Postcards from the USA: Customs took its’ share

In late October I found a stack of records on a tag sale in Old Saybrook for a quarter a piece. I went through them looking for bands/songs/album titles fitting for postcards. I found a quite niece one for my little Princes Ida: The Platters: My Old Flame (here on youtube for most of the world outside of Germany to hear). I had never heard of neither band nor song before.

At first, as with many other postcards during that week, I had used a piece USPS Priority Mail label # 228 as the address label pasted over the whole in the middle of the record. At the post office I was told I had to replace or cover the label if I wanted to avoid having to pay for priority shipping (which would have been over USD 40) although the Priority Mail Logo could not be seen. In the first two pictures you can still see the record with the original label:

Yesterday I went to see Princess Ida and her parents and got to see the Postcard after shipping. Three unusual changes had occured:

  •  Right at the post office I had pasted a piece of paper as new address label over the Priority Mail Sticker to appease Postmaster Chris. Usually, I never give a return address. On purpose. Apparently, somebody (Chris, I presume) had added it anyway after accepting it.
  • The “Free Art” Sticker has been pasted over with a nice bureaucratic-green Sticker. Roughly translated it reads:  “Passed customs. Main Customs Office, Frankfurt a.M. Airport”. Well, of course it did! “Free Art” was my customs declaration! Duh!!
  • Still, it seems that customs took its’ due, since part of the record is missing.

I forgot to ask Princess Ida whether the postcard had been wrapped by either mail service in the classic “we’re sorry, but we think we might have damaged your mail”. (German Mail bureaucrats created a special word for this: “Nachverpackung”). Not that she would have known;-)

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