With Christmas fast approaching, this past weekend was a busy one for mostly expatriates, madly buying up presents for loved ones either to bring back or mail home.
The post office near where I live was particularly busy yesterday. Many expats were in line posting packages and giant piles of Christmas cards. Another guy was at the side counter wrapping his presents and then putting them in bubble envelopes to send off. He seemed to take a long time, and even called his friend for her mailing address. After a quick chat he said, "I gotta go, they're going to close the post office in a minute."
The staff at the counters were shocked he hadn't even bought his stamps yet or filled out the necessary declaration forms...
As for me, I had to wait in line to get a cardboard box to post some things home, then put them in it and got the box to the parcel counter.
The staff thoughtfully gave me a roll of package tape and I practically taped the entire thing over, as if it would make it even more protected from the rough handling it would probably get.
"Hurry up," the clerk said. "The truck is coming any minute now."
I madly taped it up some more before bringing it back to the counter.
The options for mailing? One month, two weeks, which will not guarantee by Christmas, or within three to four days.
Huh? Nothing for about a week or so? I asked.
"Well, in three to four days," the clerk said.
Three to four days isn't a week and it's their way of getting a money grab from people worried their presents won't arrive in time for Christmas. And I had to fill out the necessary form for this "speed post" service.
So for HK$249 ($32) my package better arrive next week and in one piece...
I can only imagine next week's line at the post office will be even longer...