Freetown, Baby!

Miscommunication… by mabrajeux
May 27, 2010, 12:29 pm
Filed under: society | Tags: ,

Mobile phones are ubiquitous here in Sierra Leone. There are very few landlines, and even fewer that actually function and so people rely almost exclusively on those for communication. Many even own more than one phone, in order to benefit from the cheaper network to network rates on all the networks. And considering my consumption of units so far, I have to admit I’m almost considering it myself!

Although you can’t rely on the internet or credit cards to make recharging your account easier, there is still quite a lot of different ways you can do it here… First, you’ve got dedicated shops in town centre, selling phone contracts and vouchers, and also some local shops who can also sell you vouchers. Then you’ve got little ‘shacks’ – and by that I mean anything ranging from a small convenience store to a cart filled with chewing gum by the side of the road – who can top up your phone for you.

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Did you just flash me? Hot and Passionate texts (vol 1) by jc2010sl
April 20, 2010, 5:00 pm
Filed under: society, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Mobile telephony has taken off in a big way in Salone. Like a number of other developing countries, it has bypassed expensive landline cables and gone straight for mobiles. In the time that I’ve lived here a mobile mast has been erected on the hill where I live and since I arrived I haven’t called a single landline – every restaurant, hotel and other business has a mobile as it’s point of contact.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the saturation in Freetown a set of complex conventions has developed around mobile use.

Calls rarely go unanswered, which is just as well as no one ever checks voice mail. Even in meetings with Ministers people will pick up the phone and talk at length, before finally saying “A no kin tok, a de meetin. Yes, Meetin!”
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