Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Mail Trials of an Introverted Expat

Prompt: Mail 

  // As an introvert I cringe just about every time my phone rings. This is unfortunate because where we live I am called every time a delivery guy comes with our mail. And we buy a lot of daily goods online because that is easier and cheaper here than buying at several random stores in town. And there are numerous delivery companies, and the various sellers we buy from online all seem to use different delivery companies. So I get a lot of calls. About our mail. Every day. 

This might not be such a big deal except I have to communicate with them in another language. And it’s not exactly the language I studied when we moved here. It bears some semblance to that language, but it’s full of local dialect, colloquialisms, missing teeth lisps, garbled smoking voice, and mumbling that leaves me nearly completely in the dark half the time. 

“What’s that? Ke min juan? Yes, that’s me? A package? Oh good, put it by the gate please. Thanks.” Click and we’re done. Not so bad. 

BUT it’s not always that easy. Maybe the gate guard isn’t there and the delivery guy can’t leave the package. Maybe the package has been torn up and I have to halt my homeschool and tromp down 6 flights of stairs to examine the stuff and see if it’s acceptable or if we need to refuse it and get our money back. Which is a whole thing. And maybe the guy says something like, “You got a package and I left it by the gate so you can grab it later.” And I show my stunning brilliance by replying, “Oh, a package? Uh, yeah, okay thanks. Can you just put it by the gate, please? I’ll get it later.” Um, right lady. That was kind of the idea. 

Some of the delivery guys know me now. They are so sweet and talk to me like a two-year-old. “You – have – a – package. OKAY? I – will – leave – it – by – the – gate. Have – a – great – day!” // Sometimes I have to say, “Look, I’m a foreigner, can you speak slowly, please? And could you speak the standard dialect.” Which means they shout in my ear basically the same thing they said before, but maybe even faster. Gah! 

I have absolutely no serious point to this whole thing except maybe this – if you send us mail it’d better have a phone number on it or we’ll never get it. Even then it’s questionable depending on how my language is that day. And pray for your introverted expat friends. Getting the mail is hard. 

I am continuing on with my Write 31 Days theme of "31 Days to Slowing Down and Living More Simply" with reflections based on my reading of Emily P. Freeman's book Simply Tuesday and the prompts given at the FMFW page. My "Five Minute Free Write" portion will be enclosed with // and any extra thoughts will follow.

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