Remember Tom Hanks’ movie “Castaway” starts out in a Russian “FedEx” office? Remember that new-to-capitalism-venture-into-customer-service look? Well, I found the office that pre-dates and one-ups that - the Mathura “FedEx” office!
They were a very friendly group; and after several minutes of searching by several standing around employees, I was handed the familiar blue and red “FedEx” envelope – familiar, yet artistically altered with a circular coffee cup stain; a strand of arithmetic additions in ink, and numerous folds that had permanently captured the dirt and dust – the Indian motif look.
I filled out all the necessary forms and was ready to pay. I was presented with a bill of $47!! For an envelope and a light scarf on its way to Florida!!
“Are you kidding me?!?!?”
Hitting the streets, I was the 12th passenger on the next shared three-wheeled auto rickshaw back to Vrindavan heading to the Indian Post Office.
(Back on familiar grounds at the official post office next to the Iskcon Temple.)
After the two postmasters shuffled around behind the counter they were able to come up with a large “Axis” bank envelope for me to use – and it was pretty clean, just a bent corner, which as you will see, really doesn’t matter in the short run. After addressing and carefully loading in the Florida bound scarf, the assistant post master took the envelop, folded it, folded it again so it was exactly the size of the scarf inside, taped it, weighed it, crossed out “Axis” bank and logos and said;
“Three dollars; Three-fifty for registered.” (Notice how I’ve been translating the currency for you, nice, eh?!)
I decided to take the expensive route. But…he explains, I’ll have to come back tomorrow to register it because the guy who registers has already left the building...
I leave the package with orders to send it out tomorrow by registered post. I’ll be by sometime later to pick-up the registration slip.
You see, this is my first “Etsy” sale and I’m trying to make a good impression, do things right! And this is how we roll in India.