Thursday, May 6, 2010

Care Package!


Today I received my first care package!!! My friend, KD,  sent me a care package full of goodies from home to help me past the time. I don't think I've been this excited since Obama was elected! It's hard to exaggerate the importance of a little piece of home when your away. Quite frankly, KD could've filled the package with crayons and I would've still been overjoyed to know that someone is thinking about me.

The contents of my package:
-Vogue, In Style, Lucky, and Essence- Fashion and Beauty magazines filled with pictures of things I can't wear in Cairo so that I can stay up-to-date on the latest styles. I feel absolutely scandalized and tantilized at the pictures of women showing their knees :)
Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip Cookies- They make break-ups, bad days, and intensive language training so much more pleasant
Gummy Bears- Life is better with them
Vaseline- The dry heat has taken a toll on my skin. Petroleum Jelly will ensure that my black 'don't crack'
Nyquil- My drug of choice to sleep through the 5 a.m. Call to Prayer
Sunblock- Skin cancer is not sexy
Nail buffer and nail file- There is no excuse for not having well manicured nails, none. On my death bed, please check to ensure that I have a manicure and pedicure
Microwave popcorn- The best company for watching Hollywood movies, The Boondocks, and Glee on my laptop. KD sent me the sweet and salty kind (amazing!). The first thing I did was put a packet in the microwave and share it with my roommates!
A birthday card- KD is sweetie!
Bubble wrap-...She probably didn't intend for this to be a gift but I enjoy it just the same

If you have a friend abroad, in the military, or away at college, please take the time to send them a card or package of little things they enjoy. It may seem inconsequential to you but a care package can instantly brightens someones day or give someone something to look forward to in an unfamiliar environment.

Update: In my excitement, I forgot to discuss receiving mail in Egypt. There are several issues with the mail service in Cairo. The first issue is that, packages sent via USPS are opened, searched, and sometimes the content(s) or the entire package is confiscated. Although USPS is the cheapest way to ship internationally, it is the least reliable way to get a packaged delivered to someone in Egypt. My ex sent my savings account card to me 2 months ago and I never received it. Thus, if you need  to send something important to and from Egypt, FedEx and DHL are better options. HSBC sent me a new debit card via DHL when I lost my old one. Although I had to miss a day of school to stay at home and sign for the package, it was reassuring to know that my card was delivered directly to me and not in someone else's pocket.

Another issue is that regardless of how much the sender paid for the package, the receiver is charged an arbitrary amount for any packages sent via USPS. For example, KD paid about $58 to ship my care package and I had to pay 67LE in order to pick it up from the AUC post office. I should also note that I prefer to have my mail sent to AUC instead of my apartment because it's less likely that AUC will try to inflate the already outrageous pick-up fee. Packages sent to home addresses may or may not be delivered by a post-office employee depending on how they feel that day-week-year. If you are lucky enough to actually receive a package at your household, the deliverer will most likely add an additional backsheesh for himself in the price of the package.

Update 2: I just realized that KD included the words "...Didnt get a chance to get the heat cap though, but enjoy the Cheezits!!! lol" in her email notifying me that the package had been sent. As you can see from the list above, the Cheezits- my favorite flavor, Cheddar Jack, at that- never made it to me. I wonder what Egypt post office employee ate them...


ohradiogirl said...

Well, this is nice. However, you failed to mention the 'cost' of getting that little package. And remember, that sometimes ... the packages DON'T arrive (Cairo don't be like that).

mina said...

reading your blog just makes me hate cairo even more. i've said this before, but seriously, i don't know how you do it.

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