How to collect post from a Kenyan Posta

Today I went to the post office. It was (not) so much fun.

1. Get to the post office at 12:50. Find that they closed for lunch at 12:45. Get told to come back at 2pm.

2. Arrive back at the post office. Go with your slip (delivered to your PO Box) to desk no. 1.

3. Wait in line

4. Show your passport and slip to lady at desk 1. Get given your parcel, but in no circumstances are you allowed to open it or, heaven forbid, try to leave with it. Get sent to desk 2.

5. Wait in line

6. Open your parcel in front of a customs person. Customs person determines how much you should pay to collect your parcel, or if your allowed it. For the record, it costs £50 to collect a mobile phone. A packet of mustard seeds is DEFINATELY a no go. The poor guy wasn’t allowed the packet, the book or the photo and letter that was also sent with the packet. So please please, nobody send me seeds! Ant bait, after a little discussion, is allowed.

7. Get sent to desk 3. To get your slip stamped. Don’t even think about taking your parcel with you to that desk. Definate no no. Leave it with the customs lady at desk 1.

8. Wait in line at desk 3.

9. Get your slip stamped. Get sent back to desk 2.

10. Wait in line.

11. Customs lady tells you no, you can’t have your parcel yet. Get sent to desk 4 to pay to receive your parcel.

12. Wait in line at desk 4.

13. Pay 60p to receive your parcel. Get sent back to desk 2.

13. Wait in line.

14. Collect your parcel. Get sent to desk 5.

15. Wait in line.

16. Lady at desk 5 registers your parcel and checks your I.D. Get sent to desk 6.

17. Wait in line.

18. Man at desk 6 appears to do exactly the same as what lady at desk 5 did, but in a different desk. Get told you may now leave.

19. Quickly shove parcel in your bag before anyone else see you have it and sends you to another desk. Mission accomplished. Leave the room and celebrate…

… until you leave the building and find it’s raining. A lot. In a very short space of time. And I find that yet again, I have no umbrella. I have no raincoat. I have no wellies. I am just wearing a T-Shirt. A skirt. But no flip flops. This time, I was (a very little!) better prepared with closed shoes. Progress. Maybe next time I’ll have a cardigan. And the time after that, dare I say it, an umbrella and a raincoat. Maybe. Or maybe not.

But for those of you that were a little concerned at my sentimental blog post yesterday, fear not. Today, I am back to my normal self. Today I did not wish to start frolicking under rainbows and dancing in puddles. Today I went for my first option. Run for shelter and sit out the rain. Which did eventually stop.

You’ll be pleased to know I got home safely at 4pm, just in time for my Kiswahili lesson. The post office experience took the whole day. It was pretty annoying. I got quite bitter about it while sheltering from the rain. But you know what? Life continues. Life continues.


p.s. please don’t let this blog post stop you from sending post! Letters and small parcels containing chocolate and the likes get put straight in the P.O. Box which Justice goes and collects post from everyday. It’s only the bigger parcels containing ant bait and such likes that demand you go in to the post office to collect. So please, I love to receive post! Send to: St John’s Community Centre, PO Box 16254-00610, Nairobi, KENYA


5 thoughts on “How to collect post from a Kenyan Posta

  1. Hi Pippa! You are a fantastic story teller, I felt like I was in line with you…glad ant bait is allowed, whew!! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into a beautiful country with beautiful people sans the quirky postal rituals 🙂

  2. Reminds me of the 7 hours we spent at the airport to collect parcels sent prior to
    our arrival by courier plane!! Happy days

  3. Pingback: Small Adventures | Made in Africa

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