Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stuff Indian People Like #4: Inopportune Phone Calls

Back home in the U.S., it's a party foul if your phone rings in a movie theater, during a meeting, a speech, or other gatherings of people who are listening or watching something. You get a lot of annoyed looks and over-zealous shushing. But in India, phones routinely go off in all of these situations with no social repercussions. It's not that interruptions are accepted; it's more that in India the concept of an interruption doesn't really exist.

But the kicker is that not only do the phones go off, but people take the call! In movie theaters it is all right to pick up your phone and have a conversation right there. Or if you are attending a presentation and your phone goes off while the presenter is talking, by all means you can go ahead and take the call, and no one in the audience around you will blink an eye. Even when you are having an intimate or official discussion in a small group or just with another person, people do not hesitate to shove you into the back seat by taking a call. It doesn't even have to be important.

I have seen some pretty ridiculous disruptive phone calls in my day, but I was slayed by the woman in the picture above. She wasn't in the audience for the panel, she was a panelist herself!

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