It is the small things that sneak up on you and remind you that you are 'not in Kansas anymore'.
One regular reminder that I am no longer in the States is the Italian Post Office. In the States, if you need stamps, want to mail a package, need to find out how much postage you need for something, etc. you go to the Post Office. Not in Italy!
None of these tasks can be easily taken care of in the Post Office. To buy stamps, for example, you are much, much better off going to the tobacco store.
This afternoon I received a notice that I had a package waiting for me at the Post Office. For some unknown reason they could not deliver it to where I live...
I headed down after classes (5 pm) and took a numbered ticket as at the deli counter in the States. And then I waited...
For. Ever. And. Ever.
Really, it was only about an hour, but it was still a bit of time. You see, here in Italy the Post Office is where you (I kid you not) pick up mail, send mail, pay your bills, buy dental insurance, order catalog furniture, shop for paperback books, buy wrapping paper and gift bags, buy a coffee-maker, pick up a cake-decorating kit, deliver and retrieve immigration paperwork, etc etc etc.
As one might guess, there is always a long line at the Post Office.
In the end, I managed to claim my mail and escape with my sanity intact. Until the next visit...
|The sign on the right explains the many things you can do here! On the left is the machine where you take your ticket. There are 5 types of tickets; God help you if you choose the wrong one! You will have to start all over again, in that case.|
|Waiting for my number to come up on the boards.|
|A selections of things for sale at the Post Office: Christmas ornaments, food graters, coffee pots, children's toys, cake decorating kits, etc.|