Transporting the Knife
I taught in a College in China in 2008, and at the end of the year, I transported all the things I had purchased there, especially those items that I believed I could use when I was back home in Brisbane.
When my colleagues and I arrived at the college campus, we were shown to neat tidy apartments, with beds made and all set for us to stay, but the kitchen had very few useful items. So in our first few days, we bought crockery, coffee mugs, and cutlery (knife, spoon and fork), among other things to make our lives more comfortable. Later, it was a knife (not the one I bought the first time I was there) that caused a problem.
The post office in the centre of town was a place we would visit occasionally. We’d send gifts back to family members for birthdays, and items of interest as souvenirs of our travels, or add to our collection of postage stamps or coins too.
One day when I went in, the man who looked after the boxes in the post office, took me to meet his daughter who stood in a very strange space selling lottery tickets. That was her job. He wanted me to talk with her as she was attending English classes. So every time I visited the post office, I’d go and talk with her. Just a friendly short visit with about 5 minutes of chatting.
I didn’t plan to return in 2010, but I did, just for one semester. On my return trip back to Australia, I planned to stay a few days in Hong Kong so sent several boxes of things back home via the post office. I didn’t want to lug a heavy suitcase around, so put a knife, spoon, fork and teaspoon in one of the boxes, along with a whole range of other safe items.
When you want to send items by post you have to purchase a box from “the box man” and the post office staff check that you are not sending unlawful items, and after the check, you can pack the box with the help of the box man.
The Knife Problem
But I had a knife in my box. Forbidden. Someone might get stabbed. Really??? I was told I could not send the knife but would have to carry it in my luggage. Would someone look for this weapon in the box of goodies in the many boxes on the plane? Crazy stuff. The staff member put my cutlery aside and I paid for the postage and filled in the documents while the box man packed and sealed the box.
When I went to leave I could not find my cutlery. A little annoyed and assuming that one of the staff had stolen my “dangerous” cutlery, I left feeling a bit angry over the whole thing.
The above photo is of my collection of cutlery. The set on the right was the one I bought in 2008 and brought home safely in my luggage. The set on the left is the cutlery with the scary knife that caused me trouble in the post office that day.
So how did I get the whole set back?
On my return to Australia after an interesting few days exploring Hong Kong, the box of things that I had posted from China a few days before my departure, arrived at my home address in Brisbane.
When I unpacked it, I was shocked to find the cutlery packed in the box!! I was gobsmacked! How did that happen?
So my cutlery was not stolen in the post office, and I suspect my dear box man, who appreciated my friendship with his daughter, snuck the cutlery into the box and it arrive safely for me to keep as a reminder of my time in China.