Friday, April 27, 2007

Brutal Bureaucracy

Throughout my travels I have stumbled across monumental bureaucracy. Usually it doesn't affect me too much, what do I mind if they have to fill in and stamp three bus tickets three times for our 30 minute journey? And if it avoids corruption then I guess it's a good thing. But occasionally it frustrates one to screaming point. This might end up being a very long boring story.

Pressie For DaddySo in Oaxaca I posted three things, two large envelopes at 300g each and a wooden armadillo for my dad, which I packed in a box, wrote his name address on and took to the post office. The only trouble I had was with the cost, a total of about £30, over double the total cost of the presents I was sending (the usual ratio), and since they only had small value stamps I had to cover half of each parcel and letter with stamps and my saliva. Now we get to Puebla, a couple of hours away from Oaxaca, I have two boxes to send. It was difficult enough packing them, it made me realise how helpful everyone had been in Oaxaca. So I get to the post office and the guy tells me the boxes need to be wrapped in manila and tied up with string. WTF? So I go across the road to the papelaria for the third time and ask the moody old woman who wouldn't give me any boxes, and ignored me so much the second time that I nearly walked out without paying for the two sheets of paper, but she tells me that I need to get the post office to check them before wrapping them, I try to explain that they just sent me over, but she wouldn't have it so I return to the post office, they send me straight out again, I guess because I practically packed the parcels in front of them and they didn't see any hint of drugs or arms. So the moody old woman wraps my parcels and asks me to address them. After I've addressed the first one she tells me that I need to put my return address on it. Now I haven't left enough space and I can't really see the point, it's not like I have an address in Mexico, and if they can't find one address in Steyning how are they going to find mine? So I tell her that the address is my address. She huffs and puffs. Eventually she finishes both packages and I return to the post office. The guy is finally satisfied and weighs up the two parcels at 400g and 800g, which for some reason only costs £10, less than the presents cost!

So if you do get something from me, be very grateful, and if you don't then it's either been eaten up by customs, or I just lost the will to live before I finished posting it.


Nick and Ce said...

Tee-hee ..... reckon you feel better now you've got all that off your chest!

Anonymous said...

Just use your license as a first world citizen to beat them with a cudgel. These lazy fuckers need a kick up the khazi. There's no way anyone in England, even in software for local government would put up with such petty bureaucracy.
We've got money to make...

(PS Did you ever try to get a blank floppy from Cynthia?)

Jamie said...

N&C - Actually I felt better when I realised how (relatively) cheap it was going to be :)

Anon - I used to go out and buy stuff like that with my own money, it was a lot less hassle :)