October 22, 2011 by travelingsole
When you get mail in Dhaka it can be very complicated to actually get. Sometimes they bring the mail/package right to your door. They give it to the guard of your building or they knock on your door with it. That’s easy. Sometimes they give you a paper that says there is mail/package at the post office and you have to go pick it up. There is no rhyme or reason to whether they bring it or you have to go get it. Also there are times when you have pay to receive the package. It’s like an extra “tax”. Sometimes it’s the equivalent of $30-$50, sometimes $5-10, sometimes you just get it and you don’t have to pay. No rhyme. No reason.
I went with a friend to pick up a package one day. My friend thought since I am an office worker and spend a lot of time in the post office I might like to see the “organization” of this post office. She was right. I just wanted to gawk. I think if my Postmaster Jamie at home would see this she would say I’m crazy. Well, she already thinks I’m crazy because I came here but this would seal the deal.
Since we are bideshi (foreigner) we were taken past the line, straight to the back. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the line of people. There were at least 30+ men in line. We went around and went to the back. I managed to sneak 2 pictures. I wasn’t sure they would let me but I just kinda tried. I wish I would have gotten more…. It’s actually a big place.
Going there felt like stepping back into the early 20th century. They bring mail in, in big wooden “treasure chests” with padlocks on them. All the mail is opened so they can “check it”. Never, ever, ever send cash in the mail. It will not get here. Then they use a wax seal to close it up again. A wax seal!
Packages arrive in your hands anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months after they were sent. Standard envelops come through fine. If you are sending a package, the envelop packages are best. They are usually here within a month. Also when you fill out the customs forms, don’t declare too much value. That seems to cost us more on the receiving end. I have received two pieces of mail since I’m here. 🙂 Thank you to my dear friends Joanne and Amy.
A very happy American loving her adventures in this country,
PS. An explanation on the title. Mohommadpur is a section of Dhaka. Dhaka’s a big city so it’s divided into areas like Mohammadpur, Lalmatia, Mirpur, Gulshan(the rich section where a lot of foreigners live)…. The Mohammadpur post office services several of sections at least Mohammadpur and Lalmatia. Not sure where all….