Thursday, November 19, 2009

Process of Procuring a Postal Parcel

When I receive a package, this is what happens:
  1. Go to post office in Mengo where we have our box and collect parcel slip.
  2. Go to main post office in town.
  3. Find a parking space.
  4. Have at least 6 guys trying to direct me on how to parallel park, end up parking with one wheel on the curb with my right front bumper sticking out in the road.
  5. Go to the parcel department in the post office.
  6. Go to the the first desk and hand her the parcel slip from Mengo post office and some form of ID.  She sends someone to find the package.
  7. Pay them a small fee for which I get a signed and stamped receipt.  She gives me back the parcel slip.
  8. Wait while she copies the package number and my ID number in a book.
  9. I sign the book that says I collected said parcel.
  10. Go to the customs desk.
  11. Wait in line for a long time while I watch the 2 customs officials rip open everyone else's packages, examining the contents, and determining if the recipients should pay taxes on the shipped goods. 
  12. Finally, it's my turn.  I hand them my original parcel slip, which they then dig through a pile of parcel slips and find the matching slip (nothing is computerized).
  13. Customs officers tear open my package and scrutinize its contents.  
  14. Customs officers deem there is nothing taxable in my parcel.
  15. Customs officer writes package contents on the back of both the original and duplicate parcel slips.  
  16. She then also signs and stamps both parcel slips.
  17. I then sign both parcel slips.
  18. Package is re-taped with Uganda Revenue Authority tape.
  19. Go to another desk near the door.  
  20. Give the woman the parcel slip and ID.  She keeps the parcel slip.
  21. Wait while she writes parcel number and ID number in another book.
  22. Sign and write my phone number in the book that says I received my parcel.
That's 4 of my John Handcocks, 3 postal and customs employee signatures, 3 stamps, 2 books, and 1 glorious package.  Phew.
    I've had to do this a few times, and let me tell you, it is ALWAYS worth it.  I did it just today for a thoughtful and lovely early Christmas & birthday package from Ms. Latasha Wilson.

    Thank you, Tashi!

    1 comment:

    1. Wow. I have experienced the post office and the "tag agency" in Uganda, and can ONLY imagine! Glad you think it was worth it! (hope you haven't already read those books!)