Thursday, March 26, 2009

Big-city post office

Chadiza's post office is two guys in a one-room building. The year we lived there, they never managed to come up with a key to our box, though they tried to get us to pay for it several times, so whenever we wanted to check the mail we went inside and chatted for a few minutes. We had to make sure to ask if there were letters OR parcels, because it seemed they would only look for whatever we specifically requested.

Chipata's post office is huge. Today I took advantage of the relative emptiness to ask the guy at the package window if there was a problem with the Peace Corps box, since no package slips have shown up lately though many of the dozen people sharing the box have been expecting parcels.

It turns out there is a backlog of unlogged mail. A sunglass-wearing package underling showed up with THREE boxes for us, two from my mom and one from my pseudo-sister Heather. I am slightly ill from over-ingestion of conversation hearts and pop culture.

We paused on our way out to shuffle the load and for Trevor to snarf a meat pie. A guard took the opportunity to try and extract 5 pin from us for talk time. It's not easy to say no to somebody with a gun slung over his shoulder. I like to tell myself that they probably can't afford bullets.

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