The 1st week of April we are definitely ready to start our journey to the east. Our visa service in Germany has confirmed that they sent our passports some 3 days ago; the car is more or less cleaned and definitely packed. The fridge in our flat is empty and the farewell pics are taken.
So we’re just waiting for our friendly postman to deliver our passports – and off we are.
Well, we wait for the 1st day, nothing happens. In the meantime we have the tracking number of our envelope with the passports thanks to the friendly lady of our visa service. We can track exactly where the passports are – in Swizzyland. At the customs of the postal service.
The next beautiful day. First thing in the morning: tracking – they still are at the customs of the postal service. Somehow we have to know what’s happening there. Such a long time at the post’s own customs service – just to state that the envelope contains passports, even not small plates of weed.
Monika phones the guys at the postal service. Indeed, they’re extremely astonished that it takes such a long time and we have to sit on our packed bags. Unfortunately they cannot help because they claim definitely not to be responsible for any customs activities. We learn that this is the primary mandate of Swiss customs. Comprehensible. They even give us the phone number of the faulty customs office. There – unfortunately nobody available – it’s after 4.30 pm.
The next beautiful day. An angry customs officer on Monika’s phone. Of course it’s the task of the postal service to check all postal items – no reason to give the responsibility to customs he explains. Only in case of very doubtful or sensitive items it’s forwarded to the customs – and Swiss passports on their way from Germany are definitely not part of this category. This procedure would rather apply to Congolese envelopes filled with weed or falsified passports of some worldwide wanted terrorists.
Back to the Postal Service’s hotline. By now the friendly guy admits suddenly the existence of their own customs service. Hey, what has happened? Was it because this time Martin is on the phone? Maybe he didn’t dare to tell that to Monika, or to women in general? Probably they just have a joint Swiss-Congolese call center in Kinshasa – and yesterday they thought to speak to Monika about the Congolese Postal Service.
Anyhow. Swiss Postal Service claims to need 48h to check any item arriving from abroad. In case there’s an envelope containing passports they send it automatically to the “real” customs for further examination. This will take another 3 days. After these 3 days – once the “real” customs didn’t look at it because they’re not interested in this kind of things, they will send it back to the Swiss Postal Service – finally these guys will forward the envelope to us. Maybe somewhen by the end of next week – who knows. So far the facts – at least according to the friendly gentleman explaining these important procedures to Martin.
By now, we know at least that once we receive our passports we’ll have to accelerate our journey to Uzbekistan considerably because the visa is time sensitive – and the dates don’t consider the Congolese conditions at the Swiss Postal Service. No problem, why not drive 12h a day and not experience anything on the way – but at least knowing that Swiss Postal Serve did its job. Still remains the question whether they have merged with their Congolese counterparts or the National Democratic Post of Congo took over in Swizzyland.
Or maybe, as tax payers in Swizzyland, we should simply remind these post-customs guys that we’re paying at least a part of their salaries and therefore may somehow be considered their employers – maybe a thought too complicated for them.