When Going to the Post Office Takes 2 Hours…

… but ends in me walking down the street grinning like an idiot.

This all started with an innocent enough text to Jenni and the Frenchman on Saturday morning when I woke up around 11am (or maybe 11:30, nah 11) to see when the post office normally closed on Saturday. It was December 14th and in order to get my box of Christmas presents to the States in time I was determined to mail it out today. But not determined enough to wake up early. 😀

Their answers.. well it depends.

I wasn’t surprised.

And then a helpful text from the Frenchman with an app for the postal service. yay!

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There were three post offices near me: One at the Eiffel Tower that closed at 1pm but put super cool Eiffel Tower stamps on every parcel, one down the street from the Eiffel tower that closed at 1pm as well, and another one at the opposite end of the Champ de Mars that closed at 5pm. Lots of options! And so little time, because well, because it’s me.

I’d been taking my time waking up and by the time I looked at the clock I had about 50 minutes to make it to the post office and… pick up a last minute gift request by Place de la Concorde.

12:10 – I caught the metro at Ecole Militaire.

12:20 – J’arrive a Concorde. Dashed into a shop and back on the metro by 12:30

12:40 – Back at my apartment to pick up the items for the box

12:55 – After a sprint down the entire length of the Champ de Mars (let’s say the equivalent of 3-4 big blocks) I made it to the post office right before it closed and was met with a not so helpful but trying to be helpful post office lady. There was a discussion about the stamps fitting on my cards in French and then we decided that we would try and see especially because I had been there a week ago and mailed the same cards just fine!

1:00 – After successfully mailing three letters, I realize there are no boxes to put the massive amount of things I’d brought to the post office to mail home.

1:02 – My postal app stops working but zut! I round a corner and see a friendly post office sign.

1:03 – Get nearer to the friendly, now hinging on teasing post office sign, to see the postal workers closing and locking the doors.

1:05 – A wide breath of a block to get back to where I started because I refuse to stop and turn around if I’m going the wrong direction by myself. No matter- I had now 4 hours to find the next post office and a general area that it was in.

Did I mention that I decided to wear heels? And that I was sore for three days after?

1:10 – My app starts working again. ah ha! It’s back at the end of the Champ de Mars. Blast.

1:20 – I’m starting to realize that all I have to do for exercise that day is hike to the top of the Champs again.

1:25 – I’m standing on the dot. Where is the post office? Two rounds of the block where it should be and no sign. I’m very glad that I decided not to wear a coat.

1:30 – Well! I decide that this will be happening on Monday. I give up French postal system! and grudgingly walk back to my apartment. Where I decide to take the stairs, up 7 flights. Why????

1:33 – Legs are screaming.

1:45 – I vow to try again. This is happening! I have three hours to mail this package and it will be in the system today!

1:50 – Decide to hit the possible postal location from another angle and notice a little sign.

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ok maybe it wasn’t all that little, and it might have been bright yellow… but….!!

1:52 – I’m following the yellow brick uh hm arrows down an alley?

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There’s an old lady I’m following that keeps looking back at me..

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1:53 – I FOUND IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1:54 – French French and more French. All day long and loving it. I find the box I need! I ask for the box! The nice postal worker finds the box but then he asks, if I want the one with the Christmas designs?! Yes! ok! I’ll look for it! An awesome box and a complete run down on the instructions and woohoo I’m feeling victorious! Like the lady on the box.

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2:10 – I realize that my “detour” earlier will not fit in the box. I duct tape everything else into said box and stroll to the post office that I now know the location for. 😀

Shut your eyes family! It’s a surprise! ssh!

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2:15 – Back at the post office. “No madame, you cannot tape the box shut.” Defeat! no! but then! “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it,” the same postal worker that searched for a fun box then offered. Success!

2:16 – VICTORY!!!!!!! Commence grinning + walking.

Later that day, after recapping my story the Frenchman says- but Molly, it is easy to visit the post office! Ouais Ouais, c’est facil! mais It’s just getting there that’s a challenge! 😉 haha!

Now fingers crossed that it gets there by Christmas and isn’t held hostage by customs.



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