Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Slow Packages and Sandy Food
On April 18, I mailed a package to a friend in the United States. I sent it airmail and figured it ought to get there in a week or two.
The package didn't contain anything valuable -- just a couple of t-shirts -- so I didn't insure it and I didn't ask for a tracking number. I just sent it on its merry way, trusting that it would reach its destination. We're talking about Royal Mail and the US Postal Service, after all: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
Well, a week passed, and then two, with no word from my friend. I began to get concerned and eventually I asked her about it, thus revealing that a package (meant to be a surprise) was on the way. Then we were both waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
After about a month, I gave up. I thought surely the package had been stolen or plundered or abandoned in a cast-off mail bag by some errant postal worker. I was upset about losing the shirts, which were meant as a gift, but I treated it as a lesson learned: Next time, get tracking!
Which doesn't answer the burning question: Where has it been all this time?
I know post offices are struggling these days, but holy cow. Even when I lived in rural Morocco more than 20 years ago, it only took a couple of weeks to send something home!
And on that note, allow me to not-so-smoothly segue into another customer service complaint.
Last night, Dave and I ordered takeaway from our regular Chinese restaurant. I got "Monk's Vegetables," my old standby, a veggie-and-tofu combo with bok choy, carrots, baby corn and rice. I get this every time we order Chinese. (As we have established, I'm a creature of routine.)
Well, when my vegetables arrived, it was apparent that the monk had been to the beach. They were full of sand. Someone obviously hadn't washed the bok choy before cooking it. It was ridiculous. I tried to eat around it, sticking to the rice and the tofu, but all through dinner I was reminded of that day in second-grade P.E. when we played "Red Rover" (surely one of the most violent childhood games ever invented) and I wound up with a mouthful of dirt.
Oh well. There were no apparent ill-health effects, and at least I got my minerals for the day.
(Photos: Olga and I found this original painting in a trash bin on our morning walk yesterday. I did not rescue it -- too big.)