Posted by: mdmusingsie | April 30, 2010

A sim is a sim, but….

A cell is not a mobile, in Ireland. Well, that’s a bit unfair, actually, but it has definitely been a saga.

I brought my Blackberry, hoping I could save some Euro and skip buying a phone by just getting a sim card. Well, the phone itself worked fine, and I could send and receive texts, but the “data” part – browsing and most importantly (for my job), email did not. I tried several different companies and nothing was going to work. I might have been able to make it work with one of the other providers but they wanted long term (12 month) contracts. So, $200+ later, I trot out of the Meteor shop (where I believe all the employees now know me by name), and have spend the last few days learning how to work this new contraption; and the elusive email is still “under construction”. Nothing like spending a good part of several days of “vacation” in the phone stores of Shop Street in Galway City.

Of course, about this time, my Visa card company started getting suspicious of my multiple mobile phone related purchases in a foreign company and put a hold on my card just as I was buying said phone. Good thing I carry a spare. I should have anticipated this, having been down this road before, but that would have taken the fun out of the next series of events.

Here I am with a new mobile phone that did have international calling available but limited minutes. The hotel wanted a fortune for any phone call, even 800 numbers, so I came up with the next best thing – Skype. You can call non-Skype numbers from Skype, so I thought I’d give that a try. Of course I’d have to put money in my Skype account since I’d only made free Skype calls to date……but wait, Skype gives you one free non-Skype call (try it, you’ll like it so much that you’ll want to make all your calls on Skype, so says the subliminal advertising).

Now think about it – I’m sitting in a hotel room in a foreign country with only one free phone call to make. I found a curious irony between that and the token phone call that newly arrested folk are allowed to make. Who would you make your one phone call to? Well, of course, mine went to the credit card company! (Who graciously straightened everything out so I could continue onto my next topic – shopping.)

READER NOTE: I will likely be throwing in Irish words, phrases, and even sentences; hopefully more as time goes on. For those not studying Gaeilge, try translate.google.com to find out what I’m saying (I make no guarantees that my syntax or spelling are correct, just as Google translate makes no guarantees that is will always translate correctly, but hopefully, you’ll get the gist).

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