Monday, October 11, 2010

A New Awesome Phone Service!

In Mexico American TV and a USA phone service is right at the top for keeping up with life at home and keeping connected with friends and family . Today's blog has to do with telephone service.

I have lots of phones: a Mexican land line (comes bundled with WiFi whether you want it or not--there are other options but this is the easy/cheap way to do it), a Mexican cell phone, a USA cell phone (T-mobile), and some kind of phone with a USA phone number so one can receive calls from the USA without callers dealing with country codes & charges.

There's a new kid in town (phone-wise) and it's a winner! It's name is Rebtel and it's awesome!

I switched from Vonage ($29.95+ per month) to 1010talk ($10+ per month) to save money and I did save money (still using 1010 talk)...both are VOIP services...both allow me to have a working phone even if my computer is turned off (good in case family must reach me in the middle of the night)...decided against Magic Jack since I would need to have my computer on all the time and had seen some reviews of spotty clarity in transmission (yes, I get that with my VOIP too once in awhile).

Friend, Colin had told me about some service he was using that allowed him to use his land line and make calls for around a penny a minute. He calls the UK often and for some reason he's avoided using a VOIP service--maybe he used Skype. I really didn't pay a lot of attention the first few times he raved about this service but one rainy evening I "got it"...I guess I thought it was another VOIP service but I wasn't paying attention (mmmm....bad girl!)and this time I did get it...I could use my land line (great voice transmission, no need to worry if the internet goes down, etc) and I only pay when I use the service! I could give family and friends a phone # to call me at using their home phones (they get the area code from their city) and I get charged a penny a minute for their calls to me.

I got home and signed up for a free 3 minute trial and tried it out (Thanks Colin for helping me through the set-up process--I wasn't paying attention to the instructions on the website--bad girl!) was awesome! I used my free minutes to call a friend in the USA and she said the transmission was perfect (not always the case). It's easy to use and I am keeping it as a back up to my 1010talk number. I put in $10 to start and have had the service for over a month and so far it's cost me $1.00US...I still use 1010talk as my main phone since the phone # is the Los Angeles number I've had for years and everyone knows that number.

Rebtel rocks!

Got to run. Tonight is Canadian Thanksgiving and I am meeting with friends for some turkey, stuffing and goodies....more later!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Beatles Come to Town

There's a new Performing Arts Center in town. Tonight's feature was a Beatles "Tribute Band" from the UK.

Things are done a little differently here. First curtain time was listed as 9:00pm! Although that was the start time the actual start time was about 9:40pm. The place is very nice: stadium seating, womens bathrooms are beautiful (really beautiful)with lots of stalls so that there isn't a women's line up, bar service in the lobby and at your seats along with munchies like chocolate covered almonds, pretzels, etc, valet parking--all really nice.

I've only been to two performances at the center: the one tonight and a ballet company from Russia. Audiences for both were enthusiastic (the ballet was sold out and the Beatles thing was almost sold out)--the performances were ok, clearly there is an audience here for more. OK, I'm spoiled having lived in both San Francisco and Los Angeles where ballet and theatre can be excellent--also I've seen many, many performances in London and New York so I'm spoiled...I'm hoping that with more time we'll get better groups.

The thing I'm liking about going to anything here is that I can count on seeing people I know and meeting new people...I have a stack of cards from the people I've met recently and now I'm having a hard time remembering who's who and where I met them....I must jot notes on the cards of where I meet people and something about them. I am amazed/enchanted/happy that the people here have such interesting backgrounds and are themselves so interesting.

The rainy season seems to be on it's way out although there is still the humidity to deal with (nothing a dip in the pool won't help). Folks are returning for "The Season"--some have returned recently (Hooray I am playing Mah Jongg again at the beach) --I've heard that more are due to arrive next week and the weeks to follow.

Restaurants are reopening and activities and party planning is in full swing--my calendar is already filling up...have to remind myself to just do one thing a day...hard to do but wise to do.

Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving. This will be my second year of celebrating this holiday featuring turkey,etc....then next month I'll get to do it all over again.

More later....