It’s taken me a while to get back to the posts that I wanted to follow up on, but I will now start at the beginning and work my way forward. Last week I got a kind letter in the mail saying that I had to go to the central post office to pick up a package that had arrived from my parents. From dealing with the US post office, I did not expect this to be a walk in the park, but after googling directions I thought it might take 2-3 hours of my time, including the travel time.
Boy, was I wrong. Not only were google directions wrong, I was told to go the airport and that I would find the post office and aduanas (customs office) right across the street. They are technically close; however, I had to get on a bus and travel a little over a mile to get closer to the post office a fact that took me over 45 min to figure out since apparently this is general knowledge that no one wanted to share. That or I was asking the wrong questions.
As I approached the Correos (post office) building I saw two huge yellow signs pretty far apart from one another. My bus driver told me that what I wanted was on the right and so I followed the street up a hill and entered the building. Here I waited in line and handed over my letter from the post office. The little currier ran to the back to what I assumed was pick up my package. Instead he came back with the slip of paper where my father declared what was in the box. From here I had to go to the customs office in the building next to the other Correos and start to actually declare what was in my box. I followed the people in front of me in line and we all got into another line where they decided how much each of us owed for our contents. Then we had to go upstairs to bank where we paid for our incurred fees, then walked back down to the customs office where they stamped our papers declaring that we paid. After all of this we walked back to our original Correos where we had to wait in line and then pay the post office for holding onto our package for us. Dizzy? Confused? So was I. It was only after all this craziness that we got our packages and could start our journeys home. After over four hours I finally arrived home and could inspect the contents of my gift from home.
I will not claim that things are perfect or streamlined in the states, but I must say this was a lot of running around like a chicken with my head cut off for a simple package. It’s times like this when you just wonder who came up with such an efficient system and you want to give them a sincere pat on the shoulder.
The best part of the story though is that now I have my favorite winter coat from home and all kinds of other goodies from my parents. Thank you!!!