Behind starburst eyes

Monday Mexico Musings

on January 10, 2023

Just over a week ago I rolled onto an airplane (3 weeks post ankle reconstruction surgery) with 3 of my kiddos and the hubby in tow. Our destination? Mexico! Only we weren’t going for a week or even 2, no I had to make it a huge grand adventure and so instead we’re here for 4 months!

In the past week I’ve learnt allot, and I imagine that I’ll continue to learn tons as we go. One of the key things I’ve learnt so far this week is how to set up a cell phone down here. After all, being down here for 4 months, it really didn’t make sense to keep my Canadian phone plan; especially since most Canadian plans charge $15 per day extra for any usage in Mexico, and that adds up to a huge monthly bill I didn’t see the need in owing.

To the OXXO I went and awkardly pointed at my phone and said “chip?” to the nice lady working there. She nodded and offered me an OXXO cell sim card and I purchased 2 of them (one for me and one for the hubby). Eagerly back at my apartment I attempted to put the new sim in and begin using my new Mexican based phone number…oh how naive I was! See I’d purchashed a chip, and figured I could just use my credit card to add money to the account and before you could say “bibbity bobbity boo” it’d be up and running. The thing I hadn’t accounted for? Google Plays dedication to preventing fraud…

The OXXO cell app didn’t want to download as my country was still set to Canada in my account. So I made a brand new gmail account specifically to work with any and all things to do with my living in Mexico for the next 4 months (including having the right setting to download apps like the OXXO cell one). But that wasn’t good enough, because I was still attempting to use a Canadian based credit card to fund a Mexican phone plan, and I not enter my postal code (ours is A0A 0A0, but Mexico uses 123456) for the billing address portion of using it online.

SO the next day, back I went to another OXXO with my handy google translated questions and requests on a notepad (cause I wouldn’t have internet to translate as I went once we left the airbnb we were staying at). Awkwardly I wheeled myself to the counter, smiled and showed the sweet Claudia (she had a name tag on), and then the magic began! I was able to add funds to the phone numbers and get them set up with her help. Back home I went, feeling rather excited and hopeful, and attempted to use the app this time to check out my new phone plan. I will need to go back to the OXXO once a month to reload money onto it so I can keep my plan active, but OXXO’s are super common and I’ve seen 4 within 1km of where I’m staying! The good news, I currently pay approximately $14.30CDN per month for unlimited texts, & calls from here, the States or Canada, plus unlimited social media app usage when away from wifi and enough extra data to translate any sentance english to spanish that I haven’t mastered yet while out and about (of where there is still ALLOT! lol).

What happens when I return to Canada? Well for a small sum I put my number and plan on hold until the day I land in Ontario again. I’m keeping the sim card in a safe place and will pop it into my phone after we collect our luggage and whatnot, although with the way some cell phone plans down here offer roaming to the U.S and Canada at only a small extra charge of less than $10 per month I might keep my much more expensive Canadian phone plan on hold for a little bit longer once we get back, at least for the first month we’re back while my Mexican one would still be valid…


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