Friday, February 01, 2008

Dis-phone-tional communication

One of the most frustrating things I've encountered in Lima is the cell phone. Our short-term rental condo did not come with a land-line phone--that's one that you plug into the wall. Rather, it came with a pre-pay cell phone that I could use if I was willing to put minutes on it. Since we needed to call on apartments, that sounded like a good idea. Unfortunately, I had no idea how expensive the service was and how cheap the phone was. The cost of the service is really high--sometimes as much as $.50/minute. Also, the keys on this phone don't work. Consequently, I’ve been paying about $10/day for a phone that cuts off calls, sucks money out of my wallet like a vacuum and won’t let me dial the numbers. When I was trying to call on apartments, I would start talking with a landlord (in Spanish) and the phone would cut off. I’d try to call back and the keys wouldn’t work. I had visions of throwing the phone in the ocean or in front of an on-coming truck. I’ve purchased new phones that function properly, but they are still expensive. I hate paying the money, but we don’t yet have a land-line to make calls from. The cell phone is all we’ve got. I studied Spanish for a year so I could communicate. I had no idea the most frustrating part would be the actual phone.

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