Aye yi yi. My beloved and I mail ten postcards in Mexico. Seventeen days ago. They are lost somewhere between Puerto Vallarta and Kansas. I have a feeling they're not in Kansas, Toto. It takes a lot to send postcards on vacation. It means breaking out of a sun-induced, sandy stupor to trot out to the bodega... choosing the perfect scene for each recipient... correctly counting out pesos... then actually writing something. I write the same message on several cards... the ocean AND the mountains: best of both worlds!
That done, the search for stamps begins. The senora in the bodega is out of stamps for days running. She suggests the hotel lobby. They don't have stamps, but direct us to the bodega.
We decide to walk to a nearby bustling neighborhood in search of breakfast and stamps. A shopkeeper directs us to the cambio (money exchange), where a kindly senora sells us a dozen stamps (not the recently-released racially controversial variety) destined for the USA--about 140 pesos worth. Although there is a little red post box across the street, she suggests we post our mail from our hotel, because the box pickup is pretty good these days, but not always reliable.* We take her advice. Of course she doesn''t know where we are staying and that we have become paranoid of the lobby personnel.
We are shunned because we refuse their "invitation" to a breakfast/time-share presentation at the new resort they're building down the beach. They even bring in Patty the closer before we are even allowed access to our quarters. We are hostages in the lobby, getting the torturous, high pressure "invitation." Very hospitable, but that's another story.
We do ask the concierge where to drop our mail. There is no mailbox here, she is happy to tell us. Give it to the bellboy and he will take care of it. I don't ask what "take care of it means" but, now, 17 days later, I think I'm starting to get the picture. And it's not the kind you see on a postcard.
*Regarding the Mexican Postal Service ("Servicio Postal Mexicano") there is an open debate about its effectiveness. (Source: www.solutionsabroad.com)