For What It’s Worth.. 80.. December 1, 2011

Well Captain.. let’s start out December with a post .. too many of you are asking  me ..  “Are you all right ?” ..

IF you will carefully read several of the November (FWIW.. 69 and FWIW.. 74) posts.. you will find your answer..

My Oxymoron Answer To Begin December .. YES .. I AM ALL RIGHT and NO .. I AM NOT ALL RIGHT ..

On October the 30th of 1990 .. I set foot in India for the first time in my lifetime .. and within one hour I had compiled a long list of  ‘I will NEVER do that’ ..

I think the first one at the top of my list was .. I will NEVER ride the local buses.. because as I rode into New Delhi from Indira Ghandi International Airport in the dark of night .. people were hanging out the doors they were so crowded ..

As you all know.. I got over that fast ..

For me to say that I will NEVER do what I am going to write about here is so obvious that it never got onto a list .. in fact as I walked out of the local Post Office here in Arambol Beach in Goa last Tuesday evening the 29th of November.. I said to myself.. “I can NOT believe that I am doing  what I am doing !” ..

IF you have been following along here you KNOW I have a ‘mail paranoia’ .. all of us do..

Postal theft is rampant .. so when you mail anything.. you stand and you WATCH a postal clerk POSTMARK your mail so they can not steal it and save the stamps to re-sell .. when I mail to you twenty or so post cards at 15 Rupees postage each post card.. I am talking a small fortune of 300 Rupees.. worth of stamps..

With envelope mail you can watch them postmark the stamps but you are powerless to stop them from stealing the envelope and opening it to steal the contents ..

Patti has actually received empty envelopes .. the contents stolen and the empty envelopes sent to her ..

OK.. last Tuesday I showed up at my local Arambol Post Office (photos of it are at http://bobbacaps.blogspot.com) WITH eight (8) envelopes to mail by India Speed Post Mail ..

I had written to eight (8) of my friends here within India and I send all such mail by India Speed Post Mail .. at a cost of 25 Rupees each .. so I paid two hundred (200) Rupees to mail the eight envelopes..

India Speed Post Mail is like our certified mail.. it is numbered and you get a receipt for it .. and it goes by itself and is not mixed with the other mail .. and it comes with a 2 or 3 day guaranteed delivery time ..

So the Postmaster here in Arambol said to me .. “Speed Post closes at 3PM and I can not take this mail since it is 3:30PM BUT .. you pay me now and I will post it for you tomorrow morning and you can get your receipts from me here  at 9AM in the morning..”

I thought to myself.. this is a no brainer .. I will NOT do this.. I will just come back at 9AM tomorrow morning and start from scratch .. hand to him my mail and pay him and that will be that .. because I will be coming back here anyway to get my receipts .. it would be stupid to pay him cash and come back anyway in the morning for receipts ..

WHAT DID I DO ?

I calmly (my mind had taken a sabatical vacation and was gone from my head) handed to him two hundred (200) Rupees and went my way ..

All he had to do was this .. pocket the money .. trash the eight (8) envelopes .. yet hand to me the receipts .. ‘ AS IF  ‘ they had gone into the mail stream ..

I can give you ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD REASON FOR PAYING HIM UP FRONT except my mind had completely left me ..

OK.. here is a good reason.. I have great personal chemistry with this man.. and I think he is good .. and I think he is decent .. and I think he is trustworthy..

I was coming back anyway .. for receipts .. so it still is senseless stupid ..

Well Wednesday dawns .. 9AM comes and 9AM goes .. as does lOAM and as does 11AM .. at 11:40AM in I walk and ask him .. “Have you my receipts for the eight (8) Speed Post Letters ?” .. 

I waited because I knew he would not do them first thing in the 9AM morning.. but I wanted to be there before lunch hour ..

“I have been very busy.. will you please come back in an hour ?”

“NO” .. “I will stand here and and I will wait” .. “IT IS MY TURN to be served and I am not leaving” .. “I am NOT next.. I am NOW” ..

So he smiles up at me.. nods (the India Head Waggle)  and he produces my eight (8) envelopes intact and safe ..

He did his Speed Post Thing.. and I walked out with my eight (8) receipts knowing .. because I watched it all happen ..  that my mail was into the formal computer Speed Post tracking  system.. and my eight (8) receipts (very formal and official and computer printed out) meant something..

I saw the formal tracking number (just like our certified mail system in the States have their own numbered stickers affixed to them individually) stickers on each envelope..

THIS WILL BE THE ABSOLUTE LAST TIME I WILL DO THAT.. next time I will just come back as I had to do anyway ..

And.. when Ivan and Jeevan and Swapan and Leslie and Lawrence and Sharma and Anil and Doctor Khosla let me know they got their letters .. I will be very happy ..

BUT I FEEL VERY CONFIDENT THAT YOUR POST CARDS ARE GOING TO GET OUT OF ARAMBOL AND INTO THE MAIL SYSTEM because I now really trust this postmaster ..

ok.. december is off to a good start with a real post.. smiles and love .. cap ..


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