Well it was about time – the rose-coloured glasses got distorted and Italian stereotypes are coming true:
Surprisingly Italians are not familiar with the concept of Advent calendars! I first noticed when I told my friends that I’m preparing a personalized advent calendar for my sister and they asked many questions about the concept and how it works. But never fear – my mum got me covered, she sent me a parcel containing a caledar and Austrian sweets to spice up my advent… but it got lost in the post! 😦
Here’s a little chronology of the drama:
15th November – My mum posts the parcel in Austria, all good.
20th November – She checks online and sees that according to the tracking service it’s already arrived, but I wasn’t home, so they left it in the post office.
21th November – I go to “my” post office in Rome and ask if there’s any parcel for me, the friendly clerk checks his computer but he can’t find any parcel corrisponding to my tracking number in their system: “Boh, maybe it’s still on the way. Come back in one week.”
1st December – I go back to the post office, still nothing. They tell me to call the customer hotline. So I call the help line for frustrated clients: if you want informations about letters, press 1. If you want informations about parcels, press 2. Please hold the line… The person on the other end asks the tracking number and after running a short search he straight away asks me “Is it ok if we deliver it tomorrow?” Of course it is! Hallelujah! I spent 7 euros on the call.
2nd December – I stay home all day, almost not daring to go to the bathroom in case the doorbell rings. But no delivery arrives.
3rd December – I go back to the post office. The clever guy at the counter can’t find anything related to my tracking number. I explain very calmly that apparently the customer hotline was able to track it, so perhaps they could work together as they are both from the same company. Completely flabbergasted he asks me what I want him to do and how I could possibly suggest that he calls the hotline, so he’d have to spend money?! He dismisses me with “Miss, I don’t know where you are from, but this is how things work here. The customer has to call the customer help line. Just call until it arrives. Have a good day.”
Now it’s past 12:30, so the hotline is closed. I’ll have to call on Monday.
On the way home, I passed Castroni, a little deli that also stocks international food and spices – and they had classic chocolate advent calendars from a German company in the windows. So I got one for myself: self-reliance is the name of the game!
I hope you have a wonderful advent calendar!