proof of existence, please

The adventure with Correos continues.

Let’s review. My parents sent me a package in mid October (tomorrow is the 1st of December, by the way). It arrived in Madrid and someone in customs thought that “Ron Holland” was a description of alcohol from Holland rather than it’s true contents “books, school materials.” Customs sends me a letter requesting payment for my imported booze. I fax back a declaration of value stating that the box carries school supplies and does not in fact hold rum. They do not respond for two weeks. I receive all of my other packages in a timely fashion, but this one remains missing.

Last Friday I go to the post office to pick up a package from my Aunt. On a whim I ask about the whereabouts with my other package (pulling out sheafs of paper describing the process thus far). I am directed downstairs to a very nice Spanish lady (who had just mailed my pen pal letters to the US). We talk for awhile and she directs me to scan all of my paperwork, and resend it to an email address. I take care of that before I leave for Granada, and fire off the email that morning.

An email arrives while I’m away – and upon my return I read the following (loosely translated): “If the stuff in your box can be considered personal effects, you need to resend that paperwork you filled out, indicating that it is personal effects and the value is “0”. Then you have to send us something that demonstrates that you lived in the US and now you’re living here. For example, plane tickets, university certificate, etc. Then we’ll present it to Customs for you. If they accept it, and leave us free of taxes, we’ll go find it in the mail room and send it to you.”

Really? Really. So now, two months after my package has come to Spain, I need to prove my citizenship in both countries in order to receive said package. What am I proving? That I’m not from Holland, like my nonexistent rum is?

Lame, Spain. Lame.

Regardless, I sent them a pound of paperwork via email today, so someone in Customs needs to get over their embarrassment about the screw-up and send me my package.

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