‘Oh, Mexican postal service, where would we be without you?!’ said no one, ever. The postal system in Mexico rightly has an absolutely awful reputation, mainly because it is absolutely awful. However, as an ex-pat abroad sometimes you just need some home comforts and, short of a family or friend coming to visit, there’s no other way your chocolate and teabags are getting to you without sending them via air mail.
Around about Christmas time, my mum messaged me and told me she needed my address in Mexico City for some unknown, unspecified reason. Sceptical, I sent it to her and instructed her to write it word for word as I had, but also warned her off sending anything through Royal Mail because it just wouldn’t arrive.
I think the conversation went something like this:
Me: *my address*
Mum: That’s the one!
Mum: Christmas card!
The overuse of exclamation points should have given away her dastardly plan to send me a parcel and not just a card, but because mums are known for their fondness for the old shift+1 combination, I didn’t think anything else of it. Lo and behold, after much prying as to whether anything had arrived for me, she revealed she had in fact sent a parcel, and with Royal Mail no less.
To say I was annoyed was an understatement, especially when I warned her that nothing ever successfully made it to Mexico. (Inti can vouch for that, as I think only one of the four parcels I used to send him ever made it to his door. Someone else somewhere in Mexico is really enjoying my Tunnocks wafers. Probably. Maybe.)
Anyway, the annoyance passed, as did the months, until finally my roommate practically passed out with shock when a note was slipped under our door telling me to go and collect my parcel from the post office. On it was stamped the ominous note ‘Second and Last Warning’, although we never saw the first delivery attempt. Either way, I trotted off the very same day to the post office to collect my parcel and was met with a small Next box covered in customs tape, air mail stickers, stamps and declarations but with the happy little rectangle of cardboard my dad had written my address on over two months prior. I don’t know why, but a tiny wave of nostalgia washed over me as the post office lady examined my visa before handing me a box cutter to check customs officials hadn’t had away with my Christmas treats.
So, is the Mexican postal service that bad?
Long story short, I was pleasantly surprised with the smoothness of the collection process once I received the delivery slip. However, I still stand by my statement that the Mexican postal service is absolutely awful, because it’s the getting the delivery slip which is the hard part…