My First Born Child for a Package

I had no idea that picking up a package in Baires would be so complicated!

Upon arriving at the central post office, the whole Offermann-Reeves clan entered a smallish room with postal clerks and a waiting area, where we took a number. When our turn arrived, we submitted our package delivery notice to the clerk, who had me sign it. She then tapped on the computer, ripped some stuff, and handed me a stub that contained a circled 6-digit package number.

Next, we were motioned into another larger waiting area. Clutching our stub, we all filed into a room that was dominated by row upon row of seated customers listening to low-quality loudspeakers blaring numbers.

We were to sit in this room waiting for our package number to be called for what they projected could be anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.

Being on standby, anticipating our number, was uber nerve wracking. There was no board displaying the package numbers that already had been called, and when the digits were spoken over the loud speakers, they were nearly indistinguishable.

Finally, after about 15 to 20 minutes, our package came up. It was in my name, so I got to walk to the end of the room, go through a random turn style, and pass through an unmarked door. (That’s where everyone else went, so I did too.) This door led me to a small antechamber that had another unmarked door to my left, which I walked through.

I was now in the bowels of the post office. The belly of the beast was host to tons of people, and I was a bit overwhelmed. Customs work stations, postal employees retrieving packages, customers waiting for packages…had they come through the unmarked doors even though their number hadn’t been called?

After collecting my bundle of joy, I had to walk to another small area near the exit, where I scribbled my signature alongside my package number on xeroxed forms spread about on a table (very official).

That was it! I emerged, triumphant, package in hand, to the cheers of my family. Seriously, Tom said it felt a little weird to see me walk through the unmarked door…he couldn’t help but wonder if I was ever to return!

(The fruits of our labor? Receiving a fab smattering of stuffers from the stocking master, Fred Johnson!)

3 Responses to “My First Born Child for a Package”

  1. Barbara

    You got off easy — almost no waiting, no hassle from Customs! Wait till you get a notice saying that you have to go pick up (and PAY for) a package at the Customs office at the airport, because some well-meaning friend decide to send you a present and labeled the customs declaration form too conscientiously.

    The best thing to send is books — you don’t have to pay anything on books. Did you notice how many boxes there were back in the packages area?

  2. Michele


    Since we went to the post office, I have been doing more reading and have learned that there are a lot of horror stories. Indeed, it seems that we did get off easy! We have one more package coming for my daugther’s birthday, and I’m hoping it goes as smoothly.

    Who knew?

  3. Daily URL: Dec 12 - Baexpats - Community of Expatriates in Buenos Aires, Argentina

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