Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Stamping the Christmas cards

I went to the Post Office to buy some stamps for my Christmas cards but there was a big queue. Now it can take fifteen minutes for Enrique, the guy on the Post Office counter, to shift two people so five or six people and I thought maybe I should carry food. Alternatively I could go to a tobacconist and buy the stamps there. I chose the second option.

In Spain there is a price for normal mail and a different price for what must be classed as abnormal mail. I mentioned this to the woman selling me the stamps in the tobacconist. She thought it was so much nonsense and limited herself to selling me stamps at 42c for national delivery and 90c for stuff to the rest of Europe. The other side of the world cost just 10c more.

I wrote my cards but before I stuck on the stamps I checked what constituted normal and abnormal mail. The price differential was substantial and most of my cards were definitely abnormal. Being an honest sort of bloke I thought the best bet was to explain myself to Enrique and use my tobacconist stamps plus extras from the Post Office to make up the difference. All I had to do was to find a time when the Post Office was empty.

Being old and stupid I forgot to take the stamps with me when I went in to the Post Office very early one morning so I ended up buying all the stamps there.

Maggie was writing her cards after I'd done mine. I offered her my unused stamps. She wrote her cards and started sticking stamps. She asked me about a stamp for sending a card within Spain. It was then I realised that she had put the national stamps on all the internationally addressed cards.

She hadn't recognised the Christmas tree design in the photo above as a sheet of six stamps. "I thought it was more useless Christmas information you'd brought home," she said. I laughed like a drain.

No comments: