So we became a little more Nica today. We decided to invest in our first Nicaraguan cell phone. I say our first because to really be Nica you need two cell phones. There is actually some good logic behind this dual phone principal. Calls within your own service provider are nearly free but to call someone using the other provider it is the same price as calling Canada. When someone gives you their number here they always write down their provider as well so you know which one of your phones to call them from.
Since we are slowly working toward being Nica we decided to start with one phone. So which provider to go with. We have Claro internet but the Movistar prepaid plans look better. In the end we decided to go with Movistar because that is the main line that Carlos uses and he will be the one that we call the most, so off to a Movistar dealer we go.
On the way to the cell phone store we stopped at the bank to change some USD to cords. And yes this picture is actually how it is done. Not in the bank, but on the street in front of the bank. There are no lineups here so we are back on our way in no time at all. The only thing left to do was choose a phone.
I know that in Canada most of you are IPhone snobs and think that Blackberry is so three years ago. Well, here in a developing country Nokia is still king and I haven’t even seen an IPhone. We didn’t need anything high tech, but we didn’t want the cheapest piece of no name junk on the shelf either. There were about 50 phones on the wall and someone who only speaks Spanish, who is more than willing to tell me about all of them. I don’t understand much but pretend that I do and then just point at one.
I know all of the techno geeks reading will need to know the exact model or your curiosity would eat you alive, so as to not disappoint here you are – Nokia 1616. The phone plus SIM card, plus enough minutes for the month, plus tax rang in at a staggering $580 cordobas. Divide that by 22.8 and you have $25.44 USD all in. There is also a bonus of having one Movistar friend to call free for the first month. Since we only have a handful of Nica friends our minutes should last a long time.
Sweet! A text just came from Movistar. If we buy $50 cord in minutes today they will multiple that by 5 for free. I have no idea how many minutes that even gets me but it sure sounds like a bunch. I’m on way down to the store to jump on this deal faster than a fat kid on a Smartie.