Sunday, April 1, 2012

Around the World: Going Postal

April 1, 1992

I woke up later than I had hoped to and almost missed breakfast.  It worked out better this way as I missed dining with the rowdy group of students eager to explore whatever it is they have come here to see.  Today's mission: Post Office.

Freiburg is a very pretty city, on the western edge of the Black Forest.  It's easy to get distracted by the view and easily lost.  After a bit of redirection and a few photographs, I find the post office.

The post master speaks no English, but fortunately, we are both fluent in charades.  With the help of the clerk at the adjoining stationary store, we wrap up the box with tape and string.  I bring it back to the post master who hands me customs forms to complete with German and French instructions.  I hand it back, hoping I've mailed it in the right direction.

The post master wants to know how I want the parcel shipped.  He holds out his hands like an airplane.  This option is very expensive so I shake my head.  He motions his hand up and down, like waves.  I nod.  The whole entertaining procedure cost me 36 German marks (about $24).

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"Every once in a while, someone will mail me a single popcorn kernel that didn't pop. I'll get out a fresh kernel, tape it to a piece of paper and mail it back to them."
Orville Redenbacher

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