Our refrigerator had stopped making ice, and I called up the SAV (service-après-vente or after-sale service) to ask for a repairman. "Ah, an American refrigerator," said the SAV clerk.
"No, I bought it in France," I said.
The SAV clerk laughed. "No, no, we call refrigerators that make ice des frigos américains."
Yesterday the repairman arrived. He was a tall slim man in his early 40s. "I don't like your street," he said. "The last time I parked my truck here, right in front of your building, someone broke in and stole all my papers and tools."
"Oh no!" I said. "I've never heard of such things around here."
He frowned and said, "La criminalité est en progression."
"How long did it take to get your identity papers back? I've heard it can take months."
"I have a friend in the administration. So luckily I got them in less than three weeks."
He deftly pulled out the refrigerator, repaired a leak I hadn't even noticed behind it, then showed me the problem with the icemaker. It needs to be replaced and he ordered a new part, which will arrive next week. While he was doing that, he told me that he was half Algerian and half French, and that he spoke the Berber language as well as French. When I said I liked Berber music, he pulled out his iPhone and made me listen to some of his favorite singer-- Idir.
It's a Berber (Tamazigt) song about a family gathered together in the winter. The young girl tells her father she's afraid of the forest. The father tells her to clink her bracelets, that he's afraid too. In fact he is worried he can't feed his family. The grandmother stirs the winter meal, the grandfather tells stories of olden times. Do you hear the audience singing along?