Tuesday, May 30, 2006

my love/hate relationship with the phone

Yes, I hate the phone. Although, to be fair, I hated the phone before I even moved to this country. Back then, I only used a cell phone. Since my internet connection was through cable and long distance calling was always so much cheaper that way, why not? So if someone I didn't know called, and I didn't recognize the number on my handy caller ID, I was more likely to let it go to voicemail and find out what the call was about. This was mostly to avoid telemarketers, but I admit that caller ID allowed me to be selective about answering the phone when people I knew were calling, too. Sometimes you just don't feel like blabbing for hours on end.

But I love the phone too, for there is nothing like hearing a friendly voice when you need to vent or share a laugh. But now that we don't have caller ID here, I'm much less likely to pick up the phone if I'm alone. Perhaps it's because 90% of the calls we receive will have French speakers on the other end. Faking through a conversation in French with someone right in front of you is one thing, but someone speaking rapid-fire French on a telephone is another thing altogether.

But today, I knew I had to answer the phone. It went slightly better than expected.

You see, our carte bancaire, or check card, expires at the end of the month, or tomorrow if you prefer, and we haven't received a replacement. So Steph called yesterday at the end of the day and was told that our bank representative (whom I first met way back here) would call us back as soon as possible. Since he didn't call by the end of the working day, we knew it would be today. That means, yep, you guessed it...

So a little while ago, the phone rang so I clenched my teeth and hesitently picked up the receiver. At least it was actually Bank Dude so I know I can go back to ignoring the phone again.

As usual, the Frenchie on the other end of the line spoke rapid-fire French so all I could do is take a deep breath and hold on. I didn't understand every word but the important bits that I did understand included things like "contract" "two years ago" and "signature," fun things like that. When he asked when Steph could come down and sign a new contract, I replied that it's going to be a while, since he's doing his big stage in Chalons this week and the next, so he proposed that since the account is in both our names, why couldn't I come instead and sign the paper?

Ooh, he's smart, this one.

So I've got to go to the bank tomorrow afternoon and sign a contract and in turn, we'll receive a bank card with my name on it. It really doesn't make a difference whose name is on it, as every transaction is performed with a PIN number, making it quite different than check cards in the states, which are treated like credit cards. In any case, I can't wait to hear Steph's reaction to this bit of news when he gets home.

Oh, and if you ever want to call and chat, you may want to shoot me an email first. That way I'll be more likely to take your call!

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