I was in Paris over the weekend and was rather startled when I received a call while I was well underground. I already knew that the Metro has been fitted with 3G repeaters, but it hadn't really sunk in. The sound quality was better than in many British streets.
While no one looked at me in an aggrieved manner, I didn't feel comfortable taking. Nor apparently did the only other person who took a call on the Metro during the weekend. And I never saw anyone originate a call. What I did see was loads of people staring at their phones, running apps, reading websites and, presumably, text messages.
Is there an intrinsic sense of privacy that stops us having loud, one-sided conversations in crowded public places? I hope so. The young woman relaying her love life to her friend so loudly that everyone in the carriage could hear, back in London, could do with learning that lesson. When they eventually got off the train there was a collective sigh of relief. Perhaps the same applies to mobile calls, or maybe we just haven't got used to the idea yet.
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