I’ll apologise just once (see above) but cannot avoid this post to illustrate the other side (the frustrating side) of Argentina. I’ll give two examples from visiting the post office – please draw your own conclusions!
Once we realised the Correo closed for siesta we; retuned at opening time, queued for a while, had our package and letters weighed, paid for the postage (reasonably expensive) and they arrived at their UK destinations within a week.
We went to the Correo during its afternoon opening only to be told to come back in the morning because stamps were no longer on sale that day and Customs were closed, so the package could not be inspected prior to posting.
On our return Warren queued for Customs while *I collected a ticket and waited my turn at the service counter. As it got closer to my turn, I was on my feet waiting to see which cashier would become free . . . only to see several staff members slowly vacate their desks. Another desk seemed to acquire an impromptu line of ladies all waving forms but not queue tickets – they were all served while I continued to wait.
Eventually the buzzer sounded and it was my turn so I went to a counter but was turned away . . . and missed my turn! So, I just waited near the counter which I thought would become vacant next, then siddled up quickly before another customer was called and magically I was served!
It costs 30 pesos to post a letter/postcard to the UK, so I was presented with a beautiful array of 6 peso stamps (see thumbnails) but I think the Cashier hadn’t mastered her 6 Times Table as she gave me far too many stamps (and charged me for them) and they left almost no space for adding the address.
I headed back to Warren and his queue (I had hoped he could join my queue and it would be mission complete) only to find he had shuffled forward just a few paces and was quietly reading his book. After more than an hour we reached the front of the Customs queue, completed the necessary paperwork and . . . we’re given a numbered ticket to queue again. Oh joy!
We queued. And after about 20 minutes were called through a locking door with a handle on only one side – we had seen people go in, but nobody had come out. So we took our life in our hands and entered. Our box was opened, the contents were inspected and then a problem was highlighted. The box was too small (we could buy a better one?!) and it was branded with a shop name – so we’d have to buy paper to cover the suspicious markings on the outside. (Was this guy trying to increase business for a local papelería??)
Despite my huffing, Warren had the box wrapped in minutes (having convinced a local lady that her empanada wrap was perfect) and we were back knocking on the Customs office door (they didn’t expect to see us so quickly!). Wrapped, re-sealed, labelled and cleared by the Aduana we could now queue at the service counter for stamps* – you know how that goes, so I won’t labour the point. I just wonder how long it will take for our little box and cards to arrive with friends and family?!