Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Great 2014 Thank You Note Debacle

Here is a quick story about another time I f*cked stuff up <3

So it was Christmas, and being raised by very polite and super cool parents I have been conditioned to write thank you notes. I left for Russia on the 27th, and didn't have time to write the notes before I left, so I brought them with me! I thought it would be cool (and, let's be honest, I wanted to show off a little bit)to mail the notes from abroad. I put my pre-addressed (thanks mom!) envelopes and cards in my carry on and wrote a few notes on the plane. I wrote a few more on the train into Munich (where I spent an 11 hour layover- read more here), and finished at the cafe where I had lunch. Then I needed to find stamps. But it was Sunday. Oops. 

I went to a few different places, and eventually found an automated machine that sold stamps, so I got hooked up for about 8 euros. 

I spent the train ride back to the airport licking and sticking, and was pretty proud of the end result! When I walked in to the airport I saw a post box, but the thank you notes were at the bottom of my backpack, so I went to check in and print off my boarding pass. I decided to pass security and then mail them since I was pretty short on time. Once I passed security I had 20 mins until boarding, and COULD NOT FIND A MAILBOX. I ran around, clock ticking, looking for an employee- all of whom who had magically gone on break right at that moment. So finally I wildly break into the Lufthansa VIP lounge and demand the people to direct me to the nearest post box before I missed my flight. Well, what do you know, there are no post boxes this side of security. None. Not one.

So of course I beg and plead- "You look like nice people, could you just pop these into a mailbox on your way home from work?" And in that moment, when those women looked at me with their cold, hard German eyes, and shook their blonde heads in disbelief at my ridiculous request, and insisted that it was against airport rules, I hated Germany.
I hated the rules, I hated the strict adherence to them, I hated policy, and I almost hated those Lufthansa Barbies. All I wanted was to get to Russia and bribe some people to assert my dominance over "the system". 
Instead, I smiled politely and walked away, heart crushed, brilliant plan to send cool notes from Germany (which I mentioned in almost every note) destroyed. 
I held back my tears and boarded my plan, chin up, resisting the urge to rip up those notes completely, mentally readjusting my budget to compensate for the wasted postage. 

In the end, I managed to send the thank you notes from St. Petersburg. Thus, they will probably reach their destinations in about a month and are literally coated with stamps (5 each!!). But perhaps this makes an even better story. There was a moment when my deep love for Germany flickered, I saw the cracks in its beautiful facade, but in retrospect my day trip's wonder was in fact not diminished.

So if you got me a Christmas present, keep an eye on the mailbox for a postage-laden envelope over which I slaved and despaired. 

What have I learned? I'm not sure, honestly. Maybe...don't mess up so much? That's generally the take away from all of my mishaps. I'll let you know next time I try to mail something while traveling...actually, there probably won't be a next time. 

xoxo Samantha 

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