Correo Argentino, la puta que te parió
The mail system here makes no sense. I went through hell to get the packages I was sent! On Wednesday the 7th of July last year, I got a notice saying I had missed 2 packages from my mom. I had zero time to go the next day, and Friday was a national holiday. The notice said to go to the Pueyrredon office in the next 10 days.
I went on Saturday and had to ask someone what the hell was going on with all the different lines. Once I figured it out, I waited an hour. I was pumped when I got to the window, ready for my packages, but instead I was handed another piece of paper and told I’d have to go to Retiro (a different part of town) to get them, but of course not til Monday because they were no closed.
No packages for you!
So, Monday I go to Retiro, to what I believe is the only Retiro post office. I was outside when they opened, ready to go. Once I get to the window, she informs me there is another post office several blocks away and that is where I need to go. So, I walk for 20 minutes until I find it and in that 20 minutes 103 people had taken a number. I sat and waited. I realized I had forgotten my passport, but I did have a photocopy of it and a drivers license. I assumed this would work. After over an hour and a half of waiting, I discovered I was wrong. I left with nothing.
OMFG I got a package!
Monday night, I came home and had another missed package. It also said to go to Pueyrredon. I figured I’d save myself the trouble and just go to Pueyrredon first then get all 3 packages at Retiro. I went on Tuesday in between jobs and, to my great surprise, was handed a package! It was from Abby and I hugged it so tight the entire way home. It was this awesome wine opener set and a funny card. It was awesome!
The Waiting Game…
However, no matter how uplifting that experience was, it could not erase the pain of Retiro. The next day, I showed up at Retiro as it opened. This time 66 people were in front of me. I had my passport and I sat down, ready to wait. Waiting is exactly what I did, for a little over an hour. Once I got to the window, I was given some little stubs with numbers on them and told to (you guessed it) wait in the next room. In the next room there is one terrible speaker that crackles and squeaks every time some incomprehensible man gets on a microphone in the back and rattles about 20 6 digit numbers off in a row. No one could understand him.
Eventually, a woman with normal dictation skills took over. I waited another hour waiting for them to call my numbers. Once I got there, the employee was, of course, fascinated by my last name. (For those of you who don’t know, the president’s last name is Kirchner- spelled exactly the same and not at all common. I cannot present my ID without getting asked “en serio? Kirchner?”). He asked me if I knew what was inside my packages, which was a useless question because he was getting out a knife to rip them open anyway. Once he taped them back up I put one in my suitcase I had with me and the other some nice guy helped me tie to the top of my suitcase. My suitcase then weighed well over 10 kilos (22 pounds).
I had to drag said suitcase, running, to the train station to try and get to work on time, then walk 15 blocks with it to the family’s house (I was an Au Pair at the time). It was worth it because there was peanut butter and, for some unknown reason, some airheads. I gave most of the airheads to Ana and Jose (two of the kids I worked with), who were obsessed with them. In the end, all was well, but this is not a strong start of a relationship between the mail system and me.