Spanish Post Offices
A few weeks ago, we bought some postcards to send to Neem’s friends and family in Thailand, but didn’t give a thought to sending them, so they lay on the television table for weeks.
Last week, I had to write several letters to the UK, so we had to find a shop that sold envelopes (I had written the letters on my laptop, transferred them to a memory stick and had them printed). The first shop I asked in was one of the government-owned tobacconists, and I struck lucky, because not only did they sell envelopes, but the young man asked where they were going and sold me the stamps too.
However, once I had assembled my letters, I remembered the postcards, so we set off thence to post our bundle of correspondence. It was a pleasant walk and not too far. We arrived at five past one and they closed at two o’clock.
It was a decent-sized building with two desks for dealing with customers, two desks for doing other things, and there were two other people moving parcels about. There were about fifteen customers there but they were not in a queue and didn’t seem anxious to be served, so when I saw a desk free, I put my correspondence down and the lady took the stamped letters and put them aside.
Then a man said that it was his turn, not mine and produced a numbered ticket. I apologised, he was very nice about it and I took a ticket and sat down.
It was one ten and there were twenty-two in front of me. Most people there were late sixties and up and I could not work out what they were doing there. They all seemed to know each other and chatted easily while waiting for their number to come up.
Some were collecting parcels, but the majority were handing over pieces of paper for which they seemed to get nothing in return. Most of them had to sign an electronic tablet.
Anyway, I was called up at two minutes to two. I had waited forty-eight minutes to buy four stamps! It is the worst Post Office system that I have ever come across on all my travels and makes the much-maligned British system look fast.
Not only that, but my letters cost one Euro each to send, but the post cards cost one Euro twenty. I will never willingly enter a Spanish post office again, I will buy one Euro stamps from the tobacconist’s and just post them thereby saving an hour of my life.
**Update: there are yellow pillar boxes around town, so you can post your letters without having to enter a post office.
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Podcast: Spanish Post Offices