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osfameron (3135)

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Wednesday November 23, 2005
09:29 AM

Dancing lessons from $god

[ #27708 ]

I go to an internet point some evenings to im/skypeout beloved about flathunting progress etc. I've become a regular at the phone centre opposite the point I thought was going to be my local. This one is a) cheaper, b) cheaper (I get regular's rate, same as the student rate), c) open till midnight even on Sunday, and d) friendlier. A Frenchman and an Algerian french speaker come in to discuss Italian politics (slightly too loudly for convenient skypeing admittedly), an Indian/Pakistani comes to pray at one of the computers, kissing his hands and touching the screen - when the owner was staffing he kindly provided incense. I got chatting to the Spanish technician installing printer drivers, and got to help him with my 5-year old WinNT support skillz. And I often get to chat with the Algerian couple who usually staff it (and occasionally bring their kids to play war on the sofa). Because the husband is interested in Linux, I gave him a splendid present of the Ubuntu CDs that they ship out for free. When you're relocating and don't know people having a social network is vital, it never occurred to me that I'd build one up at a phone center. Yesterday, I got invited to spend the August holidays in Algeria at their family home at the sea - I'm still boggling at their generosity and openness. And rather tempted too, as it sounds lovely, though I do have to check that they haven't assumed we are Muslim, if only to avoid any embarassment.

(And also need to think about stuff like the Foreign Office travel advice for Algeria, which may be out of date or cautious, but is worth considering.

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