Last edited by East_coast; 12-07-2014 at 09:09 AM.
There is a thread at present 'Is Hong Kong bilingual?' and it reminded me of something else to like and admire.
Chinese speakers who can switch at once from the Chinese to the western way of counting large numbers, i.e. from man and yik to ten-thousands, hundred-thousands, millions, and billions.
Man to a hundred thousand: divide by 10.
Man to a million: divide by 100.
Yik to a billion: divide by 10.
Fifty man is five hundred thousand.
Five hundred man is five million.
Fifty yik is five billion.
It's not easy.
I don't remember what the issue was, but in the end, I could never organize mail re-direct in the UK (perhaps because I'm American). I needed to show proof of address, which I never had (or perhaps it was proof of address sent from a DE bank).... Then there might have been some issue about needing to do it in advance, and it's expensive, etc. etc. It was all very bureaucratic. I once lost out on some important mail because of this. The second time around, I left some money with a kind neighbor who sent us a package a few months later.
Also, picking up packages in the UK was a pain. For example, your doorbell wouldn't work, because the wiring would be from the 1950s, so you'd have a wireless doorbell, which also wouldn't work because they suck. So they could never deliver mail, so you'd always have to wait 24 hours then go to some collection point at some center in an industrial area (not the local post office). Then you'd have to bring your passport.... and nevermind collecting a package for your partner!! I remember my passport was being delivered, and they just rang once and left.
In Hong Kong, we recently had an amazing experience of collecting a package. It was being sent to a work address, and it happened to be attempted to deliver at 8:00 pm on a Friday. Saturday the workplace mail office was closed, so we went to our local post office with only the tracking number and asked if we could somehow go and pick up this package. The lady made a few phone calls, found out which place the package was at. She then had someone give us a call shortly after to tell us how to get to where the package was. We went there, walked into a mail sorting facility, and in a minute were handed the package! We didn't even have a "missed delivery" slip. Amazing customer service, and amazing ability on the post office's half to track a package and give it to someone.
I remember signing up to a new contract for a mobile phone plan with no proof of address was so easy.
They started you on the plan and the send a letter to your address. Bring that letter back within something like 14 days and then all paperwork was finished.
Sent from my GT-N7105 using GeoClicks mobile app
I'm starting to think you must be quite a few sandwiches short of a picnic if you struggled to handle a simple process like getting your mail redirected. Or as you say, you're American. It's a simple form (in person or online) or you can even do it by phone if you prefer. As for needing proof of address, well, er yes....damn picky Brits wanting to make sure you actually live at the address you want mail to be redirected from. How very dare they. (Actually, HK Post has the same requirement for proof of address but I guess that spoils the Brit bashing fun). Or asking for photo ID when you collect a parcel....outrageous behaviour! What is the world coming to?
As for the whining about parcels and doorbells, why didn't you just get the doorbell fixed? (...I assume there's a Brit bashing excuse for this too).
I find there to be very little difference between HK Post and the Royal Mail. Both have good bits and bad bits, and a lot of it seems to be down to individual staff.
Where I did notice a difference was with DHL. HK DHL delivery guys have been pretty amazing (in the majority of cases) whereas UK DHL are usually pretty gruesome unless you're paying the higher business rate.
Same with the redirects, no issues, completed online and in person. Had it redirected within UK, to New Zealand, and to Hong Kong. Of course I did have proof of address, even though most bills were in my husbands name we always make sure to have one in mine for exactly this purpose. Proof of address has been around a pretty long time as a concept, and not difficult to organize.
As for Hong Kong, I find parcels a right pain. The mailman refuses to bring small parcels, and will only ever deliver a collection card. He Is a bit of a twat though, so whatever, I trudge off and collect them at the post office which is bloody awkward to get to. I think they do have a re delivery thing on the post website, but that site looks like something from the mid 90s, it pains me to use it. Big parcels are ok, because they are delivered by a different cheery chap in the afternoon.
Anyway, nuff said, unsurprisingly we have established that milage may vary on your experience of both redirects and parcel delivery in different countries. Wonder if it has anything to do with your personal view of that particular country...
My parents have a sweet deal with their postman .. they leave their OUTGOING mail on the front mat, and he picks it up when he delivers the normal mail in the morning and takes it to the post office for them. How many HK posties will do that for you?