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Postal Wars: Update!


Remember the "Postal Wars" story, where my reader told you about our fun international game? A few days ago, the U.S. Post Office delivered my book. It was shipped from Russia on 14 June, and arrived at my apartment on 11 July. The package arrived in very good shape, with no bumps or bruises.


I love these international deliveries - postcards, hand-written notes, books, or candies from friends. Some of you are probably old enough to remember when the world and human relationships survived just fine without email, text messages and Facebook. All these technological advances are great and I couldn't live without them. However, for me there's still great pleasure in opening a letter from a friend, in seeing a snapshot of some foreign land on a postcard and knowing someone thought of me in that instant and took the time to hand-write a message. Yes, deep down I'm a sentimental fool! :)

It took less than a month to get "букварь," an adorable book, in my hands! I suspect Natalie's book, which was mailed on the exact same day, is now sitting in a huge stack in some Russian post office. How long will it take Russian Post to deliver it? Will it ever arrive? Hmm, stay tuned...:))


( 65 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 15th, 2013 01:10 am (UTC)
Grats! It was delivered faster than I've expected from Russian post :)
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:33 pm (UTC)
I think both countries do a good job of getting packages over the border. The real race was which country would deliver it first once they had the package in their system. So, American post wins on this front. Russia is fine sending packages out, but once a package arrives in the Russian postal system my experience is that it sits for a long time before delivery.
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:18 am (UTC)
There is a postcard exchange site named http://postcrossing.com . You get addresses of random people around the world and send them postcards. Then your address is given to some random people. The most active countries are Germany, US, Netherlands, Finland and Russia, but if you are lucky, you may get a card from some exotic country like Uganda. I played this game for a while, and collected postcards from more than 100 countries!
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:33 pm (UTC)
This is a very cool site! Thanks for sending.
Jul. 15th, 2013 02:33 am (UTC)
This is the exact same book I had when I was in the 1st grade, in 1985! I hope you enjoy it;)
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:34 pm (UTC)
1st grade? Wow, I can't read a lot of words in the book. So I guess I have a very elementary understanding of Russian. :(
(no subject) - new_forester - Jul. 15th, 2013 03:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 15th, 2013 03:02 am (UTC)
I also had the book as a child
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, it seems many kids growing up in the Soviet era had this book. :)
Jul. 15th, 2013 03:11 am (UTC)
Hi, this is the book from my childhood too. Please let us know when your parcel will reach your friend's door in Russia:)
p.s. I do shipping to Russia professionally and know that sometimes it takes weeks to deliver something from US to RU, but sometimes parcels fly really fast within a few days - it's almost always a guess:) By the way, how did you ship your parcel to Russia - express, priority or first class? Express goes to Moscow within 2-3 weeks in average, priority - 3-4 weeks in average.
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:39 pm (UTC)
My package was shipped via first class mail. The only way to track an international shipment from the U.S. is to send it priority, and this is too expensive for Russia. Regular post was $14, while priority would have been almost $50. However, one time I paid for five day express shipping through Federal Express and the package arrived in Russia two weeks later. I tracked it and for over a week the status was "cleared Russian customs." I don't know what happened after that or why it sat for so long before delivery.
Jul. 15th, 2013 03:23 am (UTC)
Oh, this is the same book, that I studied in elementary school 28 years ago:)
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:40 pm (UTC)
It appears the book was a common study tool in Soviet times. I like to collect things from this era.
Jul. 15th, 2013 04:01 am (UTC)
this is perfect book to learn Russian reading:) Shannon, you can read cyrillic alphabet yet, isn`t it?
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:42 pm (UTC)
Hi! Yes, I know the Cyrillic alphabet and can write it pretty well. I studied Russian for a year, but then became lazy and stopped. You can read about my Russian studies in this post, and also see my hand-written study cards and lessons in Cyrillic. :))

Jul. 15th, 2013 04:06 am (UTC)
Oh God, this is my first tutorial! I went through it in 1987. I was 7 years old! Take care of that book! For every Soviet child is not just a book - it's part of the soul!

PS I apologize for the automatic translation in google translate))
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:43 pm (UTC)
Translation is perfect! I will treasure this book, it was very thoughtful of my reader to send it. :)
Jul. 15th, 2013 05:02 am (UTC)
Well, terms of delivery are directly dependent of package type.
My postal experience with USPS:
- Express mail - from 10 to 14 days from acceptance date to delivery, without lost parcels, but one parcel has been delayed approximately one month by Chicago customs;
- Primary mail - from 16 to 30 days, without lost parcels;
- Mail first class int'l - from 50 to 70 days, four lost parcels in 2012 and two in 2013. Hereinafter, all lost packages were found, returned to senders and sent again by Express mail.

I should notice - I don't live in Moscow, I live on Sakhalin island, in 6000 miles on the east, but all my packages from US go through the Moscow. In general, all abroad packages to anywhere in Russia go through the fucking Moscow. And - Russian customs officers has never been able to work quickly and efficiently, sad - but true.

Edited at 2013-07-15 07:14 am (UTC)
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:44 pm (UTC)
Hi! Nice to hear from you. Yes, it's always best to send priority because you can actually track the package but it's expensive. I've sent a few things via regular post to Russia and it almost always takes exactly one month to arrive. I remember where you live because you sent me photos. :)

Edited at 2013-07-15 01:52 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - fareastener - Jul. 15th, 2013 02:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 15th, 2013 05:19 am (UTC)
My grandmother worked at post office. She was a sorter. She sorted letters by hands. She put them into little boxes (or compartments?) on a wall and then postmen delivered the letters to addressees. I was at the post office when I was a child. I remembered odor of sealing wax and piles of many letters like yours. It was a fascinated place. I liked to be there.
Jul. 15th, 2013 02:14 pm (UTC)
Nice story. :) How about modern day Russian post offices? Do they still sort by hand, or they have machinery for this like the States? Many of my relatives have had life-long careers in the U.S. Postal System. One of my mom's sisters even managed a West Coast division. Maybe I'll visit the U.S. post office where my cousin works as a teller, and photograph how a typical U.S. post office looks and functions. He works at one of the post offices in my hometown of Manassas. Will it be interesting or boring to read?
(no subject) - mybathroom - Jul. 15th, 2013 06:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 15th, 2013 06:20 am (UTC)
Nice book. I think, you will like it. :)
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:53 pm (UTC)
I like it, but cannot read a lot of the text! It's time to study again. :)
(no subject) - nar_row - Jul. 15th, 2013 06:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 15th, 2013 06:30 am (UTC)
This quest is over, levelup ^_^
Here starts the new quest!

Russian Post could be a laughing stock in Russia, if it wasn't so sad to loose your pakages.
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:54 pm (UTC)
I constantly read LJ stories about the Russian postal system. Maybe I'll write a post about the U.S. system some time.
Jul. 15th, 2013 08:20 am (UTC)
Real postcards are neither sentimental nor foolish. A hand-written message is is sent to demonstrate respect, care and affection!
Do you think that "Send me a postcard, drop me a line..." is that much outdated? I doubt anyone pores over old e-mails in their cluttered inbox.
I use postcards as bookmarks - not even exactly bookmarks, as I just pull a random book from a shelf and stick a card in it. I may not use this book for years, but when I need it, there's a message from the days past (it is a tad sentimental, isn't it, so whats' wrong with that?)
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, I do believe it's an outdated concept with the younger generation. None of my younger relatives send postcards to friends when they travel. I like the idea of using them as bookmarks, a sudden trip down memory lane when you retrieve the book!
(no subject) - daftmosquito - Jul. 15th, 2013 02:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 15th, 2013 10:08 am (UTC)
Cool book))
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:56 pm (UTC)
I like it!
Jul. 15th, 2013 10:27 am (UTC)
Mirror the image!
When I studied, all textbooks except this one had to be returned back to school library. This one was presented to all students.
Jul. 15th, 2013 01:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Mirror the image!
What about during university? Does the Russian education system provide the books to students? In America, we have to pay for EVERYTHING in university, including text books which are very expensive. Some of my law school books were over $100.
Re: Mirror the image! - llueve - Jul. 15th, 2013 02:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mirror the image! - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 15th, 2013 02:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mirror the image! - llueve - Jul. 16th, 2013 05:38 am (UTC) - Expand
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