One of the most exciting things that can happen to me now that I am no longer based in England is mail. This is for many reasons:
1. Post making its way all the way from another country to my actual address in Rome is a magical occurrence, because 75% of international packages get misplaced in this godforsaken infrastructure-less country and never make it to where they are supposed to be going. Arrival alone is success.
2. When post does arrive, it has a big picture of Jesus on it, because sticking big religious pictures onto a delivery for a godforsaken infrastructure-less CATHOLIC country is the only guarantee that said delivery will arrive. As my Dad tells the woman at his post office, “Because you see, nobody fucks with Jesus.”
(Also: Yes, I am aware of the irony in calling a Catholic country Godforsaken but like duh. WELCOME TO MY LIFE. Italy IS a mass of contradiction because nobody filed the paperwork properly. They were having cappuccino.)
3. Deliveries are only ever from Mum and Dad, and that normally means either chocolate, or deodorant with anti-perspirant. Because Italy doesn’t put stuff to actually stop the sweating into their deodorant, only pretty stuff to make you smell nicer. A good idea until you’ve been on the metro in August. Then, evidently, somebody needs to devise a new strategy because the only thing worse than humming body odour? B.O. DISGUISED WITH THE FRAGRANCE OF SWEET CUCUMBER.
Urm, and that’s pretty much the end of my list on why receiving mail is awesome.
The last package I received from my parents was my winter coat last November. It’s a big sleeping-bag type thing I bought for my time in Michigan, but never anticipated needing in the Mediterranean. I was wrong. Rome is cold in winter. WHO KNEW. Mum and Dad had rolled the warm coat of AWESOME down so small it squished up to fit into a shoebox, and when I got it I ripped it open, cast the coat aside, and then turned the box upside down for the note or the chocolate or the treat to fall out. Because nobody sends a package without a little something extra, right?
THOSE BITCHES DIDN’T EVEN PUT IN A LETTER. I checked every one of the 345,973 pockets on the thing, thinking to myself, well yeah- Mama Janie is pretty unsentimental, but surely Dad has left me a note in a secret compartment SOMEWHERE.
So when I emailed them to ask for three tubes of Boots exfoliant and a deodorant stick I was expecting exactly that and emotionally, I was prepared. Things to remember about my family: They send rubbish packages, will never come visit, and make me laugh harder than anybody else ever invented. Also: my parents have no sense of balance. And so we went from my winter coat containing no trace of love, to an incorrect ONE tube of exfoliant, THREE deodorant sticks, 3 Cadbury Cream Eggs, two Chomps, Three Fudges, a packet of giant buttons and a note from dad that said, ‘Something to occupy you when you are on Skype,’ which to be quite honest I’m not even sure I understand but I think was supposed to be a gesture of love.
To conclude: I didn’t really get what I wanted, but I will temporarily have smooth skin, never need to buy deodorant again, and have all the Cadbury I need to get me through this cold weather and possibly even until I leave this town.
So overall? WINNING.