Kim's Austrian Adventure

My year as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Graz, Austria. Yes, there are other cities in Austria besides Vienna.

1. Juni 2006

No kangaroos in Austria


  • Reading: Exam schedule

  • Listening to: David Byrne: Girls on My Mind

  • German Word of the Day: die Post

  • Translation: mail

  • Example: Die Post bringt allen was./The post office brings everyone something. (Apparently they don't consider the time frame on this.)



I've been here in Graz for 13 weeks now. Matt started putting together a care package for me (Girl Scout cookies! Yay!) the day after I left, and sent it maybe two weeks into my stay. I eagerly checked my mailbox daily, growing more and more disappointed with its emptiness. After two weeks I really thought I would find a note asking me to come into the office and pick up my package. No dice. Ok, Austria doesn't do mail on Saturdays. So it's a little slower. Austria is further east than Germany. It's going to take a little longer... I grew more and more anxious every day and took out my frustrations on my poor little mailbox, slamming it shut when the note wasn't there.

After about five weeks, Matt began to worry. When he finally figured out the problem, I'm surprised he didn't go to the post office and punch someone. You see, I live in Austria. The package, however, was headed to a land of kangaroos and shrimp on the barbie. Yes, the package was sent to Australia. AUSTRALIA. Matt had corrected the idiot...Err, woman at the post office twice, but it still got sent to Australia. ETA? Hopefully before I finished my exchange year, if I was lucky. The USPS was no help, snapping that they would call if they heard anything and simultaneously slamming down the phone.

Yesterday I had an 8 a.m. date with the washing machine. The snooze button won and I didn't fall out of bed until 8:25, losing the opportunity to do a load of laundry. I grabbed my basket and stomped down the stairs, my eyes barely open. When I got to the office to buy coins for the washing machine, I related my frustration to the secretary. She sympathized and promised forego the note in the mailbox (she's probably sick of me slamming it shut) and call me as soon as she received any packages for me.

She gave me a sideways glance, taking in my messy hair and sleep-like state and promised to call after 10 a.m.. I grumbled something resembling a "Danke" and headed back upstairs to catch 25 minutes of sleep before I needed to do my next load.

As soon as I got under the covers, the land line in the apartment rang. I'm the only one who receives calls on it, so I ran out, stubbing my toe in the process, and picked it up.

"Kim, is that you? Your package is here!"

She didn't even finish her sentence and I was already out of the door, tearing down the stairs in my PJs and Birkenstocks at breakneck speed. It was my package! MY PACKAGE! On the outside Matt had taped an A4-size sheet of paper with my address in bold. "Austria" was also on the customs form, but someone had taken the care to draw big, black lines through both of these and write AUSTRALIA on the box. Thanks USPS.

I'm still waiting on a package from my mom that was sent almost twelve weeks ago. Hope it gets here before Christmas -- she accidentally sent my library books in it.

3 Comments:

At 02 Juni, 2006 00:32, Anonymous Powen said...

Haha. I'm glad you finally got your package. Really, shouldn't post office people be required to know the geogrpahy of the world or something? Unbelievable.

 
At 02 Juni, 2006 09:31, Blogger Liz said...

The USPS needs a really good kick in the butt. That's waaaay too much stress to deal with when waiting for Girl Scout Cookies! I mean, come on! GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!!! That's heaven in a box!

 
At 02 Juni, 2006 16:41, Blogger Jenny said...

Dude, it took 2 weeks longer for me to get my chocolate from you than it did Paul. How weird is that?

 

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