Cheap Calls & Expensive Doctors

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We've just finished two weeks of school holidays, in fact our last holiday before Christmas when I imagine that things will be pretty full-on as we prepare to depart for the year.

We have spent most of this break getting things done, from painting and repairing sftuff around the house, to rearranging our finances, to having our medicals done. We went into the city a couple of days ago to undergo the medical required by the Canadian government before they will issue us with our visas. We had to have blood tests (for HIV and Syphillus, eww!) as well as a chest X-ray and an general physical examination. Not cheap either, at $225 each! We also bought some luggage for the trip while we were in town.

After many phone calls to our bank (St George) it became clear that they were going to be hopelessly inadequate for our overseas banking needs, with fees for just about everything. After a few calls to other options we decided to shift our banking to the Teachers Credit Union - they seem more interested in giving service and services to their customers than the other banks, and best of all they don't charge fees! Not for foreign currency transactions, not for visa transactions. No fees. We were so impressed that we actually refinanced our home loan as well, and found our interest rate dropped from 7.1% to 5.9%! Why didn't we do this sooner!

We also found out about the phone card rates for calling Canada and I bought one to try... I can call Canada for 0.5 cents/minute, although there is a flagfall of .99 cents. After doing a bit more research I found a card that will let us do calls at 1.5 cents, flatrate, no flagfall, 24 hours a day. Not bad!

Anyway, enough for now. Jeez, this blog is quite full and we haven't even left the country yet!

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