International Mail and the Inevitable Waiting Game
15 July 2011 | Port Denarau, Fiji
Today we waited and waited and waited for the customs officials to show up with out new sails from New Zealand but they never showed.
Having packages sent internationally is always an issue. They are never as fast as they are supposed too be. There is always a worry they will get broken or lost. They always get caught up in customs. This last one is usually our biggest problem. As a yacht in transit we don't usually have to pay any duty on stuff we ship in. This is a bonus because we save mucho dinero but it is usually the cause for delay. We are always required to show our official documents to get the package but are never notified that they have arrived. When we were in NZ I had to call the post and see where our package was. They said it had arrived but had no idea where it was. They said it was possibly in customs but that they are so busy I shouldn't call there and they wouldn't give me the number. After tracking down the number online I called and the man I spoke with was happy to check on the package and said to just come down and get it. But this was after two weeks of calling around.
We did get another package today that we have been waiting for. Mark ordered a new small computer "thing" (doesn't look like a computer to me - no screen?) Anyhow, it was shipped from the US without a tracking number and was supposed to be here over a week ago. I got lucky when I started calling yesterday. I first called the main post branch and they forwarded me to the branch at the airport in Nandi. They were actually able to find the package on there shelves. Success. They told me that we needed to be there today between 9-10 today. When we got there they said they couldn't release the package because it needed to be delivered directly to the boat (smart because they are sure that yacht stuff really is for a yacht but a real pain). I told them that I was told I could pick it up. They sent us over to the customs officials in the next building (boy was I glad they were at the airport too!) We got lucky. Because it was such a small package and we had all our papers. They gave us special permission to receive the package. The next hurdle was that it had a declared value on it of $20. Obviously a small computer is not $20 and the customs officials knew that. Luckily Mark had his computer (as he always does - I'm telling you this has saved us so many times.) He was able to pull up the receipt from the online purchase and show the actual cost. They wanted a print out but accepted the view on the screen and let us have our goods.
Now I promise you, you have never seen a man so happy to receive a little piece of electronics as my husband when he gets new toys. He couldn't even wait to get home to open it up and was plugging the wires into the damn thing right there in the cab. He couldn't do anything with it till we got home but he was sure happy just checking the thing out. I hope he's that happy when this baby arrives!