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Mobiles and Public Places

Having lived in the U.K before coming to live in Bulgaria, I have seen the strict rules on using mobile phones at work, in schools and other environments where mobile phones should be switched off.

The rules about using mobile phones in certain places can be a little over the top, especially when you maybe waiting for an important call.

However since coming to live in Bulgaria, I have noticed just relaxed Bulgarians are on this matter.

During the time that I have lived in Bulgaria, I spent two years teaching English as a second language. I taught in a private language school and had students from as young as one year old to those in their 60's. I was surprised to find that most children from the age of 5 had their own mobiles and would use them during lessons.

I must admit that compared to British children of a similar age, Bulgarian children appear to be better behaved as a whole. Not only are the children given freedoms and trust by teachers, their parents allows them independence to walk freely around the city and to school.

Whilst teaching I never had any problems with any that I taught, the main problem was with the disturbance of using mobile phones.

I know in some cases the use of a mobile was useful as some of the older students had built in translators which helped them with their work, although the noise of them caused distractions to the other students, as well as the teacher.

Mobiles are not only a problem in schools but can cause distractions in banks, post offices, police stations and the use of them is generally allowed in all work places. This can be extremely frustrating when in a bank and you are dealing with a transaction then the assistant answers the phone. You can feel you are not getting their full attention.

This subject highlights the difference between the laid back, slower life of Bulgaria to the stricter, faster pace life of the U.K.