Friday, November 02, 2007

It's time to pay the phone bill again...

A few days ago I picked up the phone to make a call and heard the lovely voice of Fatima Omar... 'Time to pay the phone bill again', she said on the recorded message. For a few days the phone company lets you receive calls but not make them. Then they shut off the service until you pay.

I think my teen-aged daughters have the telephone glued to their ears from the minute they get home from school until late. I have even had the phone ring at 1 am and have had to tell Nora's friends that they are not allowed to phone her after 9pm. But they call anyway. One particular girl is a nuisance. I have threatened to send my husband to have a talk with her father. At one point we unplugged the telephone and locked it up.

In a way I feel bad because in Libya girls don't have much of a social life. It's not like they can go hang out at the mall together or meet for a pizza. If my daughters want to visit their friends arrangements must be made. You have to take them to their friend's house, make sure that you speak to the other mother to confirm that your daughter is going to be safely chaperoned for the duration and then arrange to pick the girls up. Of course if they visit their friends you have to expect that the visit will be repaid. This is not a just pop over to visit deal... elaborate snacks and sweets must be bought or prepared and it will be a visit that lasts hours. Uuuugh! So maybe a visit via telephone is easier.

Now that the phone is off the girls are holding their school books in their hands instead of their phone books. Soon though I expect the idea of inviting all their friends over is going to pop into their heads.

Should I pay the bill?


  1. Absolutely pay the bill! Then take things a step further and set reasonable but firm boundaries for telephone usage with logical, consistent consequences when those boundaries are crossed. No need to get angry, no need to lock up the phone which also inconveniences you. The kiddos might not like it at first but they will respect you (and the boundary) over the course of time.

  2. My parents didn't like late calls too, after 10pm the best thing is to unplug it until they get used to it, also giving them a time to call and enjoy their friends and a time to work, i had some close friends who came over even without previous appointment, there were no arrangement for these meeting, just an easy meet up to enjoy talk drinking some tea or ice cream or getting some pizza, it was our girly way of hanging around in the house, but as i said only the close ones without the usual traditions of serving.

  3. Cute post Khadijateri, I'm just wondering at the phone bill is your phone registered to a company that you have bills? Phone calls are free now from landline to landline within Tripoli so all you have to pay is the quarterly subscription fees which are 5 Libyan Dinars only i.e about 3 US$ :P ( not sure what the exchange rate is now)

    As for phone rules, yes by all means have some and if the friends do not respect them, well your daughters can tell them " I'm sorry we are not allowed to use the phone after 9pm!" trust me after two or three times the friends will call at more parent- friendly hours.

    With regards to socialising, impromptu social calls are absolutely OK and part of the Libyan way of life. I always used to go and hang at my best friend's place and vice versa there was no need for elaborate meals or anything. But the LLama is the one where you call all your friends to come over and that's where you would provide snacks and such :P all part of growing up I think - did you not visit your friends as a child ? Nothing wrong with dropping your daughters off sometimes distances are far in Libya, but if the friend is a neighbour then hey that's taken care off.
    Basically my opinion: pay the bill LOL and let your kids enjoy they friends they will soon grow and those would be their best memories.

  4. TERIII... of course you MUST get the phone returned back to service. I might decide to call you from Houston and suprise you!!!

  5. salam
    you should pay the bill !
    I hate to know that our phone not working ,mom used to pay the money every month andnow thanks Allah Phone calls are free from landline to another one within the same city ,
    Mom hates the late calls too and because we are girls and one boy it took from her to tell us that you can't call any mobile number its not allowed at all
    So it was impossible to call my friend's mobile
    some times our bill exceed the red line so new rules against us
    (poor we are)
    I remember.. it was hard to me to live without that talking machine
    so please pay the bill!
    fe aman Allah

  6. ljsi have two daughters and iknow how important and pocket friendly the landline is ,last night my younger daughter was revising english over the phone with her friend preparing for the exam my wife has many sisters so she spends the morning hours over the phone gossiping , land phone is part of the social life for women in libya

  7. The only ones who do not call after 9 PM are the Americans and West Europeans (excluding teenagers), the other nationalities are terrible.

    I just remember 20 years ago, my brother was living with me, his friend "Arab" was calling at different hours of the night, he got pissed off, my brother set his old computer Commodore 64 in a way that it would call his friend's house every 5 minutes. His friend's wife was so mad that she almost called the cops on my brother. Maybe you should do the same.

    It is amazing that the people do not think that it is not right to call at these hours, visit you any time without notice and be late in meeting you.

    Maybe you should get a special line for your girls as they do in the states oooops they have cellphones now.

    Teenagers are the most people who talk on the phone and have latest models of cellphones.

    I think it is payback for what you did to your parents when you were a teenager :-)


    Have nice week end


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