One of the interesting things about living in Belgium is learning to deal with the vagaries of the post. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. If I put a letter in the post today, it will be delivered anywhere in Belgium tomorrow. That’s impressive to me. A bookstore in Siena once sent me some books on a Friday and I had them on Monday. From Germany or Switzerland I might expect that kind of efficiency, but from Italy? I know.

On the other hand, sometimes things go astray. My mom sent me a book in November, and it’s still somewhere in never-never land. I ordered some business cards from England and they never arrived. You just never know. You never even know where the problem occurs–here or there? You just know that it didn’t arrive.

If you’re like me, you also wonder what unsolicited surprises are lost in the mail. Maybe I won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes! Oh, wait, you can’t win if you don’t enter. My invitation to the Galactic Blogger Awards? It must be in the post somewhere.

We received this in the post this week from an artist friend in Canada. He posted it on December 20. The address was correct.

I always wonder what’s happened with things like this. In this case, we have a clue:

It’s been on vacation. While we were here freezing, battling snow and ice, this envelope has been having adventures. It’s been to Bermuda. No doubt it stowed away on the Bermuda plane, having heard our weather forecast. It’s been opened by HM Customs, it’s been re-sealed and it’s been sent to me in BELGIUM. Not Bermuda.

Then Dan and I had a good laugh when we saw this:

“From anywhere…to anyone”

Yes, and by way of who-knows-where!

We’re pretty used to this stuff by now. With this one, though, there’s still one thing that bothers me.

That envelope?

It’s got a tan.

For more tales from Belgium by former Atlantan Kate McNally, see her Serendipity blog.

Kate McNally

Kate McNally

Born and raised in Atlanta, with degrees from UGA and UT Knoxville, Kate never lived above the Mason-Dixon line. That is, until she moved to Belgium. She now lives in the Belgian Ardennes, near Germany and The Netherlands, in an area where three cultures clash and co-exist. She used to have a stress-filled life, living in Washington DC and working as a management consultant all over the US and Canada. About 9 years ago, Kate and her husband Dan quit their jobs and moved to Europe. Now they teach English as a second language to business people there. They went there for two or three years. They're still here. Kate loves to cook, to travel, to paint and to write. She tries to do all of those as often as she can, and she shares tales of her life there in her blog. Kate says, "My blog is called 'Serendipity'. That pretty much sums up our life here in Belgium: serene with a little ‘dipity’ added. You’ll find here tales of our life as we sometimes struggle with other languages and other ways. You'll also find some paintings. And more than a few recipes, because I love to cook. My husband loves to eat. Perfect!" You can find her blog at