We got a phone call from the post office–a package had arrived from Beijing to the old address of our language school.
We were quite pleased that we received such a call–they gave us a tracking number and we just had to go and pick it up.
Bring a passport, of course.
I biked up there in the as usual near-zero daytime temps and showed up with my passport.
The clerk asked me where my package slip was, and I said we didn’t have one and explained about the address change.
She said I had to go somewhere and get the package slip, and gave me directions to what I presumed was the change-of-address-mail-slip-storage-desk of the post office.
I understood go out, turn to the right, go around the corner and turn right again, go in somewhere, and after that she lost me.
I tried a couple more times to understand more clearly, but finally shrugged my shoulders and thought, hey, I’ll wander out and see what I find-ask some more people, and worst case come back to her desk and ask her to go with me.
So I went around the corners and all I saw was the entrance to the Bank part of the Post office, and then an alley, and then other stuff.
I figured the bank was my best bet.
It was a busy Saturday at the bank, so I stood for a few minutes, scanning the scene for a clerk I could ask where to go, since they are all behind glass and long lines with each window.
As I stood there, a customer, a big burly man started yelling at a petite woman, who was yelling right back at him.
They were shaking their fists at each other and he looked like he was about to sock it to her good, when a crowd of tiny bank employees in their short skirts and high heels came out and firmly tugged at his arms and pushed on his chest and gradually inched him out of there, both man and woman continuing to chew each other out from across the crowded, but now otherwise silent and watching waiting area.
I was very surprised that he went with the mini-security guards without a fight, personally.
So I snagged one of the ladies before she could go back to her hidden office, and asked her about my package slip.
She had no idea, but asked a bank cleaning lady who was just walking past us.
The cleaning lady knew what was what, and took me out on the street, down the alley, in through a little door, across a nondescript courtyard, and into a big mail sorting area.
She asked a man, and sure enough, he asked about the address and pulled that package slip right out of a messy-looking office.
I was amazed.
He asked for a passport, I signed my name and put down the passport number on his form.
Then we walked back, a different route, in a back door, down a hallway, and through the door that led to the clerk’s side of the long service counter.
We then got back in line for domestic packages, handed the clerk that ultra-important slip of paper and got that package.
It was a very important one, intended as a Chinese New Year’s gift for our China Surprise from this sweet friend in Beijing.
Here she is, modeling!