Thursday, July 10, 2014

A trip to the post office...

When Ryan and I were courting and we were talking about desire to potentially live overseas one day, either he or my dad brought up the fact that "a trip to the post office can take all day!" Now I know what that means...

We are daily blessed by our neighbors, who not only provide friendship but also translate for us. On Sunday we got a text saying the mailman had left a package notice on the door to our building that was for us. Since we weren't home, we were to call him. So on Monday I called, only to have him hang up after I tried to explain in English what I was calling about. Evidently he didn't understand. ;) So that evening we asked our neighbors and they talked on the phone to him. It turns out the package (an amazing care package from our Iowa Northbrook Baptist Church!) had been broken in transport so we had to come and pick it up instead of them delivering it. No problem... right?

So I wrote a letter, thinking if we were going to the post office, I may as well have something to mail. Ryan figured out where it was using Baidu maps, and we set out on the bike on Wednesday around 5 PM. We drove the route, and pulled into what looked to be a warehouse. But it said "China Post." We were an unusual site, an American couple plus a baby on an e-bike, so a guy came out to see what we wanted. He didn't speak English, and we didn't speak much Chinese. Unfortunately we'd misplaced the packing slip they'd taped to our door too.

It was rather hilarious. Ryan pulled out his passport, hoping he'd recognize the name. Didn't work. He made the shape of a box with his hands, said the word for "things" and then said "BSSHHSHSHHH” and made his hands explode. Made the guy laugh, but he was still confused. Then I remembered: I'd learned the word for broken in my first Chinese lesson! "pò" I said... "package pò." He understood! Makes all those sessions of brain-spinning work worth it!

And, for the record, usually Ryan does all the Chinese talking and does it well. The fact that I knew a word he didn't know is VERY rare. And made me just a little happy. :)

He led us inside and by showing our passports, they located the package with our name. The first guy kept saying "BSSHHSHSHHH”while his hands exploded and then laughing - guess we'd made his day. :) They showed us the list of what was in the package, then cut it open and began taking things out to put in another box. It looked like the box had gotten stabbed with a forklift or something, which had also punctured the bag of cornmeal and spilled it all over everything else. But everything else - chocolate chips, mint chips, baking powder, candles, bath & body works soap, bows for Hadassah, and seed packets for herbs!! - was in great condition, and I still intend to use that cornmeal left in the bag. ;)

Ryan balanced the box between his feet on the e-bike and we made it home. But I still had a letter to mail, as where we'd been wasn't the place! Another search on Baidu maps, another trip on the e-bike, only to discover what we found didn't do mail out of country.

We stopped at a little courtyard park on the way home and had Hadassah walk between us and took turns lifting her and spinning around. We hadn't found the true post office to mail things yet, but we were a family. And right then, that was enough.


  1. This is Helen-
    Wow! I never thought it was THAT anywhere! But then, my dad sends all my letters when he goes to work, and I have never studied about overseas post offices.
    You guys are just so faithful and content with your lot! I wish I could be that way....

    1. When you don't have a car, everything seems farther away whereas in America with a car, it wouldn't seem to bad. ;) The letter I wrote was to you, so I hope to find a place to send it soon!

      I'm not always content - just yesterday morning I was really discouraged about how hard life is here sometimes. But God used my husband to encourage me, and also listening to music about the faithfulness of God lifted my spirits. So keep seeking the Lord and He will grow and teach you with time! Love you! :) -A

  2. Bahaha... BSSHSSHH!! I can picture that very well! But, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? =) Have you gotten your other 18 boxes yet? -Natalie

    1. Glad the word picture worked! :) I couldn't figure out how to type the sound but Ryan did very well. ;)

      And no... they keep asking for more clarification in Chinese on things, and now a different formatting on what we put together. Ryan has such a good attitude though, that this is a test for us, a trial that is growing us! Compared to most, it's a relatively painless one... but still annoying at times! ;) -A