In a time where the English postal service is voting on yet another strike, my postcard (and letter from the kids to CW) still hasn’t arrived….almost a month after it was sent. Now, this is some kind of record even for the German “Throw a Six to start” postal system.
I have often likened it to the Wild West (see the reference now?), as depicted in the movies…you know, where a passing cart places a bag full of mail on a hook and then another cart, possibly heading in the right direction, grabs it and moves it further on. Imagine that on an international scale, and you have what I believe happens when you post something from the UK to Germany. Just to illustrate this, last year (I think), a Frankfurt postman was jailed for not actually delivering any mail for the last 5 years. After numerous complaints and a crack investigation..they looked in his apartment and found it all. So….
Picture the scene: The tireless overworked and underpaid British Postal Service employees, in a non-strike week, deal with the First Class stamped letter in record time and pass it to Postman Pat. Pat, gives it to his cat Jess, who proceeds to scratch at it until it is open enough to check for any money that might be in there….upon discovering a distinct lack of monetary reward, Jess proceeds to piss on the envelope and pass it back. Eventually, Pat or Jess remember to check the address and discover that it is destined for Germany. After chatting to each ozer in ze mok cherman aksent for 2-3 hours, they pass the envelope onto the first person in the street that is able to recognise that Germany is a country and not, in fact, (as stated by Pat) a small town just outside Basingstoke.
The kindly trivia enthusiast is actually (and fortuitously) heading to Dover, so decides to generously give the envelope to someone with a suitcase who appears to be heading in the direction of the port. Unfortunately, the tourist in question is just someone who bought a new suitcase (12 quid from Tesco…good deal) and heads home for lunch.
After lunch, he takes pity on the folorn looking envelope and takes a stroll to the port, where he hands it on to a ships captain. In an unfortunate and unforseen twist, the captain is actually a freight captain and is heading to Azerbaijan..still, he takes the envelope with him and it enjoys a sea voyage with many adventures (perhaps for another time).
Upon returning to Dover some 3 weeks later, the freight captain bids a tearful farewell and hands the envelope to a captain that is heading to France…the envelope promises to write often. After eventually being allowed through the daily Calais blockade, our intrepid envelope is handed off to someone that is supposedly heading to Holland. Our English (and therefore reserved) envelope is tempted by the many relaxants and ladies of negotiable affection on offer, but is feeling refreshed and decides to push on for his destination. Disguised as an overdue bill, he sneaks into a post bag with “Deutschland” written on it and waits for arrival in the land of Bier and Bratwurst. A few hours of movement, and it ends…Lope (I feel we know him well enough now) notices that the bag appears to be swinging to and fro. Leaping out of the bag, it is apparent that they have indeed been hoisted onto a hook atop a pole…and not in a good way. The other, somewhat less intelligent, mail simply accept this and go to sleep. Not so our Lope, using his unnerringly accurate origami skills, he adjusts his scratched envelope exterior into a thumb shape and begins hitch-hiking.
Picked up after only 4 hours of thumbly goodness, our story must end as we lose track of Lope…and he has never been seen again.
Can you help? Were you on that motorway in Holland last week? Did you see Lope getting into a truck, innocently believing that the driver was a kindly, helpful soul? If you have any information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
And no…Lope still hasn’t arrived.