Keeping in Touch, or a Picture Paints a Thousand Words

"Welcome to Turkmenistan" declared the text message from my phone company, eager to let me know about the fantastically large bill I could run up by using my phone here.
"Calls cost £2.50/min to make & £2.50/min to receive." All very standard, and although ridiculously high, not unexpectedly so.
"Texts cost £1.00 to send & pic msg 50p". Hang on a minute… A text is a pound and a picture message is 50p. So the most cost efficient way to contact my parents (without Wifi) and let them know I'm ok is to write them a message on a piece of paper, photograph it with my phone and then send them the image via MMS. Not only does a picture paint a thousand words here, if you write small enough it also costs half as much.

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