bite the wax tadpole

It’s dark in the car, but I don’t want to turn on a light. I don’t want to be seen. I’m hunched over in the passenger seat, trying to be as still as possible while going 120km/h – I have to be careful, or I’ll spill. Precision is the name of the game, and while my tiny elf fingers aren’t exactly known for their grace and nimblility, I steady the plate as best I can in one hand while gently working the baggie open with the other. Carefully, carefully I pour the contents out onto the flat surface and it lazily twinkles back at me; shimmering softly under the streetlights and calling to me with a knowing wink. I feel momentarily guilty, but I shake it off – my need is greater than any regrets, and I’m not hurting anyone. It’s a free country, they say. Don’t ask, don’t tell.

I hold my breath for the next step. A deep breath could send everything flying, and that would be very, very bad. I bite my lip in anticipation as I line everything up in neat rows; not exhaling until I see stars and my heart is pounding. Do I need oxygen, or the rush? I can’t tell.

Last step. One final check. Everything is ready. There’s no turning back, even if I wanted to .. which I don’t. I’ll never want to turn back.

I pick up the tray and push it home with a satisfying click. My phone comes back to life; illuminating my face in the dark of the car. I drum my fingers impatiently on my thigh as I wait for it to kick in – there. A signal. Weak at first, but grows stronger as the triumph courses through my veins. Once again, I’ve successfully changed the nano SIM for my iPhone 5, switching from my Canadian carrier to an American one and vice versa. I was without data for less than 10 minutes in total, but it felt like a million years of isolation and despair. Now that I’m connected, the world is a better place. Shinier, more friendly. Things taste better. People are more attractive. And if they’re not, I can google up some people who are. I feel like myself again, but I know that it’s temporary – all too soon, I’ll have to do everything over again; a shameful secret that keeps me hidden in the shadows until the new carrier kicks in. Don’t look at me until I have the world at my fingertips. And for god’s sake, don’t fucking sneeze.

common cents

So. The internet. You may not have noticed this, but I use the internet a lot. I am connected 24/7, and use the internet like an extension of my arm (an extension that just happens to have a great deal of porn). My internet use extends to meatspace as well: when I’m not in front of a computer, I use my phone to access any kind of information imaginable. I am one of THOSE people, and I make no apology for it: it’s just what I do.

My internetting does not stop when I travel. For this reason, I long ago signed up for Roger’s US Data Roaming Add On: for an extra $10 a month, I am charged $1 for every MB I use instead of the standard $3/MB. This sucks, but welcome to Canada where you pay more for connectivity (an intangible necessity) than you do food (seriously, I pay $215 per month for connectivity at home and on my phone, and it was an additional $100 until Ed’s phone was paid for by his work).

Recently, Rogers has updated their US Roaming Data plans. They’ve discontinued the $10/month add on, and instead will charge you $7.99 for up to 50MB of data per day the instant you use your first roaming KB. If you go over 50MB, they’ll charge you another $7.99. Many people are upset by this as they are Amish and only want to check email once a day but will have to pay $7.99 regardless if they use 1MB or 50MB, but it’s handy for those of us who aren’t 85 and refer to video games as “the Nintendos”. It’d be perfect for someone like me, because while I very well may use more than 50MB a day, it’d be unusual to go over 100 (and if I did, okay – if it happened regularly and/or I knew I was travelling to the US just to use the internet all day long, I’d make other data arrangements). $16 for a weekend of data use is reasonable (by Canadian standards).

SO. This past weekend, I was in Seattle for two days. During that time, I used 70MB of data, which should cost me $16 per the new rules. At most, it should cost $24 (assuming I used over 50MB on Day 1, and the remainder on Day 2). I can live with this.

Naturally, it’s not that easy. You see, I still pay the $10/month for a non-existent plan. Because I pay that $10/m (and have been doing so for the last 3+ years), I will be charged $1/MB .. to the tune of $70. All because I already pay more for my phone than most people. And because I was never informed that this new $7.99/MB/Day plan existed at all until I did some research on my own.

I am not happy about this. I reached out to Rogers on Twitter, and they confirmed that I’ll be charged the $70 for two days of internet use because of my existing non-existent plan. This really sucks, and is one of those things that will drive me to get a US SIM Card so I can be more in charge of my data use, as well as research alternative options so I can cancel my Rogers contract when it’s up next year. A little understanding in this situation would go a long way (and I’ll overlook the fact I’ve been paying a largely unnecessary $10/m for years), but if they’re going to stick their feet in the mud and abide by the rules instead of common sense .. well, then I’ll know where I stand as a customer.

Why don’t I live in Europe, again?