Lewis the Lion and the Post-Office Palava

Sometimes as Lewis the Lion travelled around South America, he realised just how British he was, particularly in terms of his expectations for customer service. Everything in South America seemed to be much more laid-back, so for example, no-one would bat an eyelid if he entered a restaurant and didn’t get served for an hour or so. He realised he needed to take a chill-pill if he was going to enjoy his Latin American experience. None more so than on the day he ventured on a simple errand to the post office – el correo argentino.

Lewis takes his token

After a twenty minute walk to get there, he then realised that there was a well-organised queueing system. You had to take a token as soon as you arrived, a bit like queuing for the delicatessen counter at the supermarket back in the UK. This looked promising.

Lewis waits in the post-office

You then had to wait your turn. This was not always a quick process and sometimes you could wait for 45 minutes or more. On this particular occasion, it wasn’t quite so bad as he just had to wait for 25 minutes for his number to appear on the board.

Lewis waits his turn by watching the counter

He then went to the correct counter where he told the lady that he had a small present to send to England. Oh dear! Lewis didn’t realise that this was going to be so difficult and complicated! The lady told him that he would have to buy a special envelope in the first instance and then without a passport the parcel could not be sent. That meant that Lewis had to go all the way home again, only to return with his passport details. And then you’ve guessed it, join the queuing system all over again! What a palava!

Lewis fills in the forms and gets Helen's passport ready

Eventually, Lewis also decided to post some postcards off at the same time to save him another trip back to the post-office.

Here is a picture of a typical postcard from Argentina, along with the stamps needed to send a postcard to Europe.

A typical postcard from Argentina

9,50 pesos to send a postcard to Europe

Nonetheless, the trip to the post-office had taken him the most part of the afternoon! He wondered how people in South America got anything done if a simple trip to the post-office could take so long? After Lewis the Lion had grumbled on for a little bit, he gave himself a little shake and realised that at least he was lucky to be travelling in the first place and after all, this was all part of him discovering new cultures and ways if life. Yes, Lewis the Lion realised that he was unmistakably one, lucky lion!

Have you ever felt frustrated about something taking a long time? What was it and how did you resolve the problem?

About Helen Molloy

Helen Molloy has been a Primary Learning and Teaching Consultant, leading on the introduction of Primary Languages in the City of Stoke-on-Trent for the past 5 and a half years. She is passionate about language learning and inspiring children into developing a curiosity and awareness of other people's languages and cultures.
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