Thursday, October 26, 2006

Paying Bills

We are still in the process of learning how and where we pay bills here. Let me go through all the bills we have:

Phone Bill - We get an actual bill in the mail and then I can go to the phone company which is at the end of our road or I can pay this at most post offices. This one has become easy since I just carry the bill with me and run in a post office when I have a minute. This is what I imagine most Romanians do also, since the bill does not come with the return envelope enclosed, as it is in the states.

Cable - This bill comes about 1-2 days before it is due. We thought this required a long trip to the company which is several bus stops away and then a long walk. We discovered, however, that they have a satellite office in the Cora (like Walmart). So when this bill comes, Maria and I get to go eat lunch at KFC...I mean go to Cora and pay it!

Electric - The lady actually hand delivers our bill in the evening and we can choose to pay her on the spot. If we aren't home, she leaves it in our mailslot and we then have to walk to the electric company. Not too far or, once again, pay it at the post office.

Hot Water and Heat - Our next door neighbor reads the meters and takes up the money at various times downstairs in the lobby. We still don't understand when these times are scheduled. Tonight, as we came in from language lessons, they were downstairs. So we quickly came up, got extra cash, and the camera and headed downstairs. The picture is of her "office" downstairs and our receipt - stamped of course!

She mentioned that since Romania will be joining the EU in January that all the heating costs had gone up. We paid around $70 USD for the month of hot water and heat. This is higher than last year but not outrageous. Many of the people here are not very excited about what the EU will mean for their day-to-day lives.