April 2, 2009

La Gringa got snail mail

It was a big day on Friday. La Gringa got mail − an envelope all the way from the USA. How many bloggers write about getting mail? In my case, if I wrote every time I got mail, that would be about two blog articles a year. ;-)

I get so little mail that it actually scares me! I know that must sound silly, but for me, it is kind of like when
you get a phone call at 3:00 a.m. and immediately think that someone has died.

Back in Texas, I used to get so much junk mail every day that I would fill up a paper grocery sack for recycling every 2-3 weeks. One year, I saved all my credit card offers for the entire year and added them up. It came to something like $3.5 million in credit. Heheheh. I had enough free address stickers to last a lifetime and had an unending supply of scratch pads by using the backs of those coupons.

Now that I'm in Honduras, about every other year, I get the tax forms in the mail from Uncle Sam. I don't know what happens to them the other years when they don't arrive. I had a real difficult time getting the IRS to use my correct address even though I corrected it every single year on my tax return. One year they sent the tax forms addressed to (something like):

L.A. Gringa

#123 2nd St.

La Ceiba, Honduras

In someone's infinite wisdom, they decided that the name of the colonia and all the rest of the address didn't matter. Oh, that may look like a normal address to those of you in the US, but those of us in Central America know better. Without a colonia name, forget it!

However, to my complete amazement, the one and only La Ceiba mailman found me! He gave me quite a lecture about using proper addresses. He didn't like the fact that I used my first two initials instead of a full three or four names either. The population of La Ceiba is somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000, so finding a gringa in a haystack is no mean feat. I was impressed.

We do receive a checking account statement from our Honduran bank most months but that is delivered by a private delivery company. Ficohsa bank just starting offering on-line statements so I will definitely be signing up for that. That will reduce my snail mail by about 97%. I wish it was that easy to deal with my email. ;-D

Last year Aighmeigh sent me a large envelope full of some pretty pink plastic bags from the US (for my market bag projects). It took almost exactly two months for them to arrive. After the first month, we went to the post office to try to find them. We were told to be patient, that we had to wait until they were delivered to us. Eventually, they were.

My mail today was from the US Social Security Administration giving me an update on the riches I will receive when I 'retire.' It's pretty pathetic actually, not enough to qualify for a retiree residency in Honduras, though every little bit helps.

The interesting thing is that since I have a Honduran address, the SSA decided to change my correspondence to the Spanish language! I thought that was really strange.
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