I've just had a conversation with Mrs. Ayak in Turkey, who is having intermittent communication problems (no phone, no internet, no skype (whatever that actually is), no electricity). So I told her about the communication methods we have been witnessing in the village of Popetto, where we are busy pruning the olives.
Popetto is a tiny mountain hamlet. Have a look at this Google link for an idea: http://maps.google.it/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=it&geocode=&q=Popetto,+Tresana&sll=41.442726,12.392578&sspn=14.515019,28.168945&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Popetto,+Tresana+Massa-Carrara,+Toscana&ll=44.268997,9.911336&spn=0.001694,0.003439&t=h&z=18 (I hope this works...). You can see the olive grove on the top right hand side of the picture.
I estimate there are about 50 people living there and their way of communicating goes somewhat like this:
A window at one end of the village opens and a woman hollers at the top of her voice: "Luigi! Luigi!! Luiiiigiii!!!"
Another window opens: "I'm not sure he's in Paula! Maybe Chiara has seen him! Chiara! Chiara!! Chiaaaaraa!!!"
Another window opens: "Siii!"
"Have you seen Luigi?!"
"I think he's in! Luigi! Luigi!! Luiiigiiii!!!"
"Paula wants you!"
"What does she want?!"
"I don't know! - What does Paula want!?"
"What does Paula want!?!"
"Don't know! Paula what do you want from Luigi?!"
"I just wanted to know if he has been to the hardware store yet! I need something!"
That message than gets passed on back to Luigi, with various other windows opening in the meantime, some taking the oportunity to add to Luigi's shopping list, Luigi meanwhile complaining that he has been disturbed in his afternoon nap, someone else butting in that he slept too much anyway and Paula inviting everyone for coffee and someone else inquiring about the health of yet another. It all ends in a lot of laughter and merryment.
This whole exchange takes some 15 minutes and anyone else who may have been having their afternoon nap is now well and truly awake. Who needs technology to exchange the latest gossip? This truly is a cheerful village!