Saturday, June 19, 2010

Telephones in Indonesia

Since being in Indonesia, it has been an interesting challenge to call home.

The first set of challenges, I actually encountered at the Hyatt.  Unlike Japan, there are phone booths, but no place for coins and no information on how to make an international call.  Instead, I had to go to the communication center, which cost me $7.50 for a 3 minute phone call.

Once I arrived in the next city, it got even more interesting.  There was no way I could call family unless I walked down the street at the "phone booth," or purchased a phone.  It was too late to purchase a phone, so I walked down the street with my new friend who helped me find my way around town.

There's no way in the world I could have accomplished this alone.  We walked into a neighborhood and asked a man to use the "pay phone," at his store.  There was a booth with no phone.  All of a sudden, he grabs a phone from his drawer and walks over to the phone booth to plug it in.  I still didn't know how to use it because there's a special code you have to use prior to your international phone call.  But after figuring it out, it was so nice to hear a familiar voice and to let my family know that I made it to Indonesia safely. 

Here's the phone booth:

It can get expensive to constantly call back home through the phone booth.  It's much cheaper to buy a phone instead  However, once again, I wouldn't have been able to do it alone! My Indonesian friend had to help me purchase a phone and add minutes.  It was too confusing.

The phone I bought was the cheapest on the market for a mere $24.00 ...Then, I paid for pulsa minutes.  They register your phone number and put a card inside of the phone for it to begin working.  My phone wouldn't work though and it took me all night to figure it out.  A friend said to try "011" and it worked.  I could finally call home.  But within 5 minutes, my "pulsa" ran out and I could not call my family once again.  Fortunately, I have a video phone at home, which is the only phone that works because it does not eat my minutes.

I am happy to say now, after the interesting challenges that I've encountered, that I can communicate with family and have a way to get in touch with friends here too.  My phone works and I now know where to go if I need to make a phone call.

For those of you visiting Indonesia, you can use a phone booth or purchase a phone, depending on your stay here.  I would recommend purchasing a cheap cell phone.  You can sell it afterward and it costs less in the end to use as a means of communication.  It may just take a while to figure out!  Good luck.


  1. It was fascinating to read your story,especially about Indonesia. I am curious about what will you write next...

  2. I assume that you have your computer with you. It might be the cheapest way if you can ask your family to set up the Skype so it will be almost free!

  3. Thanks Wimbo! I can't wait for your first post.

    Thanks John for the advice! Yes, Skype would be a great tool. I will have to try it sometime.

  4. I have posted it!! Please check it out and give any comments...It will really help to improve my English skills...;)

  5. I have posted my first blog... Please give comments especially about thelanguage...It will help me yo improve my skill...;)


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