Bohemia Bunnie

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Eeee Cockroach!

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Thrill of Waiting

On Wednesday, 17th Jan, I placed a long-distance phone call to the US (or at least I think it was the US) to Musician's Friend, an online retailer of musical goods. I ordered a guitar strap and guitar stand that wasn't available locally. I'd have ordered guitar polish as well, but I was worried that they wouldn't ship it because it's potentially flammable and besides, I can buy it here. I made a mad dash to the post office after my class, in order to pay them by Western Union transfer. Fortunately for me, the post office is open till 8pm on Wednesdays, otherwise I'd have had to wait another agonizing day to settle the payment.

On the 19th of Jan, they finally informed me that it had shipped. Strangely enough, the parcel shipped from Kansas City in Missouri, though the company was based in Oregon. Sheesh! The company was in Oregon, my shipping address was in Oregon, and if only it'd shipped from the headquarters, it wouldn't have taken so long.

On the 25th of Jan, it arrived at my US address. The parcel sat there for several more days before being "handed over to distributions". You mean you don't process it immediately? Oh man. But I suppose I don't have a choice, after all they need to consolidate the shipping to Singapore instead of sending out shipments as they come in. On the 30th it shipped out, and I imagined my precious parcel flying in the sky above my head, wondering which part of the world it was traversing at that moment.

On the 31st its status was changed to "Final Delivery" and I couldn't track it any more.

On the 1st of Feb, I kept checking my email like a fiend, hoping for that message from hall office that would inform me of my parcel. It was like adopting a child you'd only seen in pictures. I knew what the parcel contained. I knew the dimensions of the box it came in, even. But I had to wait.

On the 2nd of Feb, I went to the dining hall to buy an apple from the fruit juice stall. On my way back to my room, I saw a brown box sitting below the window ledge of the counter. I backtracked and peeked at the address on the invoice. There was no mistake, my baby was here.

I asked the hall office for my invoice of hall fees, and in an offhand manner said "Oh that parcel's mine too." It hadn't even been entered in the package collection book, I wrote the entry there myself. Good thing I took the initiative to collect it myself. It was too large to fit through the slot, so they had to open the door to pass it to me. I sand a little happy song to myself, silly grin plastered on my face, as I walked back.

And now for the grand unboxing!

This is the box and the invoice from VPost, which is the service that I use.
That's how large the box is.

Inside the box, lying coiled up like a snake, is my guitar strap on top of the stand.

Why is it necessary for them to use so much packing material? If they'd used less, and used a smaller box, I could have paid less on shipping. VPost charged me by volume, so I came out on the losing end.
The folded guitar stand and strap in its plastic covering.Mmmmrrrr! That's my sexy guitar strap. To quote the guy in the guitar shop, it "looks like lingerie". It's an Alexis Corset Strap from LM Products.
The guitar stand, assembled. Assembly consists of opening it. That's all. It's supposedly stomp-proof, and to make sure, I pressed on it until both halves came apart, then I put it back together. It's a great stand, but I wish I'd known it was plastic and not metal. Metal is just so much classier, but then I'd probably have paid a lot more for it. And besides, as long as it holds my bass, I don't really care.

So finally, 2 weeks after it shipped out, my parcel arrived. Most of the time between payment and delivery was taken up by processing, I'm sure it didn't spend more than 5 days doing pure travelling. I don't mind waiting, because in the end everything arrived in good condition, and I got what I paid for. So I'm happy. I guess. But I won't be in a hurry to order items from overseas, it's too much cost, hassle and emotional energy spent.