Posted by: DD | July 27, 2008

Nouakchott Trip – 2

OK, this could have not gone better !!

Here I am , sitting in the most prized area of a Telecom Service Provider. Their SWITCH room.

Ok, for non-technical folks, here is what I mean. Every service provider has two main components. First, their ‘computer’ (very very big and high end) which controls the air-waves using which you talk on your cell-phone. Second, another very very big computer which runs the complex software which determines how and what all facilities you used and then charges the correct amount to you in a monthly bill.

Now, when I say big, how big do you imagine ?

Well, the computers in discussion are big enough to completely occupy a 5000 sq. feet space and tall enough to fit in a two story building. Hope that gives you the idea of the scale I am talking of.

BTW, these babies are DAMM DAMM expensive and first thing an enemy would think to destroy if your country goes to war with another country. So the security around these is HIGH.

Thanks to my job and my passion for Telecom, today I am sitting in one such highly secure building with those big computers all around me making huge noise. But ironically, I am not disturbed but loving the noise. The room or HALL as I should call it is so cold that I need a big coat to keep myself warm. The amount of heat generated by these computers is massive and you need an effective and efficient cooling system to keep these massive babies working.

I am already sweating in an environment which has 18 degrees as its temperature. You can imagine my excitement.

Today is the most happening day of may stay in Mauritania. They have their weekends on Friday and Saturday. So today, a Sunday, invites a lot of people outside and as I walked from my hotel to office, I could see many people busy in their daily duties. My initial impression of Mauritania being a ‘lonely’ country was changed.

I’ll end up with a couple of more generic observations I had:

  1. As I already mentioned, Mauritania has Friday and Saturday as its weekend days.
  2. Mauritanians, like Indians, are tea drinkers. Just that their tea is some sort of green herbal tea with no milk and tastes like peppermint. I liked it pretty much.
  3. Men wear a typical over coat kind of thing which is way too loose for them to handle but is said to keep them cool in summers and warm in winters.
  4. You should avoid looking at women at all costs.

Ok, thats it for this time. I have work to do.



  1. What does the 4th point actually mean.
    is it dangerous kinda stuff to do that. You are punished or what ?

  2. looks like you are enjoying. Good reporting btw 🙂

  3. out of all that.. number 4 must be really difficult ; ) ok kidding..
    with work in mind everything else goes on back-burner. Nice to know more about an alien country. My dad was in telecom (now retired) so I know a thing or two about that.
    you take care…

  4. you are welcome in Mauritania. thanks for saying good words about our tea. enjoy it.

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