by Melinda Gallo

A belated Christmas present

Most people would have kissed their lost package good-bye if it hadn't arrived within a few weeks of it being sent from the US. My sister sent me a package on November 24th last year along with one for my husband. His arrived within about 10 days right after we moved into our new place. For a few days, I wondered if I didn't put the sign on the door early enough with our name, but usually, they leave a note anyway downstairs above the mailboxes for at least a week. Besides, packages take at least a week to get here usually.

Christmas came and went and my package still hadn't arrived. My sister sent me a few emails asking me if I received it, but I told her that as soon as it gets here, I'll email her. By the middle of January, she just assumed that it was lost, but I told her that it'll probably show up. I don't think she really believed me, but I do have faith in the Italian postal service for some strange reason. I honestly can't remember ever having anything lost in the mail before although a few of my ex-clients claimed that the post office lost checks they sent to me. (And, that's why they're now ex-clients.)

This morning, the postino (postman) rang our campanello (doorbell). When he rings once, I don't answer usually because he usually rings multiple campanelli and for some reason, if he does this, we can't open the door for him.

On the second ring, I ran to the intercom and said, "S. Chi ?" (Yes. Who is it?). "Gallo? Ho un pacco da firmare e da pagare." (Gallo? I have a package here for you to sign and pay.) "Mi dica quanto ?" (Can you tell me how much it is?) He responded with a price and I responded, "OK, arrivo." (OK, I'm coming).

I scrummaged my wallet and Dave's to get the right amount to pay our postino. Unfortunately, I only had a 50 and some change. I ran down the three flights of stairs, which I had just come up a few minutes ago after going to the palestra (gym).

I opened the door, and said, "Mi scusi. Potevo aprire la porta..." (Excuse me. I could've opened the door...) "Non c' mica problema." (Not a problem.), he said. He handed me the package, which had been wrapped in a plastic bag by La Posta, and showed me the little piece of paper to sign. I handed him my 50 and said, "Mi dispiace non ho spiccioli." (I'm sorry I don't have small change.) Between the two of us we somehow managed to get the right amount in his pocket and the right change in mine.

"Aspetti...guardo se ho altra cosa per Lei." (Wait...I'll look to see if I have anything else for you.) I didn't receive any bills or anything else today, just my package. "Grazie tante...e buona giornata!" (Thank you very much...and have a nice day!), I said to him before I ran up the stairs. I couldn't wait to open my Christmas package and show Dave my presents. I'm pretty patient when it comes to getting packages (even those that arrive three months late), but very impatient when it comes to opening them up.

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