I was terribly homesick in the months after moving here, and on my birthday last year, looked forward to care packages shipped over by my oldest friend, and also my brother and his wife. I carefully noted the newspaper's address - my new colleagues all seemed to be receiving mail quite frequently – and waited for a bit of home.
And waited. And waited. By July it was clear there was a problem. My brother did not keep receipts for anything in his package, which included entire seasons of DVDS. My friend on the other hand, had kept receipts for almost everything: books, special organic bars I love, a cool T-shirt, and was incensed that basically the best birthday package ever had, as it seemed, been stolen somewhere between Toronto and Abu Dhabi.
No one tried to send me anything for my birthday this year, and really, I don't blame them. Also, I have been unable to let go of the idea that one or both of those packages might some day arrive. For months I would look up hopefully when the deliveries came, shaking my head over boxes that would land on my colleagues' desks, wondering what they did right that I had gotten so, so wrong. I rushed out and paid for an Aramex account, which gives me PO boxes in the US and UK and, although it costs a fortune, guarantees I will get what's coming to me.
Anyway, just before Christmas, after much wrangling, Canada Post came through with a full refund for all the items in my friend had bought me. And then, 14 months after it was shipped, miracles of miracles, the package itself turned up back at her house in Milton Ontario. She wrote, and I quote: "everything was still there, a little beat up and dirty but all together. i obviously threw the power bars right out. i will keep the rest for you!! so exciting i can hardly stand it! it was like christmas opening it. there is still hope your brother's parcel may still be returned to him."