Day 235 | day off in Broome: Tackling the parcel issue
rest day 2
I haven’t droned on about my precious parcel much in this blog but today I just might.
It’s a long story so go and make a cuppa and get ready for settling into a comfy chair.
Day 111: A parcel with my work clothes, runners, cold weather gear etc was posted from Alice Springs to Katherine. I posted it to myself: I didn’t want to take an unneeded 8 kg of bits and pieces on my bike over all those dirt roads.
Day 135: In Halls Creek, it was clear I wasn’t going to make it within the statutory month so rang Katherine and asked if they would keep the package for an extra month, ie, until Day 173. That would give me more than enough time to get up there. No worries. All sorted.
Day 158: Arrived in Katherine and parcel not there. Must have been sent back. Will sort out in Darwin. (For some reason they didn’t tell me how to get reunited.)
Day 189. In Darwin I find out how to trace a lost parcel but I leave first thing the next day and don’t follow up.
Day 198. Wait until I get back to Katherine to fill out the official form asking for it to be sent to Kununurra. (There are certain issues in not having a fixed address or mobile phone. I can sense no one can believe that someone is without a phone.)
Day 208: Parcel not in Kununurra. Katherine has not yet sent off the form. Fill out another one asking that it be sent to Broome.
Day 235. Finally today, 124 days from when I sent it, I have an email to say that the parcel is in Kununurra.
Kununurra? I’m now 1000 km beyond there.
Go to the Post Office to get it forwarded to Broome. Can’t do it at a PO. You have to do it over the phone.
Over the phone? You sure?
Yes, says the supervisor. (I’m simplifying this for clarity.)
Find a working phone box. After 30 minutes of dialling numbers and choosing the correct option I finally get through to Kununurra PO. (The public phone is directly under the flight path of Broome airport I discover and the coast watch surveillance planes start coming in to land.) They need the parcel number. No number has been given. They say I have to do it via a PO. Then it will take 2 weeks to process my request and another week to send. (I can’t wait around in Broome for a parcel for 3 weeks.)
Things get difficult for Kununurra PO at this point so the service assistant decided to hang up. Humm. I thought so. Walk back to PO and then rethink I’ll go back and ring again. Now in a queue. Now getting close to 5 pm.
Choose different combination of options on the menu and get a very helpful PO trouble shooter, we then get an older woman at Kununurra PO as well. (She shouldn’t hang up if the trouble shooter stays on the line. The trouble shooter is a professional and stays around.) I want to send my parcel to Port Hedland now, which is the next town down the line about 800 km away. No worries, will be there in 2 days.
If you can get it 1800 km to Port Hedland in 2 days from Kununurra why can’t you get it 1000 km to Broome in the same time. You have to drive through Broome to get to Hedland.
We can’t guarantee when it will arrive, sir.
(Did I ask for a guarantee? What’s with the 2 days then?)
5 pm. She has to close the door to the PO. I make a snap decision. Send it to Broome. (No mention of 2 days now.)
Fingers crossed. After 4 months parcel reunification may not be far off.
I’ll just have to work out what to do with 8 kg of unneeded bits and pieces.