Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thank you for not snooping

Yesterday when I went down to the mailbox (we have mailboxes for each apartment, they are small and unlocked inside the front hall of our building) I saw a package jutting out of our box. It looked seriously maimed, as if a vicious attack dog had gotten hold of it and ripped it apart with the force of fangs and saliva. I knew my parents were sending me a couple of books, and I knew this had to be the package, and my first thought was "did Customs do this?"

I knew the answer was no, because usually Customs at least makes an attempt to reaffix the package in some manner. When I got to the package, only one book was inside (there should have been two). I panicked a bit, because the book I was missing was the one I really needed. I looked on the floor, no book. Finally, I found it on top of the mailboxes. Phew.

I figure one of two things happened - either a nosey neighbor (and boy, do we have a few of those!) decided to forsake all pretense of common human decency in the ongoing investigation of the business of their neighbors OR the postman, in great frustration at delivering us packages all the livelong day, ripped it in two so the damn thing would fit in our small box. I'm going with the latter, because surely if it had been an irresponsible neighbor, the second book, or rather the whole package, would have ended up on the floor, like scores of other mail they sort through and have no use for. Either way, it disturbs me a bit, because if there had been a letter or some other paper in the package it would have gotten ripped, not to mention, it was open for all the world to see.

Not that I have anything to hide, mind you, and if it pleases someone to find out that my parents sent me Shakespeare then by god, enjoy your jollies. But from here on out, leave my shit alone, unless you want me to stand in the downstairs hallway in front of the elevator shaft and listen to me recite from Henry V all day. Because I will do it, and the whole building will hear it, and by god, they will like it.


Tracie B. said...

at least your packages arrive! my mom sent me a pair of of really cute crop pants that i bought when i was at home in december. i forgot them in texas, she sent them to me in may, and they are being happily worn by some theiving italian postal worker somewhere in napoli...

Leanne said...

Heh. I'm glad you got your books- whatever the condition of the package.

At least once a week I have a jolt when I wonder if I've gotten the mail and then I remember, we don't get mail!

Life in a third world country, where people are concerned with just staying alive from day to day precludes mail service of any but the most basic kind. Once my sister sent a box to the Post Office in central Accra. Let me sum up the experience with the words...never again.

We can get some stuff in the company "pouch" but it's not sent in anything resembling a timely fashion, and they restrict use to flat mail, so it isn't terribly useful.

It's kind of depressing to think that the USPS is the pinnacle of mail service, isn't it? Yeesh.

Anonymous said...

zardoz says :

MEL ithink a posting in your buildings doorway is in order,
let em have ,,girl ,, just in case ,,theres a repeat. =z=

Anonymous said...

Maybe a P.O. Box would solve the problem. ELTA charges a reasonable fee for those.

melusina said...

Tracie B., every once in awhile we don't get something, but we've gotten all our packages, thank goodness. We just missed a couple of birthday cards that were probably addressed incorrectly by elderly aunts.

Leanne, I would miss mail. Mail is fun. Except when you don't get any. But yea, I think mail is probably the least important issue in Ghana.

Zardoz, I actually thought about making a sign of some kind. But we'll see if it happens again.

Anon, yea, we've thought about the PO box thing, but not sure we can get one in a reasonable proximity of our apartment, which would be a pain.

PeacefulBlueIris said...

Hi Melusina! I realize this is a post several years old, but I hope you receive notice of message. I recently mailed a package via USPS that contained some homemade music cds that I made for a friend who lives in Katerini. Mailed from Orlando, FL to Katerini. Dummy me didn't insure the package (because it just contained homemade cds, right?) nor did I opt for a delivery confirmation because I didn't want to pay extra. Now I'm worried that my friend may never receive the package. The USPS said it would take 6-10 days to be delivered. Sadly, my friend and I are now incommunicado. Am crestfallen about that. :( Anyway, I may never learn if he received the package. Can you offer any words of assurance that packages do indeed make it via USPS-Hellenic Mail without getting lost, stolen, or held up in Customs limbo? It is important to me that my friend receive his package. Sigh.

P.S. Just a little closing FYI. Having stumbled upon your blog and spending the better part of today reading all of your entries has inspired me to begin my own. I'm a complete noob. Hopefully someone will follow me. :)

melusina said...

Hi PeacefulBlueIris -

Sorry it has taken me so long, I just got back from a 3 and a half week holiday. Packages do make it here all the time - in fact I don't think any have been lost since I've lived in Greece (and I get lots of packages from family).

No posts on your blog yet? It is time to get writing. =)