Just an observation: something strange is going on between La Poste and USPS. I think they need to have a business lunch to sort it out.
Exhibit A: I still haven’t received the Christmas package my parents posted on December 7. This is the 21st century, folks. The mail comes on airplanes, not the Pony Express. It shouldn’t take a month. It was très sad to come home from Morocco exhausted and sick, but looking forward to finding my parents’ Christmas package, only to realize that it will arrive long after Christmas is relevant.
Exhibit B: My boyfriend received a package I sent in November within 10 days. However, neither my parents nor my boyfriend have received the packages I posted on December 11.
Exhibit C: On December 16, I received a gift from our family friend Cathy which was postmarked December 10.
Exhibit D: Yesterday, January 4, I received the Christmas package my boyfriend posted on December 27.
Exhibit E: Today, January 5, I received the Christmas letter my boyfriend posted on December 24, leaving me perplexed as to how the box arrived so much faster than the letter…
Based on this sample, I can draw the following conclusion:
Letters sent between the U.S. and France arrive in a week, maybe two. Packages sent from the U.S. to France arrive in either under a week or over a month—no medium—or perhaps they disappear completely. Packages sent from France to the U.S. arrive in under two weeks or perhaps they disappear completely.
I’ve been to the local post office twice now to see if they might have any idea what happened to my parents’ box and even they think it’s ridiculous. Of course, in typical French fashion, it is not absolutely not their fault, but the fault of someone far away whom I cannot speak to, but they were nice enough to check their storage very thoroughly before disappointing me.
Moral of the story: if you feel moved to send me a present, don’t include anything perishable or valuable.
Update: The package my parents posted on Dec. 7 finally arrived on Jan. 6 but I still haven’t received a check that was mailed to me from another part of Angers on Dec. 23, and until I receive that check, I can’t even buy food. Thanks, France.