Monday, January 21, 2013

You've Got Mail!

You've got mail!!

But you can't just go to the post office and pick it up. No, you must first call immediately after receiving the notice on your doorstep (or church office/apartment complex). After calling, you will be given an email, which you might or might not understand, depending on how well you know the language. You will be expected to send a copy of your passport to this unidentifiable email, with little assurance that it will actually reach the attendant at the post office. After having the email return to you twice, and calling the post office again and again to confirm the email (turns out you had spelled the strange word incorrectly!), you will wait impatiently for two days until finally you receive a response, asking for the package code.

Following this message, the post office will confirm that you are indeed the recipient of the package (as if you didn't know already!), and an official will call you with yet another number that you must use to retrieve the package, within a certain limit of days. From there on out, you must wait the 48 hour processing period in order to go to the post office and pick up the package. Thankfully, they called on a Saturday, and you are going to Quito the following Monday. On this day, you go to the post office, submit the code and the ridiculous customs fee, and after waiting only 15 minutes, finally have the package in your hands. Hallelujah!

This is something like my experience trying to receive a Christmas package from my family. It took three weeks to process, and on the 14th of January, I at last have the box. Por fin! It's a bit frustrating. Well, more than a bit. But I'm learning to have patience, despite the inefficiency of public offices, and especially the postal system, here! And thank you to all my family who sent me lovely gifts for Christmas! Just next time, send something less than 4 kilograms. Por favor. :)

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