Mexican Postal Service

Playa Del Carmen – beautiful location to visit, but not for us. The weather is great, but there are too many people for our liking. This place has become a mecca for those fleeing cold weather. Prices for hotels and food are very reasonable. The condo we have rented is a block from the ocean, away from the main tourist area, which is nice, but noise carries. It seems like every street has a dozen bars or clubs on it. You know you are getting old when…..

playa 002

playa 003

Onto my topic of postal services. My husband being the superior uncle that he is, promised Wyatt and Rhett that he would send them something every week. Not much fore thought in that statement, but it did make him very popular. So I have been trying at minimum to send postcards, and parcels whenever possible. In Florida, I discovered that there are strict shipping laws – nothing hazardous, perishable, or restricted. Fines are hefty and you have to fill in a customs declaration form as to what you are sending. The post offices and procedures are pretty similar to Canada. Quick and relatively painless. Shipping rates were cheaper than sending something within Canada.

Different story in Mexico. The souvenirs were ones that I had bought in Barbados, but didn’t send from there as we missed the international shipping deadline for the week. So I brought them here to Playa. What I purchased was stuffed animals which were sealed into tin cans. Each can label show a picture of the animal and tells a bit about the history of that animal on Barbados. One was a monkey and the other was a turtle. The writing on the cans was in English – I thought the boys would get a kick out of reading the cans and then use a can opener to get the stuffed animal out.
canned-critters-moose-stuffed-animal
This is similar to the cans I sent.

Two mornings ago I painstakingly packed up both of the cans in a padded brown envelope, taped it up tightly, and addressed it to the boys. John and I walked 9 blocks to a tiny post office. Imagine a Canadian bus stop shelter – it was about that size. I waited in line amidst 5 locals who were haphazardly wrapping up their boxes on the floor and counters. My turn – I handed my parcel over and pointed to the word Canada that I had prominently wrote on the package. The postal worker started asking me questions in Spanish, while vigorously shaking the parcel. “No Espanol” I stated using my standard reply (no spanish). His response was “No Ingles” (no english). Then he takes out a pair of scissors and cuts open my package – apparently you are supposed to have the Mexican postal worker inspect/approve the contents of your parcel before you seal it up. Imagine this poor man’s face when he sees canned monkey and canned turtle – according to the pictures on the labels!! He is pointing at the cans asking ” la comida?” – I had no idea what he was saying – so I just kept replying ” Si, por ninos” – which means “yes, for children”. Great answer since I later found out he was asking me if the cans contained FOOD! I was telling him it was food for children. By this time, John had long abandoned me – which may have been a smart thing. He would have been able to find me a lawyer in the likely event that the authorities were called. I kept pointing to the cartoonish pictures on the labels repeating “turista, turista” (tourist) – hoping someone would get the message that the cans were souvenirs. Fortunately I was able to convince the postal worker of that, or it may have been that he simply wanted the crazy Gringo who ate turtle and monkey out of his post office. He poured Elmers white glue all over the edges of the parcel and then stapled the heck out of it. No forms to fill out, no tracking number, no receipt – he took my 300 pesos, and said “Adios“. I am certain that the parcel will never make it to Canada.

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