My First Time Using a Pay Phone 

January 3rd 2015
Day 10 (yes I skipped this journal log so I’m posting not in order)

Today’s big adventure was trying to make a phone call! I know, thrilling! In Cuba, you can make a phone call in three ways:

  1. Rent a SIM card for $3 a day then pay the exuberant prices per minute to make the call
  2. Use the hotels phones and again pay way too much, $0.15 per minute only for phone calls around Havana, international calls, forget about it you’re going to pay $3 per minute or more
  3. Use a pay phone on the street, yes a real pay phone from the 1950’s

We opted to use the pay phone route because they are everywhere. Turns out only a few of them use coins, most require a phone card and if you find one that accepts coins, they only accept peso’s not CUP, so again you have the problem of finding pesos.

Your best option then is to purchase a calling card. Now where to find one? Well we asked the front desk and they said there was a place just down the street. They gave us the name, “Etecsa” which is like Telus or Rogers in Cuba. When we got to the mini mall the store was in, there was as per usual no sign on any of the shops so we had to ask in Spanish where the store was. Once we found the store there was a massive line up. We skipped the line just to confirm we were in the right place and before we knew it we bypassed the line and we’re paying for the card, woot!

It took us (my dad and I) six tries; yes six, at the pay phone to actually make a call. I know us doctors and engineers from Canada are a little slow sometimes J It was difficult because  we had to put in all the right numbers and you had to wait for prompts to put in the different numbers and of course the prompts were all in Spanish. We ended up making a bunch of calls only to come to the conclusion no one was home or available to take the call. Super productive day!


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