Today I decided to take the bus down to the TelCel booth which is located in the Gran Plaza which is just past the Golden Zone. I wanted to put time on our internet stick (Banda Ancha) and ask some questions about Mexican phone plans and also about creating a TelCel account online. I have tried to set up a TelCel account but the site is not user friendly and it keeps kicking me out.
So…I hopped on the Cerritos Juarez bus and was on my way. As we got about midway through the Golden Zone the bus made an abrupt left turn off it’s usual route. What the heck? There was much muttering among the gringos on the bus who were as confused as I was. Must be some sort of obstruction on the road that we have to avoid. Well….that was the case all right. The second carnival parade is today and I had forgotten all about it. Swell!
We were dumped off about 3 blocks east of Mega and the Gran Plaza and we were on our own. That was not a problem for me as I have no problem walking but for some people it was. Now the issue would be to get home when I was done. The parade was moving north past the Gran Plaza and then turning west toward Mega and then south along the malecon. This meant that all the buses were travelling off their usual routes and in no apparent order.
First order of business the TelCel booth in the Gran Plaza. I spent about an hour with a very fluent English speaking young man who attempted to help me with my issues. Many people are under the impression that their Mexican TelCel phone will work in Canada and the United States. We didn’t think that was true but I thought I’d ask. No it will not. Next up I asked if we could register me as the owner of the TelCel stick which Richard and Carole had given us. I’d purchased their time back in November when they found their new computer operating system was not compatible with their older internet stick. No problem doing that either. I asked if he could set up an online account with Mi TelCel so I could put money on the phone and stick remotely and he said he’d try. Unfortunately he had the same problems that I did and even after calling his help line it wouldn’t work. He did say that the chips in the stick and phone should be good for one year so we shouldn’t have to buy a new one or loose our phone number before we get back next year. I then topped up my stick (300 pesos) for 2G which is good for 40 days. Sure a lot cheaper than Telus back in B.C. I told him that 5G would cost $70 per month at home and he was horrified! Me too! We have no access to a hardwired internet line at home and must now use cell service for internet or drive to our daughter’s to use her internet. We had dial-up which was cancelled by Telus just before we left home. Too bad so sad for us. It wasn’t a very good service but at least we had something.
So business done it was now time to try and get home. I walked north past the Gran Plaza up to Mega to see if there were any buses passing by and there were but they were whizzing every which way and I couldn’t see one that would take me home. Now what? Well I walked east quite a few blocks to Soriana’s where the Toreo bus route is as that would take me home. I waited and waited and nope….no Toreo bus. A big green bus did pass by off his usual route but when I waved he just blew by me! Bas##rd!!! At this point I was tired, overheated and very frustrated. Time to take alternate action. I walked back in front of Soriana’s and found a taxi. Cuanto (how much) for a ride back to the park? 120 pesos or about $8 …no problem…take me home.
It was now 12:15 and I had to play cards at 1pm. I made it home and Eric was wondering what happened to me….mostly because it was lunch time!
Now you might wonder what kind of an idiot doesn’t take her phone with her when she goes out. We do have two phones that work here in Mexico. One on a TelCel plan and one AT&T phone from our daughter and son-in-law in Pittsburgh. I could have phoned Eric from Soriana’s and he could have come and picked me up. We are so unused to carrying and using a cell phone at home that most of the time it doesn’t occur to us. Next time it will!
P.S. – when I came back from playing cards our friend Manny was visiting Eric. Turns out he was at Soriana’s and saw me there. He said he honked and waved and yelled while he was parking the car but by the time he got out….I was gone. Well…this is Mexico and honking and yelling is a normal sound that I don’t even notice. Thanks anyway Manny…at least you tried.