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#1 BettyfromToronto

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 10:30 AM

After 15 months of planning we arrived in Cozumel last night with 8 suitcases, 2 large backpacks and 2 dogs.  (My sister came for a week to help.  She couldn't pass up a free trip.)

 

I want to thank everyone on this forum who helped us prepare for this big move and for those who will continue to help in the future as we discover how things are done here.

 

Betty


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#2 mstevens

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 11:14 AM

Congratulations, and have fun moving in!


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#3 Freezin' Canuck

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 11:45 AM

Ditto and welcome!
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#4 scubawoman

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 01:18 PM

Welcome to a new way of doing things.  Just pretend you are a first grader as you encounter every new thing and you will be a native, very quickly!  And don't forget, we all have had your new experiences and will be glad to offer ideas.  :D


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#5 Coz2wonder

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 01:28 PM

Welcome home.

 

Post your travel adventure with all the suitcases and the dogs.

 

Stay warm!


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#6 ccannon707

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 02:14 PM

You made it! That must have been some trip....Looking forward to your postings....

:)


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#7 doodletart

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 03:49 PM

Glad you made it! How did your pooches handle it? It was a breeze for our fur girl, with us worrying more then her!

 


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#8 Carey

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 06:33 AM

Glad you made it through what has got to have been an exhausting trip!  I too will look forward to hearing reports as you settle in and please don't hesitate to ask questions is you find yourself in a quandry.

 

Would like to know how the dog paperwork etc went as well.  But for now rest up and enjoy the lovely weather we're having this time of the year.  


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#9 BettyfromToronto

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 10:48 PM

Thanks to everyone here the dogs came through with flying colours.  We saw the vet on Wednesday and he decided it would be best to give Banjo a sedative for the trip and it made him a bit sleepy.  They both went through security at Toronto airport very well.  No barking and all the staff loved the dogs.  One actually asked for the name of the breeder of our pure-bred. 

 

The flight was good.  Everyone in first class thought it was cool we had 2 dogs and envious we were moving here permanently.  Joe had Banjo's crate on his lap for most of the trip with his head sticking out.  They were also getting fussy once we got to Cozumel as we were delayed an hour but they were good.  The letters I had were good.  Only thing I missed was a photo copy of the actual certificate of vaccinations but he made us a copy.  Banjo didn't bark once and didn't flinch when the thermometer went up his butt.  :)

 

Thank goodness the van ride to the rental was short as they both starting to whine.  Totally understandable as they had been in their crates for almost 9 hours.  They were troopers and have settled in quite well here.

 

The sedative has worn off (LOL) and Banjo now barks at everything.  People, cars, and boy does he love all the scooters.  We go for a walk every morning and after dinner when it is cooler and today we went down to Wet Wendys for lunch.  Everyone there loved Banjo.  Why does everyone love the bad boys,  hahahaha

 

Right now we are trying to figure out stuff but no hurry.  For example:  Surprised HSBC would not change Canadian $$ for Pesos.  Changed some at the bank in Elektra behind Mega and got a better rate not having to show a passport than at Scotiabank where we did have to show a passport AND take off our hats & sunglasses.  And this bank is Canadian.

 

Next is we need to get a cell phone.  I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 and just want a TelCel SIM card but was told it wasn't possible in November.  Not sure what we will do.  They did offer me a new one if I signed up for a 2 year plan with full everything for about $70 US a month.  Too rich for my retired blood.  Need to take time to think this one though.  No hurry right now as the house we are renting has a land line and I can use my e-mail or FB messages when in a place with free Wi-Fi.

 

Thanks for everyone's offer to help with the questions to come.

 

Betty


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#10 Carey

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 07:10 AM

Glad the dogs got in fine.  Never had a thermometer come out for any of my trips, however.  Over zealous vet on duty that day I guess.

 

You can buy telcell cellphones at the Chedraui and Mega Kiosks that are back in the electronics sections.  Go after 11 as the salesgirls don't come in until about that time.  You can get a perfectly decent cell without all the bells and whistles for around 300 pesos.  

 

If you want to top off your minutes or you run out, just take it with you when you grocery shop.  When you check out, give the cashier the number and tell her its telcell and you can pay right there in the store.

 

Tellcell minutes typically last 2 months.  Then you have to add a little credit and the minutes you didn't use in the 2 month period come back to you.

 

You'll need to register the phone or, after a certain point, they stop service on it.  Also you'll have to listen to advertisements before the number you're calling rings.

 

Best place to register the phone is probably first thing in the AM at the downtown Telcell office two doors west of the intersection of Calle 2 and Avenida 10.  They are also a good place to be able to tell you if you can use your other phone with a telcell sim card and will know how to make that happen if it is possible.

 

If and when you go into this office, bring some kind of ID plus, if possible, a bill of some kind showing your local address.  In advance, use translate.google.com to figure out how to ask for the things you need and PRINT by hand on a piece of paper to take with you and hand over to the clerk.

 

Be sure to tip.  I tipped the senorita $20 pesos for registering my latest cellphone for me -- took her about 5 minutes on the phone.  If she performs more services, including, for example, switching your phone to English, tip a bit more.

 

And that's another thing, the world down here runs on tips.  Wages are very very low so tips are extremely important to service workers and they are grateful to get them.  In the rounds of daily life here I tip the bag people at the grocery, the gas station pumper, my gas and water delivery guys.  I don't tip taxis unless they give me extra service like helping to unload my groceries.


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#11 cvchief

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 07:40 AM

I am surprised if you have a GSM sim card slot, you can't convert your phone.  I have been using a Blackberry for a while and now have a Iphone 4S I am going to use.  You have to make sure the GSM sim card slot is unlocked.  In fact I found out that Sprint will ONLY unlock the SIM slot for out of country carriers, not US carriers on Iphones.  Odd.  You can always buy one of the 300 peso packages with a SIM card in a cheap phone and then experiment with moving the SIM into your other phone.  I wasn't a big texter back when everyone had ten number keypads and I still hate it.  Had to get a keyboard on the phone.  Also it is VERY easy to charge your telcel online with a mi telcel account and a credit card.   Makes it easy to keep mine active between trips.


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#12 mstevens

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 11:38 AM

mitelcel.com for the win. Definitely makes life easier. There's also a Telcel app for phones that's pretty useful.

 

Who originally sold the Galaxy S4? The SIM slots on most phones can be unlocked, even if it's through a 3rd party. There are places on the island that can probably do this for you.


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#13 BettyfromToronto

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 10:26 PM

Thanks everyone for the advice.

 

Mike:  The phone is unlocked...it is the international version of the phone unlocked by the manufacturer not a 3rd party.  I think it is a block by Telcel itself as they are offering me a brand new S4 with a 2 year plan.  Plus the SIM card they wanted to sell us wouldn't work but the salesman's SIM card from his personal phone did work.  LOL

 

Betty


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#14 Charles

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 01:33 AM

Betty, did you go to the Telcel location downtown, on calle 2 across from the taxi union base (close to Scotia Bank)? The technicians there have the most knowledge and experience, talk to someone from the back, not a sales person out front.


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#15 Carey

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:14 AM

Yes, go into this office and ask to see one of the "technicos".  I'll bet you anything they can fix you up there.

 

You will have to prepare yourself with some phrases in Spanish ahead of time.  This is how I've learned Spanish mostly, by the way.  If you live here, you quickly and daily will find yourself in situations where you desperate need to understand or be understood but no can do.  So I've always looked up the likely phrases I'm going to need for a given situation and then I'm more or less good to go.  Translate.google.com is impressive.  They almost always get it right.

 

I would also like to highly recommend an online program called language101.com.  You do your own online drills, it keeps track of where you are in the lesson, lets you grade yourself on each response you give and then refines the drill based on your personal report card.  They also teach you very useful phrases.  AND you can hear everything said aloud either at normal speed or very slowly.

 

It really works and is well worth the money if you live in a Spanish speaking country.  As you now do.


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#16 cvchief

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:53 AM

Sounds like someone selling you a bill of goods to me.  Should not be any problem getting a GSM sim in an unlocked GSM sim card slot.  That is the whole point of it.


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#17 Charles

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 03:49 PM

It sounds like someone who didn't know what they were doing. Regarding Spanish, try using as few words as necessary. At a bus station with many lined up, a questioning expression and intonation and the word ?Playa? (confused look and always with a smile) Don't try to struggle through a "where is the bus that is traveling to Playa"? Simplicity is often the key. After many trips to Chiapas, my Spanish was sufficient to tell the innkeeper "The tinaco is empty, please turn on the cistern pump and fill the tank". She replied, "no hay agua"? Yes, no water. Don't make things more complicated than need be.


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#18 Carey

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:24 PM

 I would add to Charles comments on using Spanish early on -- try to phrase everything so that you can get a yes or no answer.

 

Is this the correct document?  Not what document do I need?

I can buy a ticket here?  Not where can I buy a ticket.

 

When you are giving pricing and don't understand the numbers, it is handy to have a pad and pencil handy and know the phrase escribelo, por favor.  (es CREE-bah-low) Meaning could you write it down.

 

In the Ched or Meg if you are not sure what ham or cheese you want, point to the item and say puedo ver.  PWAY dough bear.  (Can I see) and then point to your mouth.

 

If you want to know if someone is around -- in person or on the phone -- esta Jorge?  es-TAH-- is all you need to say.  Then, if you want to narrow down when Jorge is likely to be esta, phrase as a series of questions.  Not -- When will Jorge be here?  But a las 10?  No.   A las 11?  No.  A la 1.  Si?


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#19 cvchief

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:30 PM

And as my Brother in Law learned the hard way, even if you generally get the message across, the deli at Mega still sells in kilos, not pounds.  Man, I thought we would NEVER eat all that ham..... :P


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#20 DanB

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:27 AM

And as my Brother in Law learned the hard way, even if you generally get the message across, the deli at Mega still sells in kilos, not pounds.  Man, I thought we would NEVER eat all that ham..... :P

Early on in our visits to Cozumel my wife sent me to the store to get 1/2 lb of ground pork and 1/2 pound of ground beef.  I went to San Fran on Juarez and 30 (where no one speaks english).  I pointed at what I thought was ground beef and made a "moo" sound.  The butcher laughed and said "si".  He asked me "quanto" and not knowing the exchange I said 1 kilo.  Then I pointed at what I thought was ground pork and made an "oink" sound.  Got another kilo of that.  The result was 5 times as many meatballs as we planned on.  This is the last night of our stay when we have our dive masters and their staff over for dinner.  We sent them home with several gallon ziplock bags of meatballs in adobo sauce.  They still laugh about this and tell us they eat meatballs for breakfast, lunch , and dinner for several days after.


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