Sunday, July 23, 2006

Internet & Cell Phones

So another couple differences between here and the States. Internet usage is billed based on speed and mb usage. For example, we are set up with a DSL line with 3.5mbps in download speed and 512kbps in upload speed and 10 gigs of total data allowance. No set monthly fee for everything. We have a pretty advanced plan since Angela is doing some consulting work for SOS and she needs the 512kbps upload capability. After a few months we’ll drop $20/ mo and cut the 512kbps to 128kbps. I believe internet is quicker and less expensive on the north island although I’m not sure. I do know, when we were in Auckland we got internet for $1 (that’s NZ $ - translates to 60 cents US) for 30 minutes. In Nelson it is $4 per 30 minutes. The other main difference is that in Auckland the “Internet café” we went to was in the basement of a run down building and is filled with gamers or people doing sex chat via IM (we sat down at one machine that had 4 chat windows open). Guess that is ok considering prostitution is legal here (big story the other night focused on the ethics behind a cop also being a prostitute as a second job). Sorry off track a bit. So the internet place in Nelson actually serves coffee and is run by a serial killer (Angela’s words) that probably lives in his mom’s basement (she does work there and nags him constantly). I know the coffee was good and is only $2 if you are online.

Ahhh, “Riding Rirty” just came on the Edge’s top 20 – nice little R&B tune actually called Ridin (Feat Krazie Bone) by Chamillionaire. I just googled this and it here is the definition: ‘Riding dirty means getting caught by the police with contraband, or in urban slang, gettin caught by da po po, wid some of dat dro dro).’ Thank me later for this little bit of extra knowledge – it’s more than just NZ talk on this blog.

Anyway, now that we are on to the 3rd Nelly Furtado song I’ll briefly discuss cell phone (they’re called mobiles here – how funny is that?). Basically they are really expensive to own – main reason we decided against it instantly. First to purchase a phone will set you back $100 minimum. The Razor here is called the Blade and runs you around $700 – crazy but I do think the Blade sounds better, more sinister. Plans have flat rates like in the states but it gets you a lot fewer minutes. Vodaphone example, $30 for 200 night and weekend minutes and this also gets you $.99/ minute during the day. Yikes. You can also add 150 text messages for $25 – we had 400 for $3.99 in Colorado. That said, I think everyone here owns one. As we’ve been setting stuff up here we are constantly asked for our mobile # and when we tell them we don’t have one they say to just call them when we get one – oh, ok.

Coming in future blogs…The Money Man, Heating, Power, Desserts, Neighbors, and Interest Rates.

Just post a comment if you have requests.


At Mon Jul 24, 06:42:00 am NZST, Blogger Steve & Nancy in NZ said...

Another thing to beware of re: "mobiles": the phone you call ALSO gets a per minute charge for the call. We found this out the hard way when, one day, I called our home phone from the cell about 6 times, trying to catch Steve, and later found about $10 in charges on our monthly bill. Yes, the phones are expensive, and we only used ours for the first month, until we got settled. Every teen you see has a mobile in their hand, texting like there's no tomorrow. On one of my walks, I saw 3 young ladies walking toward me, all looking down at their phones and texting while walking. I wished I had a camera - it was classic. I don't know how these young kids afford the phones - most of them also smoke at $12 a pack. We're baffled. One thing I love here is you can go out in public and every 2nd person isn't verbally polluting the air by talking on their phone. It just costs too damn much!

At Mon Jul 24, 07:27:00 pm NZST, Blogger DNA said...

I see that all the time (people walking together but using their cell phones). The TXT is cool here - you can use it to pay for parking meters and other stuff (need to research this a bit more).


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