Postal Pests

Nicholas quirke was making a trip to the China Post office on 26 January 2021 as he had a small gift for an upcoming birthday to post. When he arrived there it was mercifully quiet and he thought that it was going to be an easy and simple process. It started well, and the usual officer who dispensed the envelopes for the items to go in recognised him and was very friendly. He even tried to have a conversation with him about ‘The Thirty Nine Steps’ and Richard Hannay as he provided him with with a protective cover and taping it up for him. He wrote out both addresses and in the right format, he was not going to get caught out out again and waited for his turn at the counter. He noted that the New Year symbol of the Ox was heavily promoted and a number of different images were on display around the office. It seemed again that things were going well until it was discovered his ink might run, indeed the clerk got a cloth and washed its off completely and he had to go to and rewrite it all again and go to the back of the queue. The sense of Deja vu filled him with dread. Finally it was his turn at the counter again but as it was slightly more than a letter it apparently needed 3 forms to completed, which he should have been given along with the envelope. He was now a little annoyed with friendly dim officer who was too busy showing off his smattering of English knowledge than doing his job properly, though Nicholas was not sure he deserved the dressing down he got from his colleague. He filled in the 3 forms separately with exactly the same information on each and then again went to the back of the queue. Fortunately, the lady in front had seen his misfortune and kindly insisted he go in front of her. Somehow, even with the right paperwork it still took over 10 minutes to get the small package sent off on a journey to hopefully get to England in time. He had been patient and kept a smile on his face and felt a wave of compassion for the Chinese who had to endure this strange ritual every time they wanted to send anything. Every time he had been had witnessed some poor individual have to unpack whatever it was they were sending and had it stretched out on the counter, refolded, repackaged .One gentleman was sending some meds and it didn’t need an expert eye top see that the box he was given to pack it in was too small. It was not a system that was friendly for anyone, and he supposed they did not know any better but he from this new perspective would never be critical of the British Post offices again. He had not anticipated it taking over two hours and it being lunch time when he got home. He decided to go to a tea rooms for the afternoon to get some exercise and do some work. He went to his favourite cafe 1920 at Caishikou and got some serious work done, including his Tax return which had been looming over him for the last month. It was a complicated form and he could only hope that it was completed properly. The remainder of his day passed uneventfully and he felt that not even ‘Run, Hide, Fight’ was noteworthy enough to liven it up. It was in this mood of having winded down completely that he took to bed and sleep


Leave a Reply