One of the things I do every other day or so is collect the mail from the apartment mailbox. Usually it's junk mail. Two days ago I got a notice about a package for the owners. I gave it to their daughter. Yesterday I saw a paper in the entry hall that indicated there was also a package for me.
Packages need to be picked up at the post office. In this case, the one located at 59 Derech Beit Lechem. That's just two streets away, so this morning, I walked down there. Like the US, even numbers and odd numbers are on opposite sides of the street. The first number I saw was 25, so I at least knew which side of the street I needed to be on. It took me nearly another block to find out that the numbers were going down and not up.
But then I glanced across the street and saw that the house address there was 50. Yes, 50 on one side of the street, 17 on the other. Either way, I knew I had to walk the other direction.
So I walked up a few more blocks. The street was getting increasingly residential and I was wondering if I'd somehow missed a quick even/odd block switch. But the numbers on the even side of the street were in the 80s, so I figured I had to be close.
When I reached 57, I was thinking that maybe packages needed to be picked up at the mailman's house because all I saw were big apartment buildings. Hey, this is Israel, anything is possible. And then there was 59. The entrance to an apartment building. Maybe I wasn't so far off?
Then I noticed a guard standing at the entrance of the driveway and thought I should look just a little farther. Aha! Signs for the post office. Basically, it was a little hole in the wall in the back of the apartment bulding. I am still convinced that the mailman lives there though.
There was a long line, and three counters open. No one was wearing a uniform, unless the national Israeli Mail Service uniforms are also layered tanktops. There was a man yelling at them to find out where he was supposed to pay some sort of bill. He had clearly been given the run around and he was finally told he had to go out to the mall to some office there. He did not look happy when he left.
And then it was my turn. I gave them the little slip of paper and after much confusion, I finally got my package. I think they couldn't figure out why there were two packages to the same address, one for the apartment owners, one for me, in care of the apartment owners, but I was only there to pick up one. Since they ultimately didn't ask me for any identification, I probably should have just picked up both of them....