March 19, 2009

Ninety Times

Election time is not until June 7 (supposedly), life is really slow and I am currently encumbered by domestic issues. We have a new housekeeper. Apart from the fact that she is a very nice, friendly and hard-working lady, she sort of misunderstood it when I said she could use the house phone if she felt like calling home now and then. After all, she’s got 3 children, and she’s leaving them behind at a point in their lives when they really should have her around them. And so I thought it would make her happier if she was able to talk to them now and then. I am not sure how many times I had in mind when I said ‘now and then’. Maybe once a week or so. She apparently had a different thing in mind.

I just got the February phone bill in. She called home 90 times. You read that? 90 times! That’s on average 3 times a day! To the Philippines. I’m still catching my breath here. Sweet mother Maria. Ninety times to the Philippines. I can’t take it out of her salary as she’s in dire need for the money. But I guess calling home is off the menu for a while.
La Pause Thé Ou Café, oil on canvas, 120 x 90 cm © 2002 Mona Trad Dabaji

And so I leave you with the painting of a Lebanese painter, Mona Trad Dabaji, that I would love to buy, but I guess I’ll wait until the March phone bill comes in. See if I can still afford it.


Anonymous said...

i would, if i may, recommand prepaid card for solving issues such surprise phone bills.
One can easely find Kalam prepaid cards (15 000LP)that can be used domesticaly and with the street phones.
Now if you head to the post office you'd find Kalam cards for 3 times this amount(45 000LP) allowing you to talk more, and control your expenses :)
and best wishes for the New Year starting 21th of March!

Anonymous said...

(tea times...)
: )

Anonymous said...

Haha Siets!
Die Kalam-mevrouw (want dat is een vrouw, kan niet anders aan de toon van haar comment te horen) heeft gelijk. En heb je dit niet eerder aan je broek gehad? Een maid die ook zoveel belde?
Waar was je gisteren bij de filmvertoning? Was maar goed - dat je er niet was. Ik heb mijn vlucht naar Amman er een dag door moeten uitstellen. Wel een leuk jongetje ontmoet, trouwens. Werkt in Le Rouge, Hamra, heet Fadi. Ga maar kijken!