Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A trip to the post office (that actually worked!)

Call me stubborn, but I was determined to find a place to mail letters. I looked on Google maps (and it actually worked - instead of freezing up like it often does on Shanghai maps) and found a post office that said it would take about 24 minutes to walk. The route wasn't too hard for directionally-challenged me to follow, and I ran it by Ryan to make sure.

So when Hadassah woke from her afternoon nap yesterday, we had a snack and then headed out. It had been threatening rain all day and sprinkled on and off, but one thing I've learned is that if you put things off in Shanghai due to chance of rain, you'll never get anything done. ;) Hadassah enjoyed the vibrations in her stroller from the bricks on the sidewalk as I walked at a brisk pace, determined to make it.

On another note, when did my baby get so grown up looking??

 The walk seemed like a long time, and I was starting to wonder at what point I should turn around if I didn't see anything, when I saw "China Post" and the welcome green and yellow sign. I'd found one! I checked the time: 30 minutes from my door to here. Not bad. ;)

To be fair, by car the maps said it would take 7 minutes of driving. So while it seems so hard to find a post office here, I know a lot of it is due to the fact that I no longer have the option of driving. There's probably a bus that would take me close, but so far we haven't figured out the bus system (with different numbered buses and destinations) as it's all in Chinese. In the future, I may have Ryan take me by e-bike, but I didn't want him to take time off of work (since this closed at 4:30 PM) in case it was a failed mission.

But it wasn't a failure this time! Amazing how something working can give you a high. :)

A guy sitting at a desk by the door saw me enter, spoke some English, and brought me to the counter, walking me through all the steps. They weighed the letters and gave me 3 sets of 5 stamps each. As I surveyed the small corner where a stamp would normally go, the man directed me to put them on the back. I licked the first set only to have him exclaim and direct me to a table on the side with a paint brush and some sticky liquid to affix the rest of them. All three letters completed, he showed me the mail slot, and we were done.

Hadassah was done too, as by this time she'd gathered a crowd and wasn't enjoying the attention all that much. So I picked her up, a lady helped me maneuver the stroller out the door, and we headed out.

Each letter cost the equivalent of $3.58 USD, so trips to mail letters will probably be few and far between. But at least now I know where to go. :)

Across the street there just happened to be a McDonalds, and a cone is just about 75 cents (in USD) so it seemed fitting to celebrate...

I also tried out my Chinese, since I'd just finished up a shopping and food topic with my teacher. "Xiāngcǎo bīng qí lín" I said, and they actually knew what I was asking for! So that also helped make my day. :)

 Hadassah was much more interested in the cone than smiling for the camera, as you can see, and I admit: she's not even a year and I let her taste my ice cream. But once her mouth came in contact with it, she made a horrible "that's cold!" face and didn't want to try it again. ;)

 Then we set out on the long walk back. It seemed longer since we didn't have the anticipation of finding something, but I still hurried as rain still looked imminent.

 I ldid et Hadassah out to walk some, since she'd been so good in her stroller for quite some time, but when all she wants to do is pick up leaves, we don't make much progress. ;)

But it's hard to resist that face!

The whole trip just took 1 1/2 hours.And it was encouraging to see that the walk wasn't too tiring to me. Guess I've gotten stronger. :) And, I saw what looks like a pretty extensive park with trails and lots of greenery really close to the post office, which wouldn't be too far by e-bike, so we may go there on Saturday.

I was reading in Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret this morning while I nursed Hadassah that God called him to China, and to prepare - while he was still living in England - he started eating very little, mostly just oatmeal and rice, and living in less comfortable surroundings. Kind of puts our missing of little comforts to shame...

And we now have two working phones today, after a trip to a China Unicom store over lunch. The guy restarted our phones, called some number, and voila! Don't know if they just needed a reboot or what (he didn't speak English) but we're thankful.

What are you thankful for today?


  1. This is Helen-
    All right! I'm glad you found the post office!
    I never heard of a baby picking up leaves. Maybe Hadassah wants a leaf collection. ;)

    And reading your blog makes me thankful for many simple things that I never even thought about: Fresh water, good food... Keep posting when you have the time!

  2. I love how her hair swirls around that cowlick on the back of her head (in next to last pic)! -- Donna Jo