Monday, August 27
I haven't had any post for a few weeks now. Strange, because I ordered a few books from Amazon, Dad had sent out a couple of things from the UK and I was waiting for one other package too. Where is my mail, I thought to myself..
But of course, silly me, it is August in Italy, everyone in on holiday. The postmen must be on holiday too! So I set out for the post office to claim my packages.
After waiting in line for a few minutes and having the usual rude Italian push infront of me because they had never been taught to queue, it was my turn.
"Eh? Si?" said the man behind the counter, while frantically stamping a mountain of higgledy piggledy papers.
"I was just wondering," I said in a nice calm voice, "whether all the postmen are on holiday?" I looked at him expectantly.
He paused, looked at me and sighed, "name?" he asked, obviously I was not the first person to ask this.
"I've had nothing for weeks." I told him, not so calmly, "there should be at least four packets for me."
He walked over to an area that was crammed to the ceiling with various shaped boxes and packages. He randomly pulled one out from the middle and the packages above it came tumbling down on top of him. He haphazardly shoved them back, turned and triumphantly held up a jiffy bag that had my fathers writing on it. He started walking towardes me with it.
"No! Wait!" I called quickly through the glass partition, "there are more! Go back! Look again, please!"
A man standing next to me got excited and joined in, egging on the frayed postoffice worker. "Go, go! Look harder!" he called as I squinted at the heap of packages in the back of the room.
I spied a flat Amazon parcel high up and tried to shout directions to it through the glass. The man beside me joined in, almost jumping up and down in excitement, "Up higher! To the left a bit! There! No...Yes, that one...YES!!"
Urged on by our encouragement, the long suffering man found a third pack for me and then brought them round to me. The man next to me grinned happily.
"Um, there's still one missing, its probably a small box. Can you find that for me please? And what about envelopes? There might be a phone bill to pay or something, please?" I didn't actually get down on my knees and beg, but was tempted.
"Sorry, thats it for now. You can try again tomorrow or some other time." The postal worker picked up his rubber stamp and cariied on working his way through the mound of papers in front of him.
"Hey, you got three! Not bad going!" said the man standing next to me.
As I walked home I encountered Dollyna (you know, she lives here too and always leaves me comments).I told her that I had had to go and claim my post and didn't even get it all. She nodded and told me that the post office system was completely up the spout. People hadn't been getting mail for weeks. Electricity and phone lines had been cut off due to bills not being paid, due to bills not being delivered in the first place. And in true Italian tradition nobody was doing anything about it.
I'll give it a couple of days and then maybe hold a sit-in on the post office floor until I get my mail. I'll take a blanket, a cushion and some books to read, maybe a houseplant too to brighten up the surroundings...
at 12:42 PM