A-Z Blogging Challenge - V is for Verizon

On this trip I was determined not to let roaming costs kill me and not activating the roaming feature limit me in my activities. 

The incident at ground transportation confirmed the necessity to have a local phone. 

Also I wasn't gonna depend on businesses that offer unsecured wifi in order for me to get online. 

I wanted a phone, and I wanted some coverage that didn't require having a social security number. 

Yes, years ago, when I was living in San Diego for a while, I had tried to buy a phone, but it turned out to be complicated, not being a resident and all.

Before I left, I asked around, and several people confirmed that purchasing a burner phone was in fact easy these days.

They were right!

On my way from L.A. to San Diego I stopped in Oceanside. Dr. Nightmare told me how to get to here. Due to being very confused about time zones and all, I was there before they even opened, so I waited at the empty parking lot.

Less than half an hour later I was the proud owner of a phone number starting with (760), and I happily started to text my friends whom I was going to meet during my trip.

When you have 1GB at your disposal, you feel like the king of the world, and you become irresponsible. 

As soon as I was back in my car, I downloaded a few apps that I was going to need. Facebook, FB Messenger, Swarm, the basics, you know. 

Until I went back home, I never entirely got used to this phone.

In particular I didn't find out how to answer when it was ringing!! So I always had to call back. Yeah, well. I had 1GB to spend within 30 days, I wasn't gonna use it up anyway.

Or so I thought. 

Add the fact that whenever I was waiting for my food and the like, I spent quite some time on Facebook with all the cute puppy movies and tasty time lapse recipes, and I tried to keep up with "words with friends" - all of this contributed to the message I got on my 5th day of a 10 day trip:


It got worse. One morning I woke up to find a notification on my Swiss phone: 

1 missed call, 1 new voice mail message. 

The thing is, I can't access my voice mail from abroad. It was an unknown Swiss cell phone number, and usually I wouldn't waste any thoughts about it, but what if it was a family where Colin was for a playdate? I sent a text saying "I'm abroad, can't access voice mail, please text." 


Back home I listened to the "message": some guy was in a drug store asking for gauze and other stuff, it all sounded very muffled. He probably had his phone in his back pocket and for some reason dialled my number. 

Now, my phone provider sent me the invoice (CHF is pretty much equivalent to USD):

"National" is what I spent in Switzerland that went above my regular plan. 
"Im Ausland abgehend" is my call from the airport to the hotel, asking about the shuttle.
"Im Ausland ankommend" is the unknown number incident

Can't win.