Two weeks doesn’t seem so bad

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I thought  it would be interesting to let you know what China Post is like. It’s not great but it seems to be getting better. We have service every day and there is no junk mail. For those 2 reasons alone it’s better than the US.

I have received 2 packages and had to go to the post office to pick them up. Of course I was required to prove who I was with my passport. Surprisingly enough, it’s the first time I showed my passport and the recipient did NOT take a photocopy of it! I was also told to open the boxes before we left to ensure that nothing was broken. Not sure what that scene would have been like if something was but I had my translator with me. 🙂

I have only mailed one letter. I was going to go into the post office by myself but Ben thought he should help. I told the clerk it was going to America and he gave me a few stamps and pointed to the communal desk behind us. What? No computer generated stamp? No scanner? I have to do something with the stamps that requires me to step away from the window? Why I had to walk to the desk to apply the stamp to the envelope when no one was waiting behind me (what I really mean to say is that no one was pushing and prodding me from behind) was beyond me. But what do I know? Evidently not as much as I’d like to believe. I went to lick the stamp and Ben pulled my hand away (this is why it was good that he was with me ;-)) Evidently licking and self-sticking technology haven’t made it to China either. He pointed to a glue tin and I swear it was a frozen OJ can with the a 100 year-old brush in it.  So this is why I couldn’t take care of business at the window. The glue was…well…very glue-y looking. I smelled it – I actually picked up the OJ can, held it to my nose, and whiffed. It was nasty smelling and  I can’t help but wonder what it was made from. Kiersten cover your ears but I think it was horse glue. It wouldn’t surprise me.  Ben laughed at me – he must think I’m insane sometimes. So, I glued my stamp on and handed it back to the window clerk.  It cost about $1.20 to mail and off  it went. I really didn’t think it would ever make it but it did and it only took a week. I was shocked. I guess they’re more than happy to dispense with the stuff they don’t need to concern themselves with. Can you imagine how much mail they have to deal with in a country with a population of more than a billion?!?!? Not delivering junk mail is a good start.

The problem seems to be receiving mail from the US. 

Mailed from US Dec. 12, arrived in China March 10!!! Mailed from US Jan. 6, arrived in China Feb. 26. Mailed from US March 2 and arrived in China March 19. The addresses were exactly the same and written correctly. The only difference was that the Christmas card that took 3 months had a computer generated mailing label on it and the other letters were written in my dad’s very bad, left-handed writing. I guess maybe his chicken scratch looks more like Chinese characters and therefore they were able to read it. 😉  Go figure. The good thing is that for whatever reason mail is arriving faster. I don’t know if it’s because they know our name now at the local PO or what but I’m not complaining. Two weeks from halfway around the world seems reasonable.

Confession time – I did not do spell check or make corrections. I am having internet connection issues again ( I really hope it’s not my VPN) so it’s going out as is.

12PM – 78

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About vikarenously

I am an ex-pat living in Guangzhou, China. I am married to the man of my dreams who has indulged my love of travel by working hard enough to snag two international assignments. Oh yes, I also have two amazing children who accompanied us on our first one to Switzerland and are now mature and responsible adults which makes it so easy for us to experience this adventure as empty-nesters. Experience it vicariously with Karen.

2 responses »

  1. Muir’s mail is consistently 10 to 14 days from here with a computer label. The only other hint is making sure there is an airmail sticker on the envelope especially if it is a card. I have had the same issue where without the sticker it gets sent sea mail! (doesn’t seem to matter what the postage is!) Mail only works in one direction here! Thank goodness for email and Skype 🙂

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