Hoops to a Cell Contract…

dog-and-hoop1Smart old me. Before I left the US, I verified that my old iPhone 5 could not be used in Europe, so I left the phone for the grandkids. Proceeded to buy a new unlocked iPhone 6, thinking the minute I was over the French border, I’d get a French cell number and that would be that.


My research showed that Orange has the best coverage in France, so off we went to the store in old town Bergerac. Hot day. No air-con. A line almost out the door. Chaos at best. And so we milled around and finally figured out that there was a girl with an iPad “taking names.” We communicated with her that we wanted a cell contract for my iPhone and then we waited. An hour and a half later, we finally got to the only English speaking sales person and he informed us that we needed proof of living in France before they could issue a contract. They wanted a utility bill. We’re renting with utilities included, so he said they would accept our rental agreement. So home we went.

In a few days, we ventured out again with our rental contract and passports in hand. At least we had some good lunches in Bergerac along the way. Second trip, we had an “appointment” so only had to wait about 20 minutes to see our guy. Sat down, figured out the plan we wanted, filled in all the screens for the contract, then gave him our credit card with the IBAN number. Too many numbers. What is this? Holy crap. Ah, it’s a card from our German bank. Oh no, you have to have a card from a French bank. Shit. So home we went.

Asked around about opening a bank account and our English-speaking realtor took us over to her bank and made an appointment to see an English-speaking gal there the next week. And so we showed up yesterday and applied for our French bank account. Went back this morning with some missing paperwork and got our account nailed down. Whew! Then off to Bergerac one more time (this time with a side trip through the medieval town of Issigeac for lunch).


IMG_0018I digress.

Got parked one more time, traipsed down to the Orange store, and again stood in line for an interminable half hour or so. Our apologetic sales guy seemed happy to see us. Go figure! We filled out all the questions on the screen again, he scanned all our documents, got a new SIMM card, and ‘Voila,’ I had a working cell phone again.

A month and a half without a phone didn’t kill me, but I’m happy to now be armed with my French translator! We have free calls to all of Europe and the US for less than half I was paying to Verizon! At least there’s some good news in this long tale.

P.S. If you want to talk, just email or message me and I can call you from here. Just remember that we’re 9 hours ahead of PST.

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2 Responses to Hoops to a Cell Contract…

  1. Anne Sherwood says:

    Miss you guys so-o-o much…can’t tell you how just seen you come and go with your sweet pooches brightened my day! Lori and Dave are settling in well and enjoying being at the beach and getting “your” home just the way they want it…as it should be.

    So sorry getting your phone set up was such a bureaucratic hassle, but I guess we probably put “foreigners” through some of the same hoops here.

    I’m curious about your house-hunting, and just want to make sure that you don’t get a lovely French manse and then freeze to death. The lack of closets and so on will be a bit challenging too, n’est-ce pas? I saw a big wardrobe in one of the bedroom photos which reminded me that closets weren’t invented then…

    Ray and I went to a Giants’ game the other day and rode the Cal Train from SJ to SF and back… The Ball Park is really beautiful, and I loved people watching as much as the game. There are some real characters who love baseball!

    We are also enjoying some special weather and watching a BBC special on KQED for three nights on all the marine life in Monterey Bay, particularly this year when the water is so warm. Wonderful photos of the huge humpback whales…

    Tell us a bit about the meals you’re enjoying. There is nothing like French food and French cheeses!

    Love and hugs,

    • thecindy@mail.com says:

      And your Comments brighten our day!

      Indeed, one the biggest challenges in our house hunt is actually finding a house SMALL enough for us. We want high ceilings, but not TOO high. We want large rooms, but not TOO large. We want land, but not TOO much to take care of. We know we’re going to have lots of visitors, so we want some extra bedrooms, but not TOO many bedrooms! And it’s a challenge. We’re also looking for something on one level, so that we can age in place, and that is super tricky in a stone-built character house! No closets? No problem. Gorgeous armoires are a dime a dozen here, so the hunt will be SO much fun for me!!!

      Baseball is not the sport for me, so my favorite activity at the Park is also people watching and those garlic fries…

      I hope to get that KQED special recorded when it replays. It looks amazing. The weather here is starting to feel a bit like fall, cool in the mornings, but heating up and sunny during the day. Still able to eat dinner outside, which we LOVE!!!

      We are working our way down the cheese counter. I’ve started photographing the labels (just like we do with the wines), so we can make notes on the character of each one. And know which ones to repeat!!!

      So good to hear from you, Anne. Please keep up the correspondence. It eases our transition like you wouldn’t believe!

      Hugs back at ya!

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