How to post a parcel in Oaxaca [Not So S.O.F.T.] 6



View Profile

This is a continuation of the wonderful travel series from earlier this year by the Champagne Dame – the S.O.F.T: single older female travels! Only this time she is joined by her partner, Panama Hat…. read her previous entry here.

  1. Put aside two days.
  2. Visit post office on day one – get approximate price ($65 for 1 kg).
  3. Get told to get a box at the PO.
  4. Day two – come back to buy box with contents to send home.
  5. Get told “No, they do not have boxes”.
  6. Ask where to get boxes.
  7. Get answer “Don’t know”
  8. Wander the streets for an hour looking for a shop that sells boxes.
  9. Get given 10 different directions.
  10. Finally find a box.
  11. Search for another hour to find a shop that sells masking tape (10 different directions again).
  12. Go back to PO. Get told the box is too big.
  13. Look at shelf in PO. See a stack of boxes.
  14. Grab one (swearing loudly in English). We hope they understand the F word!
  15. Stash goods inside smaller box which doesn’t quite fit everything.
  16. Wait for another hour in a queue because only one person is serving, the other staff are there for decoration only.
  17. Get charged $100, not $65 (for $50 worth of souvenirs).
  18. Swear even more loudly.
  19. Grab box and contents and storm out!
  20. Thank you, and have a nice day!

It was an extremely frustrating and unpleasant experience and it is an aspect I really dislike about Mexico. It bought out the latent aggressive Aztec tendencies in me. I was fantasising about decapitating the unhelpful postal worker. Whatever you do, do not mention the post office incident! Ahhhhh!

The other really big issue is gaining information. No one appears to know anything. No one knows where anything is and we are always given conflicting directions. Amigo, go two blocks down and turn left. No Amigo, go back six blocks and turn right.

One night we asked a gormless youth sitting on a rock, what direction the main road was. His face furrowed in pain as he thought, he looked perplexed. Then after a few minutes, he told us it was straight ahead. A big effort. Then our hosts in the airbnb omitted to tell us that there was an all night fiesta happening right outside our accommodation! And on it goes…

Then it becomes even more confusing when the whole economy is run on small little businesses, which is great for employment, but makes it difficult to accomplish small tasks, like posting a parcel. There are small grocery shops (tiendas) in every street, and small paper shops that sell masking tape, which are not sold in the tiendas. So each small little business has to be sourced to complete any activity.

If you have read the novel On Mexican Time, he romanticises some of the aspects of life in the very trendy and now very expensive San Miguel Allende, but it was written in the 80s. I am at a stage where I just find it annoying!


Have you been to Mexico? what do you like and dislike the most? What’s something frustrating that’s happened on your travels (in Mexico or elsewhere)?

Champagne Dame

Champagne Dame is recently retired, and amazed that she has lived this long! She is terrified she has turned into her mother... Champagne Dame arrived at this small country town, where she now resides, by default and still does not know why she is still here. The beauty and the pristine waters may have some allure... And possibly the realisation that she could not buy a seaside villa with stunning views anywhere else along this ‘girt by sea.’ A former hippy in her youth, she finds it confronting that most of her contemporaries are so conservative, dull …..and… climate change deniers. Champagne Dame has vowed to party on regardless. Her musings bear no resemblance to anyone and are purely fictitious!!! She met her partner on the internet, and while they reside in separate houses (much to the envy of many married friends), he has since moved to her neck of the woods. She enjoys organic gardening, making jams and chutneys (yes this is true!) and she does not enjoy as much, but continues to have feeble attempts at fitness! She is constantly alarmed by the conservatism of retired baby boomers-who remember the sixties and she is an avid googler! You can see more of Champagne Dame's stories on her blog,

  1. That sounds so like us in Canada. Wanted to send gifts home by post. Cost $230.00!!! husband fainted I swore. Consequently we paid $30.00 for extra weight on our flight back. Maybe we shouldn’t buy gifts for the grannies, but I just can’t

  2. We all love to travel and see the world and how the other half live , but it always GOOD to be back home and appreciate how lucky we are here in AUSTRALIA . Let’s hope it stays this way .

  3. I was advised by someone if you buy extra stuff just post it home. Bad advice, postal rates are huge, in the UK we opted for surface mail as airmail way too dear and like Christina, Canadian prices were scarily expensive too. Now we tend to take clothes and shoes we are happy to throw out as we buy more stuff along the way. Those guide books are a wonderful memory but I must admit to not looking at them once since coming home. Be mindful of the weight of gifts, is that beautiful heavy glass ornament so much better than the lighter glass beads.

  4. Friend went to huge trouble and time to pack and post mask home from Cairo. By time it arrived it looked like it had been run over many times and was just crumbled plaster. And it cost a fortune to buy and even more to post. Lol.

  5. The Mexican postal service is slow, cheap, and mostly reliable. International airmail, depending on how and where it’s sent, can take weeks or even a month or more to arrive. For domestic airmail expect one to two week delivery times. Mexico City is the exception, expect international and domestic airmail to arrive in just under a week. There are many private mail and shipping companies operating in Oaxaca that will ship to almost anywhere in Mexico and the world. Although much more expensive than the postal service, private companies can be counted on to deliver letters and packages quickly and on time. If speed is imperative, they’re your best bet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *