Wednesday, October 21, 2015

walk four miles in telcel's shoes

Lawton Chiles got himself elected to the U.S. Senate by walking across Florida -- I assume north to south; east to west would not be very impressive.

I got myself admitted to the hospital by merely walking four miles -- or maybe eight.  Either way, my re-entry into the world of exercise last August was far more dramatic than it was efficacious.

The last two months have been one minor health problem after another.  I have consumed enough antibiotics to fight off a continent-wide bout of the plague.

But that is all behind me.  This week, I was off of all my supplemental medications.  My left foot was not particularly swollen.  And I was raring to exercise my inner Yusuke Suzuki.

Before anyone feels the need to chide my overzealous nature, I have started small over the past two weeks with short walks into the village.  Two months ago, I may have made the mistake of jumping immediately from extreme sedentariness to four miles of speed walking.  Whether or not there is a causal relationship, my avocation was cut short.

I was up early this morning to get the house ready for Dora.  It takes me about an hour to empty the trash containers into a central bag, pick up the leaves and blossoms that have fallen overnight, to wash up the dishes from dinner and breakfast, and to strip the bed of its sheets.  Dora is then free to take on the larger tasks of cleaning all of the glass in this place -- enough to rival Versailles's hall of mirrors.

The walk went well.  I am not quite up to my normal walking speed.  But it felt good to feel the little pangs of pain that accompany the joys of regular exercise.  Having started, it should be easier to keep a schedule.

I wish I could say the same about Telcel.  I took Ozzie to Manzanillo yesterday to accomplish a short list of tasks.  I saved Telcel until last.

I have been buying time for my mobile telephone as needed.  For some reason (and I think I know what it is) during the past two months, I have been spending $1,500 (Mx) each month.  My usual usage is $500 (Mx) a month.

Here is my theory.  I use my telephone for internet access.  Even though I try to rely on wi-fi connections around town, most of the time I use my telephone minutes.  That has turned out to be a very expensive proposition.

The solution was simple.  I intended to switch over to a monthly plan.  How much time could that take? 

I have used no other carrier than Telcel during my almost seven years here.  My telephone is unlocked, but has primarily been used here in Mexico.  I estimated we would be in and out of the Telcel office in Manzanillo in no more than a half hour -- most of that time would be spent waiting in the line to pay my fees.

I had not reckoned with Mexican bureaucracy.

There was no waiting to talk with a sales clerk.  With my smattering of Spanish and her much better English, I learned all about the various plans.  She thought the $300 (Mx) plan would suit my monthly needs.  It certainly sounded like a bargain to me. 

With an additional $50 (Mx), I could add international calls to the plan.  I did.

I will cut the story short.  It took us close to four hours to complete the transaction.  I signed my name at least a dozen times.  Made two separate trips to the cashier.  Waited almost an hour to get a replacement SIM card.

One of my worries was payment.  Even though I have a Mexican credit card, it draws on a peso account that is not replenished. 

No problem, she reassured me.  I just need to remember to wander into Banamex at the end of each month to pay my bill.

The nice thing is that I am not tied into a specific time period -- because the contract is not associated with a telephone purchase.  I can only imagine how much time would have been consumed if I was now slipping a new telephone int my pocket.  As I recall, it took hours to buy a telephone there three years ago -- without purchasing a plan.

This morning I called my brother on my new connection.  It worked fine.  Darrel is coming down soon.  In fact, we may make our way to the Baja 1000 next month on a drive to Oregon. 

A road trip is in the offing.  And I am smiling.  Not only because I will get to spend time with my brother, but because I will get to log some more travel time.

Until then, I will be walking each morning while I enjoy a decreasing waist.  

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