logo Avalon's Web Diary
Date: 26 May 2003 21:51:48
Title: The package

In the western world we are used to the fact that if you need something
ASAP you
have it couriered to you. (FedEx, DHL, UPS) You pay a fistful of $$$ and a
nicely uniformed man delivers it to your door, sign on the line, DONE! In
Grenada it goes something like this......
After you wait a week for your express 2nd day delivery your troubles
have just begun. To get your item you must pack a day pack for an all day
excursion; food,
water and the all important boat papers and clearance forms into Grenada, oh
more money.
Becky got some hands on experience with the procedure of
receiving couriered packages in Grenada when we needed parts to fix Alvin
the Atomic engine.
First you must locate and retrieve the receipt/shippers
weigh bill from one of many shipping agents or customs houses scattered all
over Grenada. I had to take a bus ride into the hills to the LIAT/BWIA
(local airlines) customs house in Mt Gay (no not the home of the famed Rum).
Oh it's lunchtime, wait an hour and have the local clerk tell me, in detail
why white women are better than black women, was I interested in finding out
if black men were better, NO!
Now with weigh bill in hand off to see Mr
Customs next door. "you need a C-14 form lady" (permission to ship stores)
"Where is your boat, Ok back to Prickly Bay to get a C-14" from the customs
man there. How fast can I do this and return before closing? Got lucky with
a few rides, back to Mt Gay by 3.30pm. "OK" paper work, paper work, pay this
tax and that storage fee. Just after 4pm, feeling very proud I have Alvin's
parts! (apparently this procedure can take days)
My second trip to Mt Gay a few days later to liberate our new life raft
a little trickier. This time as well as the above process there where more
bus rides to get Leslie the customs broker to calculate the duty I owed on
my new raft. (Customs Broker, a man who's job it is to make sense of the
ludicrously complex and confusing import paper work, beyond the ability of
the Customs Officials)
In contrast to the crazy over regulated import laws I
was amazed to find I could stager out of the customs house and on to one of
the millions of overcrowded local mini buses. The hip young local conductor
waved me and my very large package aboard the 12 seater were all the other
passengers manoeuvred round to fit us in, all for an extra $3E.C. $1.15USD
Very cool.
My conclusion is that the process is so frustrating you could scream, so
backward you
could cry but the only answer is to laugh and smile, then they loved you.

Diary Entries