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Go with the flow
Oh, the stress of even the easiest of processes. When you’re in a country different to your own, it can knock you off balance when something you take for granted isn’t how it should be.
For example, take the postal service. Hubby and I live about eight miles from the nearest decently populated village, where inhabitants amount to around four thousand. Getting to our house from this point is so easy once you’ve done it the first time yet, whenever a parcel arrives from Ebay or Amazon, we receive a phone call from the driver-cum-courier who has always reaches the said populated village, to ask us where our place is. Every time, we explain where we are, every time the courier says he doesn’t know where that is and every time we end up having to drive the eight miles to collect the package at the petrol station where we tell the driver to leave it.
Our last delivery proved to be very interesting. On the Monday, we received an Email from the courier company to say that the driver had been unable to deliver the parcel. We had no idea why: we hadn’t received a phone call and we had been in all day. On the Tuesday, we received a phone call from the driver and, on explaining were we lived, he said that it was 11.40 a.m. and that he wanted to go for his lunch. Without running it by us first, he stated that he would be leaving the parcel at the petrol station. We complained, he laughed and, upon my stating that we would have to complain to the company, he thanked us and that was that.
Another parcel was a surprise for my birthday and those topaz earrings made an amazing trip. Our tracking of that little but important parcel showed it entering the country at Barcelona, twelve hours to the east, then passing through that village eight miles way, before heading five hours south to Madrid. Upon our querying what was happening, the parcel then headed for the petrol station and we received the ‘pick up’ call.
I think the real gem was the Christmas hamper from my son in England. Okay, posting it on 14th. December might have meant that it wasn’t going to make it for Christmas day but, complete with Christmas pudding and the crackers, it arrived on 24th. February and our ‘second run’ at Christmas dinner proved to be an unexpected treat.
A message to all you Ebay and Amazon sellers who kindly look after us expats in Spain, please extend your ‘receive by’ date to about fifteen days and, that way, you’ll save yourself all those Emails from customers who may be wondering why your parcel hasn’t arrived.
Letters? The postman’s mother lives in our village, so letters come without delay. Well, er, unless the postman is on holiday, when we may have to wait to receive the build-up of post upon his return.
Now we understand the Galician postal system, we can ride with it, even if we don’t like it. So, the moral of this story is ‘when in Galicia, go with the flow’. Why fight it?
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