“How could I be so wrong”

Well trying to get through the list of things to do before we leave the US and one of them is to post some Elvis memorabilia to a friend in London. Some cool stuff actually, who would not be glad of a nail file with a picture of Elvis in the gold lame suit or for that matter a white teddy bear with a fake pink leather jacket and many items of a similar style and exquisite taste. (Sorry Bev if you read this before they arrive but prepare to be thrilled). 

You know the drill off to the post office. Regular readers will know this is not my first time so I am prepared. I have already picked up the standard box and packed it and got the customs declaration form filled out. In fact the same process I used the other week to send something to Canada.

In the queue 4 in front 2 counter clerks not a problem. My turn comes I confidently stride to the counter. Wrong customs form I am told, Mmmmm it is the same one I used last time maybe Canada is a different sort of “International” destination. Ok don’t argue just take the form offered (which is not available in front of the counter) and off to fill it in. “Don’t wait in queue come straight back” is the instruction which gets me some interesting looks from the now 10 deep line behind me.

Fill out the form noting exactly the same information as on the first one To and From, value of goods, type of goods, no toxic or dangerous items. (Elvis’s hips had been declared dangerous to morals at some point but let’s leave that one out). All done and given I am in no rush I quietly slip to the back of the queue. Eagle eye spots me and tells me to “you no wait you come now” (interesting accent I note). Ok back at the counter where she checks the form and proceeds to weight the box and then says “wrong box”. Now I know this is the same box I used for Canada but she insists “this box only for first class” which is $48 rather than using another box ??? (which to me looks exactly like this one) but will only cost me $33. I sort of want to say who cares about $15 but know that I should care so now with my original box my new box, tape and bubble wrap I go to destroy a perfectly good package to put the stuff into an identical package. 

Slip back into the queue and now both counter clerks insist that I jump to the front. Neither are free but make me stand at the head of the line which is mercifully only 6 long now. So back to the counter but the “other” little helper this time. Tries to charge me $48 which of course I know is wrong and I suggest maybe $33 would be more suitable. Get one of those “we have a smartass” looks but I stand firm. I have been at this now for 20 minutes and already mentally spend some of the $15 on a can opener as ours is somewhere over the Atlantic in the airfreight, 5 cheese graters and only one can opener we need to balance out lives better I think. Good job I managed to rescue one of the bottle openers otherwise I would be in serious trouble. Anyway we agree on $33 but she has no change so now the queue which is getting restless needs to pitch in as I go hunting for change for one of the 2 $20 bills I have.

Interesting that all the males just pull folded bills out of their pockets and the females open up their bags to see if they actually have a purse. On a side note why do females always seem surprised at checkouts and are never ready “oh you want money, I have to pay? for this” that’s a surprise. Then spend a few minutes finding a purse and then finding a card or the cash. Maybe it’s me I just assume if I am near a cash register I had better have some way of paying available.

A kind gentle man breaks my $20 but has to break a $10 with someone else so I can hand over $33 and escape. I am pretty sure the Post offices I am going to use soon are going to be just as much fun but the process’s here never cease to amaze me. 

I have just filled out a different customs form and used a different box but no idea why, everything looked identical to me but I am not the professional here I just follow the process. How could I have been so wrong about something so simple.

Other items I have crossed off. Cancel the House and Car insurance, De-wired everything from the Tv cabinet. Managed to get some money into the new Citibank account in Moscow (it took 3 goes and cost 100 euro’s before it got in so that will get a blog of its own) Redirected the mail but that was on line so less stressful. Got the visa’s back. Got the home Pc ready to be picked up later today (its going to a friend). Booked the car hire for Wednesday. Ordered my eye drops for pick up later. Not booked the hotel for Friday yet but should not be a problem and Eric is off to the vets tomorrow and managed to book a vacation in the midst of all of this.

So it’s coming together and I suppose the countdown has begun. Got a call from the removal firm this morning asking if it was ok for them to come tomorrow and continue the packing which is only slightly worrying given they are booked to come tomorrow I am not going to worry about that I am off to find a can opener for less than $15.