Thursday, July 23, 2015

Rejoining the 21st Century

Today I rejoined the 21st century.  This morning AT&T finally sent me the unlock code for my phone (which they had promised by July 3).  It seems that American bureaucracy is really slower than any French bureaucracy that we have yet to encounter.  This afternoon we inserted a French SIM card in my phone today.  I have been effectively without a cell phone since we left the United States on June 21.

Actually, life without a working cell phone has been great most of the time.  It has prompted me to leave my cell phone at home and enjoy Paris.  When I was in the apartment, I was able use the wifi to get my email and I was able use Viber or Facetime to communicate with people in the United States.  Unfortunately, the internet access from our building seems to grind to a halt in the evenings, but if I got up early I can download messages and if I stay up late I can use the wifi to call family. 

The biggest problem has been when Bronwyn and I are in different places trying to communicate with each other (usually trying to figure out why the other person is not where I thought we were supposed to meet).  I had forgotten how nice it is to be able to call the other person anytime from anywhere.  It will also be nice to access Google Maps when want to find a location in Paris.  The tiny little SIM card in the bottom right part of the picture makes all the difference.  Now I will be able to stumble around the streets of Paris staring at my cell phone rather than looking at the sites or watching the fascinating people like the other zombies.

My next challenge is to figure out all of the instructions and agreements that came with the SIM card. I must confess that I did not exactly understand all of the terms of the cell-phone plan when the representative explained it to me (in French).  It seemed like we were told that it is free for us to text out to the United States but that we get a charge when we receive a text (or call) from the United States.  I am also not clear what the charges are when we try to use the phone in Germany or Belgium.  I guess I should not be surprised that 2.5 weeks of French language class has not equipped me to understand a French cell phone contract.  I can't even understand a cell phone contract when it is in English.

After getting the SIM card, we had a wonderful lunch at a cafe, and wandered around the city, eventually ending up at the Opera.  What a SPECTACULAR building!  It would be great to see a performance in this beautiful building.  They even have a box reserved for the Phantom of the Opera.

No comments:

Post a Comment