A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

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Feb. 16, 2005 —  Kelly had the phone number for someone in San Miguel de Allende whom we wanted to get together with, and I had bought a Ladatel/Telmex phone card, good for both local and long distance calls. We hadn’t used the Mexican phone system before, but how hard could it be to make a call?

There are clear directions in English and Spanish on the pay phones. First you lift the receiver, then you insert your card. An LCD screen shows you how much money is remaining on your card. You dial and talk, then remove your card. Piece of cake.

But the pay phone near our campground didn’t work. Neither did the three payphones directly in front of the phone company office down the street. I guessed that it might be because the phone card, newly purchased in another city, said 2003 on it. Since this was 2005, maybe I had bought an out of date card?

Then some friends, wise in the ways of Mexican phones, said that probably the phones in the neighborhood weren’t working. They offered the use of their cellphone, but its batteries needed charging.

So the next morning Kelly went to the phone company for help. After standing in the wrong line a while, he finally got a chance to explain the problem (in Spanish of course) to an employee. She confirmed our friends’ guess that the phones weren’t working. Kelly asked if there was a phone in the office he could use, and she took him to one. He tried dialing the number, with and without the area code and with and without 01, which is used in front of numbers in I don’t know what circumstances.

No dice. So he asked the lady to dial it. She looked at the number and immediately said, “I can’t dial this. It’s a cellphone number.”

“How do I call it then?” asked Kelly.

“You have to use a pay phone.”

“But they aren’t working.”

The lady shrugged her shoulders.

Kafka is alive and well in Mexico! And our phone card worked perfectly the next day in another city, calling someone else.

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