The Obvious

i always wrap my things in separate paper parcels, officer, it’s neater

Posted in people, travel by theobvious on January 8, 2011

How come when you’re preparing to travel so many people surface immediately with urgent requests? Why is it those people have so many things they need taken to precisely the same country you’re going to at precisely the same moment you’re going there? And what, pray tell, is wrong with mail? Why do we have all these options, Fedex, UPS, DHL, and whatnot, only to have people calling me up two days before a trip to say, hi, you don’t know me, but I heard you were going somewhere, would you mind taking something for someone?

Now, there used to be a perfect loophole: luggage limits. Sorry, wish I could help, but I’ve only got 20 kilos, and my swimsuit alone weighs four. But now people have learned to say first thing, it’s not too heavy! Just a package! But it’s very important it gets to him. So I’m left with no socially acceptable way to decline. Sure, sure, I mumble, go ahead, what’s in it? Oh, just five books. About half a kilo each. So two and a half, maybe three. Six, of course it turns out, delivered to my door with sincere thanks and apologies for the inconvenience. When did it become okay to burden someone with a package a third of their entire luggage in size as long as you say thanks and sorry?

Then, of course, someone else needs to send something, and a third person, and before long we’re running our own little delivery service. If only we just had to stick it in our suitcase and get it there. But then we also need to make sure it’s picked up, right? So we get to this country were we are only going to stay a week, and before you can say “exploited” we’re on the phone with people, arranging meetings. Yeah, they say, tomorrow’s not good for me, how about you come round Monday? Lady, but you’re not the only one I’m carrying parcels for, I’ve got my rounds! I’ve got the books for Jack, and the money for Jill, and there’s also that package for the relatives! Do you mind, this is supposed to be a vacation!

By the time we’re done packing, our luggage has less contents that belong to us than those that don’t. How fun, then, to talk to security officers at the airport! Yeah, I packed this on my own. Yes, it’s all mine. No, nobody gave me anything for anyone, who do you take me for, of course not. Of course.

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3 Responses

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  1. Roee said, on January 9, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Why can’t you just say no? When I was going to Paris, three years ago, a friend’s friend (Russian, of course) asked me to deliver a child’s dress to someone I didn’t even know. Since I wasn’t going to allocate half a day of the one week life had given to me to spend in Paris, I replied that I was more than willing to become a courier, as long as we’re talking about medications designated for life threatening situations; other merchandises ought to be transferred by post. Since then, no one’s bothering me.

    Looking forward to seeing you in Jerusalem!

    • theobvious said, on January 9, 2011 at 11:17 am

      “Why can’t you just say no?” — you obviously don’t know me well enough. :)
      We’ll be in J-lem, I believe, around 6 am (flying in at 1), so if you want to have breakfast together somewhere, give us a call when you wake up.

      • Roee said, on January 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm

        Which number shall I call? 0547-536798?


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