Canada Post

Sending a care package of stuff has never been so adventurous as when I dropped by the local Canada Post outlet a few weeks ago. It was a simple, flat package filled with important papers and it needed sending.

Either it is not as straightforward a process or else I did everything possible to make it the most complicated mailing event EVER.

What I needed:

– a package delivered to Sweden, no Switzerland, no Sweden – too many countries that start with “S”. My great grandmother was from Switzerland, my best friend lives in Sweden. I have yet to visit either country. That’s a reasonable enough explanation for my mix up?! Ya?!

– a tracked package, it would make me feel better knowing at what point the package became MIA – reasonable enough.

– a signature upon reciept, again who doesn’t imagine hiring a forensic Scientist who specializes in analyzing signatures … to catch a thief?

Simple enough.

After hearing the available options “International”, “Express”, “Priority”, “Signature”, “No signature”, “Tracked”, “Not tracked”, I chose a method of delivery.

He rang up my order, I paid.

The printed paper postage spit out of the printer. The clerk started preparing to apply it to the package when I stated to myself “she’ll have to sign for this then when it arrives.”

He stopped, looked up at me puzzled, “No, this is the International Priority Mail, this one you can track but a signature isn’t necessary.”

I was confused. He was confused. I probably did say the words “Priority Mail” but meant a method by which a “Signature” is required which translates to “Express Post”.

He was patient, refunded the “Priority Mail” and rang up an “Express Post”.

He handed me paper work to complete, no fancy printer postage for “Express Post”. The form was somewhat confusing, so talking as I wrote,

“Ahhh, mmmm, where I do I fit this long odd address in…well at least I can identify where the Country name goes,” and I moved my pen over the box with the name Country in the top left hand corner and said proudly, “SWEDEN.”

The Canada Post guy almost jumped over the counter, raised his voice and sharply intoned, “Did you just say Sweden!”

“Yep,” I responded and continued writing.

“You realize you asked for postage to SWITZERLAND,” he evenly replied and continued, “make sure you don’t mail yourself home tonight, I am afraid at this point you wont make it”

And with that he began a second refund and a re-ring on a third mail slip.

On Selecting Flooring and Future Husbands…

Two weeks after the Condo flood, it’s time to start thinking about choosing a suitable flooring to cover my cement floors.

I didn’t think looking for flooring would be so stressful and funny. So far I have visited 7 Stores in 3 days.

Typically this is how the conversation starts off:

“Welcome, can I help you?”

“I am looking for flooring for my condo and I am looking at engineered or laminate.”

And with that the sales person shows me their samples and off I go looking for something I like.

There have been two worthy encounters to blog about with two separate sales people at two different stores that had me laughing.

Why?

Both had nothing to do with flooring and everything to do with … My future?!

Here’s for the first and funniest of the two:

“So you look like you are from Europe, what country are you from?” Inquired the middle aged sales man.

I laughed, “I am Canadian, my ancestry is from a little all over.”

That wasn’t satisfactory, “What countries?” He pried again.

“Well mainly Ireland, Scotland and Switzerland.”

He nodded and looked at me expectantly. Should I be saying something more? After a minute of awkward silence he broke down and asked, “Where do you think I am from!”

Sooo that was what this was about, him and his needs! Ah ha! I know how to handle this one I thought to myself.

“Well I am going to guess Italy?”

“That’s correct,” as he puffed up his chest as big as it would go while doing his best to stand a little taller to match my height, “I am from the North.”

“Good to know?!” I said quizzically. I wasn’t so sure what I was suppose to do with this information.

He carried on with his banter about Europe and more specifically Germany. “Have you ever been to Germany.”

“Actually yes, surprisingly, and I loved it so much I’d consider moving to Munich.”

“Really, well that should be simple”, he paused and continued with his grand plan for my future, “You need to go back to Germany, find a German man, tell him you want to move to Germany and he’ll for sure agree to marry you!”

Ummm really?! It’s THAT simple?! Has this guy been hacking my email recently because that WAS my plan!! LOL.

In Memory of a Great-Uncle I never knew

In Memory of a Great-Uncle I never knew

In the last few weeks I’ve had a big idea. It started with a few events that ended with a National Geographic Travel magazine and an airport.

I decided it would be worth my while to discover and explore the countries where each of my four grandparent’s ancestors came from.

Ya I’ve heard a few stories here and there but I don’t really know. I know generalities and that’s kind of insufficient for my curiosity.

As part of this history lesson and travel expedition, besides needing cash for expenses, I need Visa’s and permission of entry in order to work.

Upon closer investigation I’ve found out that the UK is grossly discriminatory on which sex can pass along citizenship, leaving me only with the choice of a 5-year ancestry work Visa and Switzerland just has one rule of if you leave us, you and your pretty little offspring are not welcome back to live or work :). I will be leaving Switzerland for last after Britain, Scotland and Ireland.

I am not sure what I expect to get out of all this except stories, some random travelling partners and visitors from home 🙂 and who knows, perhaps I’ll end up wandering the woods in India indefinitely (I am pretty sure there is no Indian blood in me but hey, maybe a million years ago, I’m open to it LOL)!

For now I am busy trying to convince the UK that I’d be a model citizen and employee 🙂

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Now for what I really wanted to put on my blog and specifically today. While digging around I found out that today in 1944 my great-uncle gave his life in France. There is more to the story, like the night my granddad and one of his other brothers decided to visit his grave site and they almost didn’t make it home.

The sacrifice of my great-uncle’s life is intriguing to me in that 68 years ago today this event changed his family’s life. His family that is my family today. It may seem insignificant 68 years after the fact and a great-uncle but I know it impacted my granddad who can hardly talk about his experience. I can only imagine what the butterfly effect really was like. I’ll likely never know, however to a brother lost who I know was never forgotten.