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On The Road Again - Eye To Eye With The Local Postal Authority

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New Member
1 Posts
Posted 12/08/2021   4:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Bendix to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Dear Collectors,

a holiday means recreation, but surely adventure as well.

And we collectors, who are gathering stamps, are naturally also hunters.

So, what are collectors doing when on holiday?

Exaxctly, they visit the local post office.

On one hand there is the hope for a good catch, that is to say for a prize, as it is unconceivable to show up at home without a trophee. On the other hand we need proof for one's accomplishments and that we have pushed through even abroad, and therefore this prize is absorbed into our collection as a token of triumph and eternal glory.

Naturally, one needs to show achievements on holiday greetings sent home as well. Let's not forget, our reputation is at stake there.

These days I thought of that und went through a few cards which have survived the course of time.

The oldest one - the no. 1 so to say I chose to upload.

And the result is......absolutely trivial!

Well, looks like it, as one has been starting a leap like an ambitious tiger and found oneself landing as a castrated house cat. That can happen, if you are at the will of a wicked post clerk.

Just consider what would have been possible here. Nearly everything that has been issued since 1938 could have been used for Postage. That means a full range from Franco (for the shiver) to cathedrals in impressive intaglio printing (so beautiful one could kneel down).

But alas, by the time (1990 21 years old foolish and unexperienced in philateletic regards, without any decent stock and with only a small budget) everyone was still sitting on huge bulks of hoarded mint stamps demanding high overnominal prices.

Thank the lord, that in a another post office (in a rural part of the island) I could acquire a special issue, which was a folio of six stamps printed in one sheet honoring historical smith art in fine intaglio print and they warm my heart whenever I trip over them when looking through my albums.

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Pillar Of The Community
1265 Posts
Posted 12/08/2021   4:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice. This one was intended to have the labels between the two columns of stamps; i.e., your example has columns 3,1,2. Columns 1,2,3 would show a background of yet another item of ironwork.
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Valued Member
58 Posts
Posted 12/08/2021   9:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chris s to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting experiences and the special issue you got looks great.

But the problem is endemic at US post offices. Most offer simply Flag coil stamps and the current commemoratives with some old ones that have been slow to sell thrown in. If you take some time you will find post offices offering more than this - Priority Mail Express stamps, some panes of low denomination stamps no longer sold at the USPS site. I mean some of the commemoratives offered are quite good and you can get some nice intaglio definitives sometimes at some post offices in the US but it requiressome work.

As for cancels, I find clerks seem to just go ahead before you can say anything. So I never get my hopes up for a nice cancel. The United Nations and a few foreign post offices provide nice cancels when they send your online order to you -- which I appreciate much.
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Pillar Of The Community
1265 Posts
Posted 12/09/2021   05:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As OP writes, this was 1990. Nowadays, going into a post office in Spain asking for stamp causes a panic. This also happened to me last Saturday, in Italy. In Spain (and Italy), post offices tend to have stock books with sheets of stamps in a back office. Some counter staff have no clue where that stock book is. When they find it, there are different stamps in the stock book. However, they may not be for the common tariffs - Spain now has basic domestic (A), Europe (B) and Rest of World (C) rates -. The other stamps may be quite outdated as no one ever buys stamps. Hence the panic. These common rates, now, are often covered by a pack of five inflation stamps torn from self-adhesive sheets and packed in plastic you cannot open easily hanging from a display carrousel.

In my experience, staff at Spanish post offices is very forthcoming. In many very large cities, you may encounter rude or unhelpful staff. This tends to be the case in the centre of those cities, more than in the peripheral offices. I guess this has to do with rushed customers who are similarly rude.

For those of you who have never been to these Spanish mass-tourism resort towns: the average tourist visiting such places is scum. He or she considers having paid to get there gives him or her the right to crap-up the town and treat locals as servants. Locals work hard and get paid badly. Still, you might be better of then inland, where there is no employment. So, they treat tourists equally badly. It does not matter whether you belong to the scum that rolls out of a chartered flight, or the most gentlemanly person who has genuine interest in the wellbeing of the locals. To them, you are just another of those Goths invading their town, once again.

Since the average charter-flight Goth cannot be bothered to lift his behind from the poolside stretcher yes people, we fly four or five hours to a beach resort to claim a stretcher at the hotel poolside at six in the morning -, they do not annoy the locals in such smaller towns away from these resort towns. And it shows in how they treat you.

Very good of you to look beyond Maspalomas.

Naturally, there are decent charter-flight Goths and friendly locals working in resort towns and big-city centres. But odds are much better away from those places. And there you even may have an interesting chat with the staff. Explaining your intentions may help, but some are beyond saviour.

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Edited by NSK - 12/09/2021 05:42 am
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