Missing in the post

On a recent trip to London, my wife bought a bracelet from this place in the Carnaby Street area, fortunately it had a pretty cute blue shopfront so I took a picture of it:

Anna Lou

On returning home she explained that she also liked the black bracelet (she bought a white one). So, I found the shop on-line and ordered the black one to be delivered to Warsaw. Delivery cost was more than the bracelet! I waited a while, nothing turned up. I waited a while longer, still nothing. I contacted the shop, they explained it had been sent parcel post to home address.

Here’s the point.

If you live in Warsaw, possibly Poland, never and I mean NEVER have any parcels delivered to home. Why? Because they never arrive. This is the last in a long line of Warsaw-bound ‘Burmuda Triangle’ parcels that were supposed to arrive here, but never did. Post, as in letters, works extremely well, better than you might think. Something posted in the UK will get here in perhaps two days, four max. Parcels posted to my office also work extremely well but parcels to home – poof! Vanished! No parcel, no note saying “come and get your parcel”, nothing left at the security guard kennel, nothing, nowhere, nada.

My theory is that a certain group of postal workers, those responsible for parcels to Żoliborz, are doing very nicely, thank you very much. I did have an incident many years ago when I was overdosing on Amazon.co.uk. For a while things were actually arriving but then they stopped. I received an invitation to visit the parcel ‘sorting office’, a vast warehouse full of my missing stuff. Some kind people explained how I should have been paying VAT, import duty, customs stamps, window tax, premium rate parcel tax, DVD extra tax, book tax and assorted other things that added up to double the gross domestic product of Andorra.

GDP = consumption + investment + (government spending) + (exports − imports), or, GDP x 2 = cost of importing a few DVDs and books to Warsaw

I paid what was due, hired a truck and took my stuff home vowing never to do this again. It has never been the same since. Since those early halcyon days of parcel-arrival, I don’t think a parcel has ever been successfully delivered. I wondered if perhaps I was on a black-list somewhere, marked down as an “enemy of the state – nil by parcel”, until my wife had a similar incident recently with a book delivered within Warsaw. Admittedly, hers did not go missing completely but it did take five attempts to get it here. Perhaps because she shares the same surname she is marked as “possible troublemaker – parcel complications”.

I don’t have much delivered these days and if I do (with the exception of Anna Lou), I have it delivered to the office. It works just fine. I shan’t give the address or they will trace me and put a stop to that too!

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7 thoughts on “Missing in the post

  1. Now you might have hit on something – I’ve never had a problem receiving parcels at my home just south of Warsaw but I have a Polish surname. You could try a little test in the future and see if surname change makes a difference. Could be also that I know my postman. Mind you yesterday we had a delivery by courier when we were out and he came down the unlocked drive, down to the basement where ol’ Pan Kazik was plastering and delivered dog medicine. Thankyou very much.

    On the other hand I won an ebay uk auction on Oct 10th during the postage strike – not a dickybird so far but I still live in hope :) if it comes through I’ll let you know.

  2. Although our postman is the nicest guy, polite, possessed of common sense and scrupulously honest, down at the sorting office it’s the same ethics as at Heathrow when, because of its light-fingered baggage handlers, it was called ‘Thiefrow’. We’ve had so much stuff nicked. Last year a €50 model aircraft kit from Holland. Children’s Christmas presents, books, videos. My Ciocia Dzunia (from Wroclaw) never receives any greeting cards from my mum (in London) – they all get opened in the hope that there’s a 20 quid note in them. Poczta Polska is not all bad, however, my friend Krzysztof from Katowice buys lots of films and music from HMV in the UK and over the years has never had anything not arrive.

    Poczta Polska (our postman excepted) is a dire relict of Communism. The sooner it loses its monopoly the better.

  3. I’m surprised you were charged VAT and customs. How long ago that was? When I ordered from amazon.co.uk, it was them who charged the Polish VAT rate – plus there were no customs since Poland had agreements with the EU before joining.

  4. Pawel, it must have been between eight & nine years ago. I don’t remember exactly what I was paying for and was unable to embark on a lengthy argument about it but it was a fairly considerable sum, relative to the cost of the goods.

  5. Mhmm… I had a similar thing when I got the wonderful idea of shopping for clothes in a US store. Not only they hesitated two months to finally make a shipment (I have no idea how on earth I’d get them if they didn’t ship it at all), but when they did, I was charged VAT, customs and something else, which was a good lesson on buying European products;)
    (or at least Chinese products in Europe)

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