One of the cultural differences between Spain and other nations are the "missed call" on our cell phones.
In Spain Toques(or tokes or tks in SMS language) means, when you agree with the SMS sent to you, you give the sender a missed call. When you are bored waiting for the bus and you are thinking about someone, you give them a missed call. Toques are also useful to remind appointments. You make one appointment with your friend for the next Friday, today is Monday. So, in the morning of Friday you will mised call your friend to make sure that she’s attending the meeting. And your friend will miss call you back to confirm she’s coming. End of the story.
Spanish Youth People has developed this (apparently complicated) system of toques. When I was in Germany I tried to use it again, but any time I give a missed call, my German friend will call me straight away:
-‘What’s happen??? You are not coming?
- No! I’m giving you a missed call exactly because I AM coming.
And forget about giving missed call to the Germans if you are thinking in them. They call you straight away nearly scared, like it would be an emergency!
When I lived in England I couldn't use it as well, because you never know who were flying and they had to have to cell phone off when airborne. So nothing.(I used to be a Flight Attendant from 2008-2009) As an update, nowadays 2012, SMS are for free, so no need to missed call anyone. 3G and new technologies are cheap and well developed.
Hungarians are even worse for that. They don’t understand absolutly what a missed call is. Nothing. I am almost about to give up. I explained one of my friends milllion of times and she never get it. Example:
|Elfita, te doy un toque y nos vemos esta noche,¿vale?|
-What time should we meet today and where? I have a meeting at 21 in Bar Ladino
3 hours later her SMS:
At 1730 at Nyugati?
Missed called her to confirm.
She resend me the SMS
At 1730 at Nyugati?
YES! I explained you million of times!! Missed call means YES!! YES! Is it so hard to understand?
One hour later, when I was napping, she called me:
-So shall we meet at 1730 in Nyugati????
Cultural differences are huge sometimes!
One of the things I am proud of being Spanish (a part from our many shared weakness as a nation very infamous with: puntuality, laziness, ignorancy and thousands of nice adjetives more) But when there is an intelligent way to save money, do not worry, the Spaniard will discover and use it. I want to go back to Spain just to be able to make a missed call without been scared about the other one’s reaction!!!