Saturday, December 30, 2006
After raving about the tiny cost of picking up a pay as you go phone in Argentina, I have sad news to report. The phones out here make no sense whatsoever! For example...
I can send text messages to the UK, but cannot recieve replies to the same number. In fact, it seems I cannot recieve any messages from the UK at all. This is a real shame, as I recieved an apologetic email from my ex saying something along the lines of "sorry for the filthy messages the other night". Filthy messages?
Secondly, your mobile number changes when you move around the country. Why?
Finally, you sometimes need to use area codes when dialling, and sometimes not. Why, oh, why?
Still, the handset is holding up nicely and seems to do everything required of it. The onboard games are bizarre, although the football one has something of sensible soccer about it. I crushed the USA in the final 4-0. Get on.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Well, the English winter got a bit much for me. Dark at 4pm? Rain? Wind? Pasty looking people as far as the eye can see? No Thanks.
So this is my first post from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
What a hell of a city this is. The people here are so passionate about the finer things in life... food, music, art and flirting. And, quite honestly, I have never seen anything quite like the steak here. For the princely sum of $15 (15 pesos = just under £3) you can get a vast (maybe 2 pound) steak in a decent restaurant. The one in the photo is half finished! Having had two already this week, I'm now hanging back a bit and giving my guts a chance to recover. The steak is great for soaking up all the Quilmes everyone knocks back out here.
One other thing that has greatly impressed me out here is the (wait for it) mobile technology.
As I'll be working out here for a few months, I thought it provident to pick up a mobile phone so that people at home can get in touch and I can mix it up with the portenos (there should be a squiggle above the n). Movistar - a division of Spain's vast Telefonica - rules the roost out here and have a rather splendido line of pay as you go handsets. For $99 (pesos) I picked up a Nokia 2160 with $50 (pesos) of calls included. That works out at under £20 for a brand new, if basic, Nokia handset and £10 of calls.
The handset is ok... a bit simple compared to my usual brick but it does the job nicely, if you know what I mean. The only thing that is really pissing me off about it is the lack of proper ring tones. At the moment I have some ghastly ditty called something like 'disco' which is almost impossible to register in anything other than entirely silent surroundings. Why, oh why, don't Nokia phones come with anything resembling a ringing sound?
Call me old fashioned, but when I hear a phone ring, I go to answer it. When I hear some ghastly disco dittie, I assume some 13 year old's phone is ringing.
Still, at least it was nice and cheap, eh?
Managed to exhaust the credit pretty quickly, but it's free to recieve calls. If I'd taken the Vodabrick with me it would have cost £1.35 a minute to make and recieve calls here and they don't offer Vodafone Passport in this particular corner of the planet.
Oh well, enough moaning I guess. It's thirty-something degrees here and I'm off to one of the most beautiful nightclubs on Earth tonight - Opera Bay in Puerto Madero. Let's just hope I get some numbers...