In my distracted state as of late, I had the pleasure of leaving my cell phone on the roof of our car after picking up our daughter at FSI daycare. Even though it is a two to three minute drive (have this timed because of the pick up from daycare) to get to highway US 50, my phone didn't fall of the roof until we got on the highway and accelerated to about 50 mph.
The phone made a big crunch sound as it fell to the road and several cars behind us drove over it to smash it to pieces. I tried to convince everyone that I would be better off without a cellphone, but with all the logistics at hand that wasn't going to fly.
Convenience stores claim to carry cellphones that you can purchase and use with prepaid minutes, but in the four stores I went to, mostly 7 Elevens, they were always sold out. I didn't want to wait to order one online, so I then headed to the mall. The Ballston mall near FSI has several kiosks from all the major carriers that carry pre-paid phones, but as we found out they are priced for the convenience.
Thanks to a nice salesperson at one of those kiosks, we made our way up to Radio Shack which had the exact same deal as Virgin Mobile had online, a phone for $14.95 and 200 minutes for $20. In comparison, AT&T's kiosk had the To Go phone for $130 which included 100 minutes.
The phone was instantly activated by the sales person at Radio Shack. It will automatically deactivate after no use for 3 months. You can then reactivate it and purchase more minutes in the future. So I am actually prepared for our return to FSI for language training after our two year post to Kolkata. That is unless the technology changes before then.