Saturday, November 7, 2015

On sending postcards from Argentina

I like to write postcards. While I’m travelling these postcards slowly travel back. Sending a picture via WhatsApp, SMS, or using Facebook isn’t the same. Being far away should not look like you’re around the corner.
This year in Argentina I’ve written quite a lot of postcards. Then I needed to get stamps and …

Getting stamps for the postcard proved to be a real hard task. I arrived in some of the smaller towns only in the evening, which means far beyond business hours. But then in Cafayate I had the chance. I went to the post office (Correo Argentino) and met an old gentleman behind the counter. We had a very nice conversation and I nearly expected him to offer me a coffee, but he could not sell stamps as his office had been sold out.
The next city was a bigger one: Salta. But alas! I arrived on a Saturday afternoon and the office was closed.

Next chance had been Buenos Aires. As I couldn’t cross the Paso de Jama, I had to fly back to Buenos Aires and from there to Santiago de Chile. There’s a post office at Terminal A of Ezeiza Airport, which is the international airport of Buenos Aires. I’ve been close to the end of the opening hours, but still there were 9 minutes left. The clerk sure wasn’t a gentleman. He’s sent me to Terminal C to get stamps, but there wasn’t another office at Terminal C. I’ve got back in time (!), but he had already and prematurely closed the office.

Correo Argentino at Terminal A (before leaving)

I’ve already written an email to Correo Argentino:
¿Es posible obtener estampillas en Argentina? Yo había tenido dificultades en mi viaje. La oficina de correos en Cafayate no tenía estampillas. En otras oficinas de correos llegué demasiado tarde, ya que han horarios de apertura muy limitada. Pero lo más repulsivo experiencia del viaje viene a la oficina de correos Terminal A del aeropuerto de Ezeiza en Buenos Aires. Entré en la oficina de correos allí el 10/20/2015 a las 16:51 y exigí 30 estampillas para postales. El recepcionista me dijo que sólo habría estampillas en la Terminal C. Mientras caminaba a la terminal C, y encontré que no hay una oficina de correos allí, él tiene la oficina de correos cerrada. ¿Por qué entretenido una oficina de correos, si no se lleva a cabo su trabajo? Tal vez usted quiere comentar sobre eso, sí, antes de poner la en la red.
Atentamente! Dr. med. Lothar M. Kirsch
They haven’t answered to this email and they also didn’t comment on Twitter. Maybe they’ll do later (mañana).

So, what did I do? I went to a post office in Viña del Mar (Chile) and posted my postcards from Argentina from there.

Did I learn something? Of course! I improved my Spanish (Castellano). 


Today I received an answer to my twitter posts:

And here is on of the postcards from Purmamarca, Argentina, which I've posted in Chile:

And here's the corresponding tweet:


  1. Sorry for your bad experience. Even though Argentina is a beautiful country, many things don't even work half as well as they should to be considered average. El Correo Argentino still has troubles figuring out how to go about getting a telegram of resignation to its destination, so international affairs (even as simple as postcards) really throw them off. Add that to most of it's employees being underpaid, the dates you were in being in the midst of a tense election season, a not uncommon xenophobic attitude (whether looking down at people from neighbouring countries or holding unjustified grudges against anyone from a developed one) and your experience becomes an understandable outcome.

    I may be coming off as way too agressive, but I come from a good place. I do love my country and its people. But there are many obstacles we still have to overcome before achieving our full potential

    1. Thanks for the your comment!
      I've been to Chile, Bolivia, and Peru this year. I'm still waiting for the postcards to come, which I've posted in San Pedro de Atacama nearly two months ago. If the postcards don't reach Germany by next week, I'll write a blogpost. :-)
      Let me assure you that I love Argentina and a bad post office man won't change that.