A trip from Singapore to Batam island today only takes an hour to 45 minutes via ferry. Back in my grandmother's younger days, it took her two weeks to make that journey from Batam to Singapore on a sail ship to marry my grandfather.
Communications between relatives on the Indonesian island was a rarity back then. Overseas call, if available, back then would have cost a bomb. If it was delivered by mail, it would take weeks, if not months, to arrive. Even today with cheaper IDD rates, telephone calls to Indonesia were limited as it could run up the phone bill.
But technology last night made it possible from my grandmother to, not only talk with her father's sister's son (aka cousin) in Jakarta, but see the faces of his family on screen.
from Hokkien as my grandmother described the video call on Skype.
At the end of the video conference call, my grandmother asked how much it cost. I replied saying that it was free and that was much to the surprise of my grandmother.
Something like this would have never been free in her days.