Date: September 17, 2018 07:51PM
Phone calls were the area of my mission where I was the least honest, and the most rebellious.
When I was in France, back in the dark ages before cell phones and the internet, they had public phones everywhere. These were cool phones -- you'd drop in coins (1 or 5 franc coins), and they'd sit in a little transparent plastic stack you could see. As your call used up a coin's worth of time, one would drop from the bottom of the stack into the phone -- a visual indicator of how much time you had left.
One of the more senior elders introduced me to the quick call home using them: drop in 5 1-franc coins (about a dollar in US money), and you'd get about 2 seconds per coin, 10 seconds total, for a call to the US. It was actually kinda fun to watch, as soon as the call connected, those coins go PLOINK (2 seconds), PLOINK (2 seconds), etc.
So even though I was continually short of funds, I'd save up my loose 1-franc coins, and a couple of times a week, I'd call home. Almost never my parents (I feared my TBM mom would rat me out), I'd call my buddies and the occasional former girlfriend. You had enough time to have a very short greeting, a couple of words back, then the line would snap off as soon as all the coins had ploinked into the phone body.
So I'd usually do something like, "Hey (whomever), I'm calling from France! Miss you!" They'd reply, "Hey, great to hear your voice! How's it going?" I'd say, "Great! Outta time, bye!"
Not exactly a meaningful conversation. But just hearing friendly voices from home kept me sane. So I didn't care if it was against the rules.