It happened in September 2008. On a one fine morning, when I checked my mailbox, a yellow card was there. This only meant that a parcel sent by my sister back in home country had arrived. So at 9 am, I brought the card with me and went to Aki-saijyou post office, Higashihiroshima City to claim my parcel.
After waiting in a queue for a couple of minutes, I gave the card to the officer. That's the procedure I learned from my friend when he claimed his parcel. Unfortunately, the parcel was not in the office. I was confused but feeling sorry to see that the officer so worried that my parcel was not found. She took out a number of packages from Indonesia (even some packages from Malaysia!) for my other friends, thinking that they might be for me. Finally, the officer realized that the package was out and explained it. Later she asked me to write what time I would claim my packet. At least, that was what I understood with my very limited Japanese skill. So I wrote down 6 pm to be the time. She took the yellow card and this even confused me more since I did not have any proof in hand to claim the parcel later. I could not explain what I thought in Japanese so I decided to leave it be. Then I left the post office with a feeling of disappointment and confusion.
At 6 pm, I came back to the post office with my wife and daughter and hoped that we could claim the parcel using my Alien Registration Card (外国人登録証明書 - Gaikokujintourokushoumeishou). I was not sure I could do that but that was the only option I had. And as I expected, the post officer was a new person (from the next shift) and I had to explain all from the start. What a nightmare! After struggling with my poor Japanese skill, finally came another officer with good English and asked what happened. Because they were still unable to find my parcel, then they asked me to leave my mobile number with a promise to call me once they found my parcel. So, we left the post office with even more disappointment! We were almost sure that it's already lost and would not reach us. We went home then.
After arriving at home, suddenly my mobile rang and a Japanese greeting on the phone with a familiar voice of a Japanese lady was heard. Fortunately, she quickly switched to English after I replied with my magic words "Eigo de, oneigaishimasu" (English, please). This lady said she was from the post office and she explained that the parcel had been found. She said that when we came to the post office at 6 pm, a postman actually came to our house for delivering the parcel. That happened because I wrote 6 pm as the time of delivery. Oh, God! I thought it was meant to be the time for me to pick up the parcel from the post office. So this lady asked me to wait at home until 9 pm because the postman would come again to deliver the parcel at 9 pm. What a relief! Finally, we received that parcel and said a lot of apologies to the postman. Thanks to Japan Post Office for its super service!