That damn voice-mail system

As if having a loud phone conversation in public (a restaurant, cinema during the film etc.) wasn’t rude and annoying enough, we (us ‘humans’) are now forced to listen to prolonged conversations, thanks to techology.

You know, when you can send someone a voice message instead of the delightfully silent text message.

People here do still not really understand mobile phones. They ignore the magic of the technology they are using, and somehow assume that the telephone manufacturers still forgot to raise the volume of the microphone sufficiently.

This leads to people standing around shouting into the speaking part of their phone. SHOUTING.

It’s not that they are having an argument. Whatever their topic of high-brow conversation, they still think that the telephone must be so new-fangled that the basic speaking aspect of it isn’t quite completed to a good standard yet.

Then, we deal with the voice message.

This means sending a voice message and waiting impatiently for the return voice message. This is perfect for people here, because it is not just  a normal route of communication, discourse, dialogue or reasoned discussion (all of which are unpopular in any case), but it is a silly little gadget that they can play with, in order to give themselves what they crave: low-level but incessant stimulation, with no gaps or room to simply sit, and think.

So a public phone conversation that may have taken 5 minutes is now a drawn out affair of phone tennis, as you, the unwanted listener, needs to sit and wait for each entry of conversation by the loud sweetheart sitting next to you.

Not only this, but it grates to hear English words (pronounced in heavy Chinglish), dropped into the conversation.

I’m not sure why it grates, but it does.

If a sweetheart is giggling the Chinese response and then switches to say “ah you ah so funny la!”.

Is dropping in English words still really de rigeur, and a social-fashion success?

I suppose what else can be expected of someone who simply thinks that consuming goods in a Starbucks or a Wagas is something to dress up and do your hair for. After all – white people go there!

Moaning is good. La.

Snow from Songjiang is off into town to enjoy a latte and a breaded food.

Snow from Songjiang is off into town to enjoy a latte and a breaded food.



Categories: Expat Life


Foreigner in Shanghai


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2 Comments on “That damn voice-mail system”

  1. December 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Everyone has voice mail now? Yikes! The lack of voicemail was the joy of having a mobile phone in China: either call me back later or send a text, but don’t make retrieve and then listen to your voice mail.

    Had a good laugh at your photo caption of “Snow.”

    Cheers la!

    • December 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      Yes, it’s not really voice-mail ‘as we know it’. It’s more like a specific ‘send a voice message’.

      But yes, trad. voice-mail is a pain.

      And, yes again, Snows are getting more and more common.

      I even saw one at the supermarket – SUPERMARKET – really dolled up like she was going to the most glamorous and opulent ballroom gala in Asia. The problem is that even if you glance at her to really wonder why, she thinks ‘he is looking at me’ and does a very smug smile.

      Imagine the power of having such confidence that you totally ARE 100% GORGEOUS no matter what.

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