Monday, October 1, 2012

The Phone Shop around the Corner

I never realized how convenient it was to live in a city-city until I went to three phone shops on my excursion Saturday and didn't get a phone until the third. This after I spent several hours in Paris trying to figure out how to get a SIM card. My experiences?

 1) The first one had three people working, but one was "tech assistance only," one was helping another customer, and one was shooting the breeze with the tech guy. (By the way, France, expressing poor customer service skills to an American is just going to fuel more stereotypes!) I left without being served.

2) At the second place, it was just a girl about my age who had run out of SIM cards and said her shipment would be in next Thursday. She was nice, but I figured I'd hedge my bets that another shop would still have them, rather than wait almost a week for a phone.

3) The third place is run by a young couple with a bunch of kids. They cater to a phone shop crowd, i.e. older clients from the Maghreb who use a pay phone to call home to Morocco, etc., once a week. The guy could tell I spoke English right away, so we conducted business in English. His was pretty good--he had a bumper sticker on the register that said "Don't Mess with Texas," which makes me wonder if he studied there. He thought I was Irish, which I thought was hilarious. Long story short, I got my phone.

I'm expecting things to be more expensive in La Ciotat, since it does cater to weekenders and holiday-goers who find themselves held captive in their little bourgeois bungalows. However--I know that Marseille is more working-class, and, thus, will probably be cheaper. So far, I have not been outraged at prices. But then again, I'm used to what they charge in Vienna...

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