Mailing a package to Peru 10-24-11

I mailed a birthday present to my son Mark, who is on a mission to Peru. The China Post man said it should take about 15 days. It has been seven days now. I hope he gets it in a week. I hope he gets it period. I hope it doesn’t get lost or stolen. Not that the contents are valuable. . .

The way I mailed it was kind of interesting. I went to China Post with the package. I had printed his Peruvian address in Spanish, but I put the Chinese character for Peru at the bottom, and I looked up the way to say “Peru” in Chinese (Bilu). I went in and gave it to the clerk and told him “geng kwai” which means “more fast.” I also said “Bilu.” He nodded and proceeded to weigh the package. In the meantime, the police officer looked at the writing and gestured to another lady as if to say, “Who could read THAT? It’s not even in Chinese!” I tried to tell him in Chinese that I wrote the Chinese character for Peru, and when it gets there they could read it. The clerk finished weighing it. He told me it would cost 800 yuan, which is about $130. Then I said in Chinese, “That’s too expensive. Less fast.” Now the police officer started to pantomime swimming. I laughed and pantomimed paddling a boat. The officer laughed back and came over to stand by me as if to say, “we can be friends.” The clerk finished calculating a reduced price, and came up with 130 yuan (about $22). Then he gave me a customs form to fill out. This is a problem, because I can’t read or write characters. Fortunately, he knew how to say address. I proceeded to copy painstakingly the characters for my address, which I have on my business cards. (Everyone in China has name cards. One side is Chinese, one side English). It took me a long time to copy them, but finally I finished. Then I paid my cable bill right there at the post office. Utilities here can be paid to the post office or any little convenience store. That was my first experience with mailing something. Before I go again, I think I’ll practice writing the characters for my address.


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