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Bell Telephone (Alex)

by on August 4, 2015

Yesterday, at the end of the day, we went to the baths. It was really fun and warm.

Today, we went to Croatia. We went on an ‘intercity’ train that stopped at. Every. Single. Stop. In. Croatia. For the record it took us 6 hours in an un-air-conditioned cabin with no refreshments. In our compartment were two very nice people from Mexico (who spoke very good English). Oh, not to mention that we got to enjoy waking up at 4:15. The train station (Budapest Deli) had nothing besides a bit of concrete and some tracks. Anyway. We had to get our passports checked twice. One by Hungarian authorities, and the other by Croatian. You may be wondering why this post is called ‘Bell Telephone.’ We had a bit of a little scare. When we had just entered Croatia, we a get a text message from our good friends at AT&T. The text message said:

AT&T FREE MSG: Welcome abroad. The country you have just entered is not covered by AT&T Passport. The local rate is $20/mb.

You can just imagine how surprised we were to get this text. The AT&T website said Croatia was part of the Passport plan (international plan). Dad entered airplane mode and Mom stayed in airplane mode. When we got to the hotel, we called AT&T (hoping that AT&T would refund us for calls to them). It turns out that the closest cell tower to the border was in Slovenia (different than Slovakia), which was not covered. AT&T did not send us another ‘free msg’ when we entered Croatia. It did not help that mom finally took her phone off of airplane mode in Zagreb. What do you think she got?

AT&T FREE MSG: Welcome abroad. The country you have just entered is not covered by AT&T Passport. The local rate is $20/mb.

Thanks AT&T. Anyway. We walked around Zagreb. It is a really cute city with the world’s most useless funicular. The escalators at IKEA take you higher, and let’s not even talk about Atlanta airport’s escalators. We had some good dinner at a hamburger place, and some really good dessert. This is what we did today.

[To be clear… We are totally dependent on our cell phones having good data: for directions, restaurant reviews, tour guides, etc.  We confirmed before leaving that every country we were visiting was covered by AT&T’s roaming plan, which gives us data at 15 cents per megabyte. That still makes the summer phone bill a bit expensive, but 20 DOLLARS a meg would have been painful.  We did have a few customer service calls with AT&T along the way, but all in all the technology worked surprisingly well.

– David]

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