I have to admit, that back then, when owning a cell phone was still new and exciting, even I had a lot of phone conversations in public and didn’t really care about it. I still answer the phone in public when it’s ringing, but I usually try to not talk too long and not too private. Because people DO listen. I know that, because I do it now and then even though I not try eavesdrop. Sometimes you just can’t avoid it unless you put on your ipod headphones or something similar.
During my Munich trip I overheard two memorable phone conversations. The first one happened on the train to Munich. A little girl (maybe 4 years old) was travelling with her Grandpa. He called the girl’s mother (his daughter or daughter-in-law) to let her know, when they would arrive. He then passed the cellphone on to the girl, who said Hi and listened to a question her mom asked. I’m pretty sure the mom asked something like “And what are you doing (on the train) at the moment?” Because the little girl answered earnestly: “Right now I’m talking on the phone”. It was just so cute, because she didn’t try to be funny or a smartass or something like that, she just honestly answered the question.
The second conversation was overheard on the bus back to our hotel on the second night. We were coming back from the game, we had had a lot of fun, so we were in a good mood, goofying around. A young woman and a young man were sitting a few seats ahead of us, it wasn’t clear if they were a couple or just friends or just two persons on a date. I would have guessed “date”. Her cell rang and she answered it with “Hi, darling!” Which probably got most of ours attention, because she was in company of this other guy :-) She continued with something like “When you called me earlier I wasn’t allowed to get outside to take your call. “ which sounded pretty contrived to me and most of my friends. She listened some more to what her “darling” was saying and then she replied with “No, I’m at home right now.”
And we just couldn’t stop ourselves and burst out laughing. She obviously was startled but couldn’t figure out why the people around her started laughing. After she quickly ended her conversation, the guy, she was with, had to explain the reason for our exhilaration. I think she never really got it.
We started laughing again when she got off a few minutes later and M. with a straight face said to her: “But don’t lock your front door on the way out, because we want to get off as well.” I don’t think she was very amused by that remark. But we were even more.
So, you really better be careful what to say when you’re talking on the phone in public. At least, when I’m around ;-)
You clearly need to start “overheard in Germany” to go along with Overheard in NY and Overheard in DC.
We’ve got something like that in Germany as well. I read it, but maybe I really should think about participating with my tiny stories as well