said...

Chicky, what I said to Egan and Atpanda!

Neil, rest assured, not in America only! This really made us crack: there was this guy on the bus stop talking non-stop on his phone while wearing am a very important person look on his face and looking with apparent scorn down on us. Then his phone rings. It actually rings when he's supposed to be talking on it. He looked at the phone like it went crazy and not the other way around. Looked at us with oh so much less superiority, pressed ok and said "oui, allô!"


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