Tag Archives: postal system

la aduana (customs)

I got a letter on Wednesday night (yes, night… like at 7PM) to serve as an international arrival notice. I read the letter (all in Spanish) and it was talking about importation taxes and special documents and invoices and it was pretty confusing. They were holding my package (which had 2 hoodies, a jacket, my new debit card) because they thought I had bought them and they wanted to tax me.

Since the letter was pretty confusing I got my roommates to read it and try to figure out what I needed to do. Both of them were pretty confused as well, and they have never received a letter like that before. Cristina and I went to the local post office last night to see if they knew anything, but no one could really give us any answers. I went to the website in the letter, and I didn’t really have too many options. I decided to go to the customs office to resolve everything. They only gave me until Tuesday to pick up my package or else they’d send it back to the US. Their hours are only 9-2 on Monday-Friday, and Monday, my free day, is a holiday, so I was cutting it close. They hardly gave me any notice! I felt really rushed.

I took a bus to the “barrio del aeropuerto” (neighborhood around the airport), and I went to the customs office. I explained the situation, he looked at my student visa, and stamped my letter. He sent me off to the post office to go pick up my package and to pay the postage fees. Once I got to the post office there was a huge line and tons of random people everywhere. The postage system here is really disorganized at times. Some people said that they were in the line for one hour to pay their taxes and pick up their packages. Others told me that they called all three numbers on the letter and no one ever responded. People complained in general about the whole process really! Haha

Thankfully I didn’t have to wait in the line, because I had already worked out my tax situation. I had to wait about 45 minutes to get my package, but at least I didn’t have to wait in that long line! I met some American girls that had to catch a plane to Morrocco in about an hour and they still hadn’t gotten their package! Craziness!

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