Please Mr. Postman…

…can’t you see, there’s a Post Office just down the road from me? I had to go quite a long way to pick up a package just the other day (apologies to Beatles fans).

My mum thinks Australia Post is amazing. I recently mailed my father a tea infuser – “tea caddy” to him (can’t understand how that confusion happened). My dad’s morning tea just doesn’t happen without an infuser, so when the one at home decided to retire itself from service, it was nothing short of a calamity. For a nation that exports tea, India seems to be rather deficient in infuser production. Also, in a country where anything with a screw (or less) can be mended, it’s apparently quite difficult to find tea-caddy/infuser-repairmen. My mum tells me that they even thought of trying the cellphone service centres.

There are tea infusers galore on sale here. Dozens at the kitchen shop in Carousel mall, all made in China, to the surprise of my Chinese friend thinks this could be A Big Business Opportunity. I found mine in the Coles down the road. Easy.

But we were speaking of Australia Post. My mum was very impressed that they provided efficient tea-infuser packaging. My tea infuser reached India in a cardboard box meant for mailing. I’m sure that puzzled the Indian customs officials quite a bit. Do they even know what a tea infuser is?

 “Are you sure it will reach India,” asked a sceptical fellow customer. “You know what they do to parcels in India.” He swung his arms in a tossing motion. I’m sure it was none of his business and I wish he knew my package made it…so thank you, Australia Post.

 Still, it was quite annoying to find a note from the post office in Welwyn Avenue asking me to pick up a package there. It’s a good forty-minute walk or more from where I stay. Luckily for me, my friend Robyn drove me there.

“Is this going to happen every time I get a parcel?” I asked the girl who handed me the package. “Why doesn’t it go to the Post Office that’s a two minute walk from my flat?”

She couldn’t say…it happens, apparently.

It’s not all bad though. Here I speak to postal workers in English. In Mumbai, I wave my hands and nod my head and hope that my Hindi will be understood by Marathi-speaking clerks. (They seem to know enough English to tell me how much to pay though). I’ve also seen the most unusual Post Offices here in Australia. One opposite the Fremantle station that’s really a bead shop. The Old Post Office at Dunsborough, which is really a tea room. The food comes in a flower pot…one of the best meals I’ve had. So I’m not exactly going postal over Australian post offices.

I do have a favour to ask though, Mr. Postman. My mum’s planning to send me a package for my birthday. She’s mailing it in a week’s time, she says. This time round, when you deliver the letter, the closer the better.

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