This post is just for people within ten years of my age, which is to say folks in their seventies and older. The rest of you will think I have lost my mind.
Before I left the States, I called Verizon and had them unlock my cell phone so that I could use it here in Paris if need be. I then purchased a basic 100 gigabyte one month add-on to my contract [I have only the dimmest notion of what that actually means]. Five minutes ago, I decided to try it out. Sitting at my desk in our apartment, I called our landline in the apartment. This involved pressing the zero until a plus sign appeared, followed by our phone number. I pressed the green button and in two or three seconds, the phone rang in the apartment. Susie picked it up and we spoke to one another from a distance of perhaps eight feet. As I understand these things, my call was routed to our apartment via the United States.
This was undoubtedly the most exciting thing that has happened to me in some while. Now, if you youngsters will stop smirking and giggling, let me just point out that when I was born, you had to pick up a big clunky handset and rotate a dial to make a call, unless it was necessary instead simply to flip the cradle several times until an operator came on who could plug a jack into the appropriate receptacle and complete your call. Out in the sticks there were "party lines," which is to say several homes on a single wire, so that when you picked up the phone, you could hear what someone else on the same party line was saying. It takes a village, as Hillary Clinton is fond of saying.