August 17, 2009

How to receive Tom's Unscented Natural Care Deoderant in Ecuador

Just for fun: On July 17 I went to the post office to pick up a very special package from my friend Mark (the drummer based in Salem): Tom's Deodorant. I confess - The last two weeks in Colombia and the first week in Manta I was, well, stinky. And so I was motivated to obtain this package. I needed to pick up the package with ID. Taxi to post office: $1. Told that Aduana (customs) was not here for the day. Taxi home: $1. Taxi the following day: $1. Waited 15 minutes for voraceous paper stamping. Told I must go TO customs to pay a fee. Taxi driver said he would take me there for $1.25. He took me to the old customs site, and wanted to charge me more to go to the current location. Ok - Only another $0.25. But the site was 20 minutes outside of town. Right. Arrived, waited in scorching sun to hand papers through a blinded window. Learned I am only here to obtain another stamp and now have to go to a specific bank to pay the customs fee. Taxi to bank: $1.50. AND, GET THIS: All this running around was to pay a $0.13 fee!!! Aaaaagh! Return by taxi to give papers to post office: $1.00. Fee for package staying in office four weeks: $3.45. Taxi home: $1.00.

And so, I now proudly am un-stink-ified, wearing Tom's Long-Lasting Unscented Natural Care Deodorant, thanks to Mark and the many rich cabbies of the Manta region.
By the way - I actually offered to pay the $0.13 fee all the way back at the post office to save myself the additional $4 and hour to pay the $0.13 fee - and the customs man declined in the most professional of ways. Sigh.
(July 23)

No comments:

Post a Comment