Friday, July 3, 2009

Telephone Porridge Anyone?

It must be because my mom is staying with us but here is another Cantonese saying, "To make telephone porridge". The porridge here is rice porridge. It usually takes several hours of slow cooking to make the perfect bowl. So, making telephone porridge means to have those long loooooooong telephone conversations.

I used to be an expert at telephone porridge and of course refined the art during my teenage years. I have a distinct memory of being in the 9th Grade, arriving home from school at about 3.45pm and then jumping on the the phone with my best friend (who I would have said goodbye to less than an hour earlier) from about 4pm onwards until my mom got home at 5pm. We had a brown, dial phone that was attached to the kitchen. UGLY. THING.

By the time I was in university, I would be on the phone for 2, 3, even 4 hours! I can't believe it thinking back now. But, in those days, before email and online chats, I couldn't last a day without a phone call to somebody. I don't know how my mother put up with it because I don't really remember getting in all that much trouble for it.

This all died down once I started work. I found something new - online chatting. I don't go to any chat rooms or chat with strangers. Its just the medium I use now to keep in touch with all my family and friends. So, these days, I make IM porridges and they can take as long as a day to complete. I know that I prefer it to using the phone because you can do so many other things at the same time (blog, surf the internet, watch TV, have dinner etc). But, that means you're not always giving the other person your full attention.

Just as Bilbo often writes about the lost art of letter writing, I now find that I have lost the art of chatting on the phone. I just don't like doing it anymore. And, even if the other person is a close friend that I haven't been in touch with for awhile, I find that I get uncomfortable being on the phone after the initial 15 mins of small talk. And if its the cell phone that I'm on, I get off even quicker because my ear always gets so hot.

No matter how many emoticons they come up with, IM-ing is cold and sentiments often lost. I believe that it is a warm gesture to sometimes give a person a call to speak with them. And these days, we can go a step further and use video in our calls too. I'm going to make an effort here. First, I need to try to look decent for cameras that always give me a big bald forehead! So, don't anybody call me yet :)


Nap Warden said...

Yeah...the video calling would be WAY to much work for me. I'm scared just thinking about it:O

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Telephone porridge sounds good!

Mike said...

I never remember about emoticons. So some of my comments are probably ...... misunderstood ..... or not.

Bilbo said...

"Telephone porridge" is a great expression! I remember having big fights with our daughter over her hours spent on the phone in the evenings, especially when I was on call from work and needed to be able to be reached. I'm not sure about that video phone thing...I know we can do video chats online, but I think I look a lot better WITHOUT the video. You have your big bald forehead, and I have my big bald solar panel in the back!