It’s 3:30pm in LA, 6:30am in Banda Aceh. The last time Lisa and Mike talked was four days ago – a mobile phone conversation that lasted precisely 12 minutes and 32 seconds before the line unexpectedly dropped out.
There is a three second delay on today’s line. This means a lot of stop and start simultaneous conversation if they try to talk naturally. They have learned the hard way that the best way to do a skype date with a delay on the line is to treat skype like a two-way radio and have a “monologue date”. One person asks a question, then waits. The other person talks for as long as they want, on whatever they want, before handing over the floor. Sometimes this is fine because, let’s face it, there are times when everyone wants to talk uninterrupted to a captive audience. Sometimes it’s damn annoying.
They are three weeks into this trip. They are over skype dating. It’s firmly in the damn annoying zone.
Lisa: “Hi!” [simultaneously] Mike: “Hi!”
Lisa: “Oh, delay.” [simultaneously, and sighing] Mike: “Delay.”
Lisa: “How are you?”
Mike: “No, you talk.”
Lisa (complaining): “But I did most of the talking last time. You talk.”
Mike (not budging): “It’s early, very early. You talk.”
Lisa: “Early doesn’t seem to be a problem other times. Fine.” [Exaggerated sigh] “What do you want to hear about then?”
Mike: “Are you going to treat me like this when I get back next week?”
Lisa: “Maybe. If you’re very, very, lucky.”