Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Call Cabins :: Adventures in Dubai
Substitution possibilities

Adventures in Dubai fills us in on the adventures of making an international call when he lived in Riyahd. It provides fertile examples for use in the economics classroom. Read it all.

What do you do when you are on a months-long waiting list for a phone? The choice is between a pay phone and a call cabin. Consider the pay phone option:

payphones would only take 'old' ten-halala coins. A smaller version of this coin had been introduced previously, but STC had never got around to converting their payphones to use it, so you had to find the obsolete version of the coin if you wanted to make an international call. Well, these coins were no longer in general circulation, because some canny old men had spotted a niche market and were exploiting it ruthlessly. They would somehow manage to collect all available old 10 halala coins, and they would hang around clusters of phone booths and sell a bag of nine coins for ten riyals.
The call cabin option is equally interesting.


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