Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Today's cure

Today's cure for boredom in Ross River was going to the Post Office. Now, the signs outside the Ross River Dena Council-run general store reads "Ross River, Canada Post outlet", but don't let that fool you into believing the post office here delivers any of the same services as others. For instance, unless you would like to do more than pick up your mail, or mail a regular-weight letter, you may be stretching your expectations too far.
Silly rookie me decided last fall to try and mail a parcel to my friend in Australia. Difficulty #1- finding a box to put it in, as the post office does not have any. Solution- made one from a Kleenex box. Difficulty #2- You can only pay for things at the post office with cash. I did not know what the postage would be, and I was thus unprepared. Difficulty #3- The post office clerk, who is one of the dimmer bulbs in town, did not know where Australia was. Difficulty #4- There is no computer in the post office to calculate shipping, just a dinky little calculator. So, the post office clerk plastered my parcel with a gazillion stamps, on all six sides of the box, hoping it would be sufficient postage to reach Australia. Difficulty #5- It wasn't, as I discovered about six weeks later, when the package was returned to me.
In Ross River, there are no street/house numbers, and so everyone in town either has a post office box or gets their mail delivered to one "general delivery" address. I am lucky in that I get to go in on the RCMP mail box as that is the company responsible for sticking me here.
Once I got over the initial adjustment and reset my expectations about what our post office has to offer, I nonetheless began anticipating mail delivery day (this happens three times a week, unless there's bad weather). This is the day letters from friends and family, packages from online shopping and thoughtful people arrive. Abigail and I trot the 10-minute walk over to the post office to collect mail packages, and see what new produce may have arrived in the general store.
Today's score was minimal: some sour cream, needed for a squash casserole, the dairy food delivery we had to re-order after the delivery guys neglected to keep cool our last order (grr!), and a magazine to read during today's scheduled power outage from 2:30-5:00.
Another day, another few hours of boredom averted.

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