Going Postal, Cyprus Style

This is the greatest nightmare (aside from having to go to a public hospital) Cyprus can offer: “package not delivered.”

You arrive at 7:45am because the line already forms for the opening. At 8, of course, nothing opens. SARS-CoV-2 will probably get a medal from Cyprus Post for having made their world and life so much better: the doors are now closed and can only be opened by staff from the inside.

As you wait, past nine and into nine-thirty, you get to watch the staff inside drink Frappé and joke with each other. A few go out back to smoke, some others are on their cell phones.

Meanwhile, Cypriots will do anything to get ahead in the line. Pushing, claiming disabilities, walking up (with no mask or nose hanging out) and just disregarding the 2m distance to get in between the first and second person in line.

You’ve now been moved from third in line to tenth. Want to get arrested? asks the police officer who is bringing his whole family to stand in line. No, no, of course not, go ahead, all seven of you, and stand in front of me, very close, no masks. Anyone else, that’d be €300, but as the family of a cop…

There, ten o’clock… the door opens. Oh… it’s just a few friends and family of workers there. They get to go in. Not you. You wait. Περίμενε εδώ. Wait here. Asshole. Μαλάκα, she mumbles under her breath, as she slams the door in your face.

It’s almost 11 now. You have to leave. Some already did, others bring in family members to stand in line for them, while they take a quick snack or pee. Finally, they open.

“Your package not here.” she says. That’s it. No explanation. “Come back next day.”, Έλα πάλι αύριο. Fuck off. With that, she moves to the next person

.This is the Cyprus postal service. I have seen post offices in Syria, the Ivory Coast, a bombed out quarter in Mogadishu, and after a deadly tsunami destroyed it. Everywhere postal workers are proud, strong, and amazing human beings. They know they are integral to the worlds’ functioning, they fulfill the most basic of need: communication. They are essential, heroes, and the glue that keeps the fabric of the world in check.

Except for Cyprus, it seems.

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