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Where we are not, is not always good / SurprizingFacts

2014, in the country of Maradona is ruled by a popular party in the people, carefully guarding the hothouse economy from ruthless competitors from the outside. In the course of the standard arsenal of elementary protectionism: prohibitive import taxes, bureaucracy, screaming rhetoric and enigmatic state statistics. About purchases in foreign online stores and not worth thinking about.

In December 2015, the opposition comes to power led by the liberal conservative Mauricio Macri. Relatively rich Buenos Aires believes in the president "out of his", which will reset the shackles of protectionism and lead a consumption car. The dollar is let loose, inflation is skyrocketing along with it, but the middle class does not despair: these are just temporary costs on the way to cheap iPhones with home delivery. The illusion of open international trade is more alive than ever: Amazon and eBay are increasingly flickering in the history of browsers. My book came to the doorstep of the house in a month – "only" for a month, according to local standards.

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In December 2015, Authorities, in March 2016 announced the removal of restrictions on the delivery of foreign stores, in July formally confirm the plan, and in August the decision takes effect. Gradually people understand that this is a trap.

The presidential candidates do not always promise and think in the right order, especially given the intensity of the passions in Argentine politics, comparable only to football. To think how to stop the fever of foreign purchases, it is necessary to be cautious: to listen to the clanking of thousands of pans on the next strike the rulers clearly do not like. Barriers can not be fixed in the laws, because after promising to change, you can be blameless. But according to the old tradition, you can weave bureaucratic cobwebs so that from one thought about postal adventures people bypassed foreign online shops side. To divide and rule in this case is not difficult: mail and customs are not getting along with each other.

Therefore, they should be planted in one building. This, which you can reach only through the busiest junction, avoiding port trucks, or walking past a couple of stations, slums and gas stations. And this is not the first attempt: sometimes here, as the local people say, "there is no system" (which can usually be understood as "the administrator asked for early leave"). And most importantly, inside there are no excesses in the form of pointers, chairs, or employees available for questions.

For the love of infographics and the encouragement of young designers, I ordered a couple of posters from a small British studio with home delivery. Nothing boded problems until a telegram with instructions arrived. Pay the tax, sit out the live queue for the password to the customs system, fill out the declaration on the site, where they managed to fix only the home page, and go to the mail, again on foot. To go, of course, is useful, but not for instances.

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"Simplified customs declaration": just admit to the user that "at this stage, assistance is not available." It's a pity, now I can not reproduce my original mistake about float 70.0, which was nowhere to be found.

Finally, the "user journey" is passed (the interface of the Argentine applications is a whole separate topic), and I cheerfully go to the post office. The queue tightly extends from the door to the courtyard and behind the iron gates, but it's probably those who lost the battle with the multi-windowed web dinosaur. And I have everything ready! "You know, here everything is ready for the whole line," the postmaster responds because of a prudent partition. Two hours on foot, only to hear the postal clerk: "Hmm, yeah, you're all right. Just now talk to Rodrigo, he's somewhere in the hall. " Among the hundreds of people.

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This is 2014, when both the hall, and the queues, and the complexity of their bends were a couple of times smaller. A calm day by today's standards. This year neither the camera, nor the mood for the photo was not, and the capture of the collapse of the system with my face coming gringo necessarily someone would be hurt.

Rodrigo managed to figure out not immediately. He wrote my departure number on a scrap of paper under a dozen others, and here the parcel is ready for delivery – as soon as my turn comes. This is another line (Level 2!), This time to the customs. It is cunningly intertwined with the snake of people going to the post office, and getting up in it is allowed, as soon as your name is called on the list. Then why do they need all these off screens? Perhaps for the decor – so my grandmother put the old monitor in the bedroom and covered the tulle with awe before the modern technique.

Somewhere an hour later the customs officer still screams out my name – a place on the floor under a shaky office partition pasted with a threatening signal tape "Peligro" will get to some other lucky beggar. In another two long hours at the end of the second stage I understand that not all are obeyed by customs officers. Unbeknownst to her past the honest fools and reproaches of her own conscience, she escapes the coveted door, escapes with reprimands and leaves with a parcel in a few minutes.

It's dark outside the window, the doors to the entrance are already closed, the phone is empty. It remains only to listen, as the neighbors take turns sending parcels without questions, then they send telegrams that are late and fresh, then on this form, then on the other, but invariably with instructions to go to the customs house for delivery to the house.

In the customs section, the third turn comes to an end, now twenty minutes is like two. Because of the gray wall, my tube with posters, which cost me a couple of tens of pounds and one day of life, is carried out. "And this is not exactly lithographs for you? Next time, declare the amount as it should, you are underpaid two dollars of tax here. " Next time will not be: tomorrow my plane to Russia, and I have only 20 hours to collect everything and fly over the ocean.

I'm not saying that it's worth embracing self-esteem, being equal to the failures of others. The Russian Post has been an interesting and worthy path in the last few years, although it certainly has something to work on. After the return, I had not yet had time to make sure that the Mail was praised not for nothing, but in the light of recent permutations and restrictions on e-commerce is curious what to expect and what can go wrong. Sometimes seeing how it is worse causes a healthy fear of chaos and reminds us that we have the strength to be better.

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