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Dordogne

Mo finds La Poste

Getting the shipment ready

Pondering additional treasure

And so on


Travel is work. The English had pithy advice on the rigours of travel in the day of the Raj. "Don't stand if you can sit, don't sit if you can lie down."

I do my best to sit and lie down whenever possible.

Travel is constant walking and standing. In terminals, lobbies, famous sites, museums, view points, and all else.

Then there is the change of time zone, weather, food, language, and habits. One often feels on the defensive: am I eating correctly? Is my fork in the correct hand? Honest to God, I have had Mo ask me to describe how diners in a French cafe-restaurant were handling themselves so she could fit in. That time, I remember clearly that the most obvious diner in the place was an overweight Frenchman pounding down a plate of fries.

Thus, travel can turn into a chore.

Sometimes the chores are practical.

Mo likes to shop. She will buy stuff of interest without considering whether she can pack and carry the stuff for all or even part of a trip.

Our solution to this issue is to ship stuff home.

This trip, the stuff in question was a couple of hand-woven baskets purchased at a local market. They were small but combined were awkward to carry. I suggested we send them home.

An Internet search revealed no handy FedEx, UPS, or DHL shop. We decided on French post.

Finding the most convenient post started with us dropping off fellow travelers at a famous garden and borrowing the group car for a run to town, Sarlat.

Several narrow streets, multiple roundabouts, and a tiny parking space got us to the post office. Alas, the friendly staff had no box of the right size. We were given hazy driving directions to a nearby stationery store. After revisiting narrow streets and roundabouts, we could not find the stationery. We opted to try a retail garden shop by asking for empty boxes. No boxes, but better directions including a hand-drawn map to the stationery.

Narrow streets and a few roundabouts later, we found the stationery as it was about to close for its two-hour lunch. Mo dashed in, politely, and found the right boxes, along with packing tape and bubble wrap.

We proceeded to wrap and box her treasures in the parking lot. When we were done, the post was still closed, and we had just enough time to rejoin our companions as promised.

We drove to the next town. As our friends went to tour, Mo labeled her box and trooped to the post. It was open!

Mo used her friend's local address for the required paperwork. When asked for a phone number, she could not remember her friend's so she gave mine. When asked for an email address, she couldn't remember her friend's, so she made one up. Paperwork done, the box-turned-parcel was weighed, stamped, and tossed in the system. A triumph for a clever tourist.

By the time we got back to our place, I had to lie down.



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