Day 12

Thursday, 8 January, 2009

How hard is it to get a cell phone?

So it seems it’s perfectly acceptable to run late here. Granted, traffic’s a bitch and all that…and I’m more than willing to believe someone when they say they got hit by a car crossing the street. I’ve yet to venture out to the coffee shop across the street. Maybe it’s because I truly fear for my freaking life when I cross. It’s like this crazy game of Frogger as I’ve said in a previous post. I guess I can try to describe it as try crossing a 5 lane freeway that is supposed to go in one direction, but because of road construction lanes are all over the place. So instead of going one direction, you have various people going 2 ways in what is supposed to be a 1 way street. Yea, figure that out.

I really do fear for my life. And btw, I will never, never, never, EVER say that Arizona drivers are bad…you haven’t been to India so if you think the drivers where you are is bad, come to India.

An observation from the other day I never wrote down…in the malls you see the guards with shotguns, but they’re not automatic or semi-automatics, just single shot rifles. It got me thinking…because I see those types of guns throughout the malls and all over the guards in Delhi. I am going on the assumption that it’s the same like that for the rest of India…I wonder if that’s why the incident in Mumbai went down so badly – the guards were incapable of defending themselves or the hotel patrons due to their ancient archaic weaponry. They couldn’t really fight against weapons that are capable of firing more than one bullet at a time. Maybe I’m catching up with the rest of the world with that thought since I really didn’t keep track of it before.

Oh…and today is a Muslim holiday, but Colin didn’t get the day off…boo hoo. I have to say, Colin’s had more days off in the 3 months working here than he’s had in a year in the US.

Anyway, people here are flaky! I mean really flaky. The perfect instance is our landlord…who has yet to pay our internet/phone/cable bill…so I’ve been suffering without any internet. I’ve been fucking DYING to be able to read and reply to email, read livejournal, my gossip groups, etc…but can’t because there is no internet access…and I’m scared fucking shitless to cross that insane street. I think I will have to do it once and film it so you can all see why I am so scared to do it. Anyway, we keep getting the bill and Colin always calls to ask if we should pay it, but she says no she will take care of it. Grrr…anyway, it sucks. Today another bill came and we knew it was for the internet/phone/cable and rather than give it to the landlord, Colin grabbed the checkbook and paid it…all $100 + back payments totaling a little over $300 USD. Youch…Colin would pay by credit card, but you can’t do that here. If the card doesn’t match the name on the account, it won’t happen. However, it’s ok to write a check and you can write the account number on the check – go figure!! Colin hates the thought of me here with no way of contacting the outside world, which is why he paid the bill. In a way, it’s good – no distractions and I’m forced to work on the writing that has been consuming me for the past few years. Can you believe I’ve written close to a million words?! They’re all scattered over various stories, though.

Anyway, back to the title of the post…how hard is it exactly to get a cell phone? I am consistently surprised by the fucking bureaucracy of this country. I really am. All Colin wants to do is add a line to the account. Simple, right? So it should be, but it isn’t. Colin has to fill out all the forms he’s filled out previously to get his current cell phone – it’s “procedure”. He’s tried to circumvent the problem by going to another provider…and guess what? No one’s responded. Getting a cell phone here is different…they do have kiosks, but what they like to do is send out someone with all the forms so YOU don’t have to go through the hassle of going to the shop, etc. Kind of hard to get a cell phone when the guy that is supposed to show up with the paper work never does. It’s been like this for the past 2 weeks. Actually, it’s been like this since the moment Colin had my flight info (end of November), he wanted me to have a cell phone so I could keep in touch with everyone. While it’s a nice sentiment, I kind of thought I had skipped over the problem…how?

Well, when the internet was running, I could turn on my phone (with the US sim card) and turn on the wi-fi, while turning off the mobile network – you know, that whole thing that does those mega pretty roaming charges! Now this is where I find Blackberry excels – so long as I am connected to the wifi network in the house, T-Mobile goes, “Oh look, she’s making calls. We don’t know from where, but she’s using wifi, so let’s just charge her her regular minutes.” And get this – I still can receive calls even though my mobile network (read: ROAMING) is off…all calls and text messages I receive are done through the wifi. I have to say…this is the one thing that Blackberry has done right…So, pretty boys and girls, feel free to call me from my California number, but just don’t call me in the middle of the night, k?!

Here are some examples

If it’s 3:40pm, 8 January 2009, in India then it’s

a)      12:10am, 8 January 2009, in Honolulu (+15.5 hours)

b)      2:10am, 8 January 2009, in San Francisco (+13.5 hours) – this doesn’t factor in Daylight Savings Time, btw

c)       3:10am, 8 January 2009, in PHX (+12.5 hours)

d)      5:10am, 8 January 2009, in New York, New York (+10.5 hours)

e)      10:10am, 8 January 2009, in the UK (+5.5 hours)

Ok, I hope that helps. 🙂

Over and out for now.


Day 13
Day 11

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