August 15, 2007

Stolen Mail...
One thing that annoyed me at the school where I was working in China (Number 17 Foreign Languages Middle School in Baoding, Hebei) was the amount of my mail that was stolen. I know that it wasn't ChinaPost that lost the mail because everything I mailed home or to friends, from postcards to letters to big parcels, arrived with no problem and more or less on time. Instead, the problem had to be at the school where I was working because friends at other schools didn't have problems either.
While in China I knew there was a problem with my mail, and figured that up to half of it had 'gone missing', but when I got home I realised that it was well over 50% of my mail that was stolen at or by the school. Postcards from grandparents and friends, letters from people in various countries, and even a number of parcels from my parents. It's not that the letters were addressed incorrectly either, because I don't think that my parents would write the address correctly one time then incorrectly the next time. And they knew the letters were for me, being the only foreigner at the school for 6 months. One friend even wrote "laowai" (foreigner) in Chinese characters just to make sure.
I don't know who has my mail, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was a combination of people including my students. On Christmas Day I was lucky enough to catch one student with a package wrapped in Christmas paper, from my parents, walking into the dorms and almost up the stairs. I just happened to be leaving my room and in the hall as he saw me and said, "oh, this is for you." Suspicious?
Of course I mentioned this to the school, who effectively did nothing because my mail still went 'missing'.
So if you mailed me something while I was in China and I never thanked you or replied, you now know why. It was stolen.

1 comment:

Kim said...

I never received a letter from my grandparents, two letters from friends, nor a parcel from my parents :( so someone somewhere is thoroughly enjoying my English chocolate and wearing my bra!!!!