So as I mentioned in the last post, we are keeping busy doing all those annoying little things one must do upon arrival in a new country: paperwork, set up utilities, paperwork, get insurance, paperwork, sign up for a cell phone plan, paperwork…
We decided to get contracts with the cell phone provider O2, since it seemed to have some of the less-offensive rates around (it’s entirely possible that there are better rates out there, but processing any additional info might have made our heads explode before we even got around to choosing one). After offering up our passports and visas to prove that we were worthy of paying lots of euros for German mobile numbers, we were actually pleasantly surprised by two secret extra-special bonus features that came with our new plans:
1) My O2 phone has a mobile number and a home number.* So if someone wants to reach me but doesn’t want to pay those crazy mobile-calling prices to do so, she can simply call my ‘home’ number, which will cause my cell phone to ring (but only if I’m at home). This means we don’t have to bother to get a home phone at all (which we were hoping to avoid, anyway). It also means that my husband and I have different ‘home’ numbers.
2) For signing up with O2 I got 10 hours of FREE internet access (in an attempt to get us hooked before they jack up the price) – and not that lame trying-to-browse-the-www-on-your-tiny-ass-phone kind of internet, but fancy on-your-computer internet which magically works via tiny invisible fairies which travel at the speed of light between your computer, your cell phone, and the series of tubes. Such fancy newfangled things they’ve got these days. This internet thing is so very exciting to me since, as I may have mentioned before, we still don’t have internet at home. (Note: I’m trying to use this fancy phone internet sparingly, so my excuse to still not be replying to emails in a remotely timely manner still stands.)
And after all these years, the German word “Handy” still makes me giggle.
* A little background for you Americans: unlike in the US, where mobile numbers look the same as landline numbers and cost the same to call, Europe differentiates between the mobile network and the landline network (‘Festnetz’) in some ways. Mobile numbers have certain prefixes, and cost more to call in most situations than landline numbers do.