Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Afternoon at the Post Office

If you're in Buenos Aires for any length of time, you might have to pick up a package at the international post office. You'll hand over your claim form and your passport and pay the post office's fee for housing your package, then be sent to wait in a big room for your particular six-digit number to be called, in Spanish, of course, over a loudspeaker that is not unlike the PA system in most NYC-subway cars. In other words, unintelligible.

And when you do find yourself in this particular predicament, here's a tip: Wait for a few rounds of numbers to be called, then go to the counter and explain in your bestest Spanish that you couldn't understand the numbers (note: this will not be a lie). The very nice post office employee will probably ask you where you're from, tell you that you speak Spanish well, and say something else that you might not understand. Then he'll call specially for your package.

As you walk out of the post office, package in hand, you'll be filled with pride that you have accomplished this daunting task, and you might feel a bit like a kid on Christmas morning. You may even be tempted to open that package while you're walking to the bus stop. (It's OK. I did.) If you're lucky, it will contain some food item or other that's hard to find here in Argentina. (Last year I retrieved from the post office more chocolate chips than should ever be in my possession at the same time.)

And if you're really, super lucky, that package will be full of surprises that will make you smile for the rest of the day.

Thanks, Mersal!

No comments: