The people at my local post office know me as the foreign one who will utter a few key words in German to get something done and they even pre-empt my questions now. I can see them elbowing each other when I come in with my unusually shaped colourful packages, knowing that they will struggle to find a space on my customised parcel for their unnecessarily large postage labels. They always weigh my packages twice, ask me questions twice and teach me the names of countries in German with a bemused expression on their faces. I am grateful for them.
I had to go to the post office yesterday to post something from my Etsy shop but since I had an early class in another part of town, I had to go to a new one. It felt like I followed a million signs before I got to the section of this post office I wanted. It was HUGE. Standing in a queue for what felt like ages had the new problem of waiting-temptation. The queue went through the aisle of ‘discounted’ stationery and if you knew what a sucker I am for stationery, you would understand my plight. I got over this by thinking about the dying tradition of sending things by post and determining to send more despite the expense, time wasted and waiting-temptation. I took my cheerful parcel and one roll of tape I just couldn’t resist to a new bemused face who weighed it twice, asked me everything twice and taught me “Nederland”. Think I could have guessed that one.