There is a lot I could say about what I feel right now, but I’ll spare you all the emotional ramblings and tell you about the minor misery.
My mother mailed me a package.
Vitamins, Cetaphil lotion, aspirin are incredibly expensive here and in the case of Cetaphil lotion you can’t even find it. So that is what she mailed. Unfortunately, the postal employee in the US decided to be nice and instead of writing “used personal items” actually warned Italy that aspirin and lotion were in the box. You know, those dangerous narcotics — aspirin and cetaphil.
So, I get a 6 page form from Milan where I have to explain exactly why I need lotion and aspirin. Then I have to fax it (6 euros). Then I wait. Then I get a note on my door saying it was trying to reach me. Then I get my 2nd note. So, the 3rd day, I’m here, waiting, looking over the balcony, salivating at the thought of my much needed lotion. Finally a call was placed. The courier claims he tried to deliver the 3rd time. He lied.
Next step, I have to take a train to outside of Florence. Confusion. I’m not where the package is. I miss a class I was supposed to teach. Work is pissed. Luigi is yelling at postal employees. A futile day is gone.
The next day, with location clarified, I take a bus. 50 mins later, Luigi and I arrive. We walk on a highway, cross a bridge in the blazing heat. This is where we are supposed to be. And yes, the package is there. They give it to me. All is well with the world. My skin is rejoicing for the lotion and chance to unfold into its healthy state. Until . . . I talk to my mom later and she verifies that she sent me vitamins which weren’t in the box. Vitamins, in case you are wondering, for about 30 of them — cost around 18 euros here. The US dollar is currently at 1.42 to 1 euro. You do the math.
So, my point being, I love this place. But, I have recently discovered Dante’s unmentioned 10th layer of hell. The hell of the postal system.
Cost of items — mom won’t say / Cost of mailing — mom won’t say / Amount of time spent trying to retrieve package — 3 days / Energy, stress, etc. that was sucked from my soul — only therapy will tell / Lesson learned about mailing “drugs” overseas — priceless.
And really, I know, there are bigger fish to fry, but this is a fish that almost cost me my job and definitely took a lot out of me and everyone around me. Hope those couriers are enjoying the benefit of a vitamin boost, cause I’m sending them all of my negative vibes right now.