Because I’m only in SF until the end of February, it was pointless getting a cell phone contract. So I was forced to get a pre-paid account. I chose T-Mobile because my previous account was with them: $50 for 400 minutes, or $100 for 1,000 minutes, plus a $10 connection fee, plus tax. Note that here people pay to receive calls as well as make them. But with pre-paid accounts it is not possible to access the Internet or make international calls. Turns out that 3G has yet to arrive!! So while I’m near Silicon Valley, the home of innovation on the west coast, I’m limited to domestic voice calls! Though I can send a text message overseas. These often take several hours to arrive. The range of options on phone contracts (called “plans” here) is huge and confusing.