I really, really hope that US Customs officials treat all mail coming from Saudi Arabia the same way it gets treated here. I hope all the packages are opened, that packages get pawed through and that US Officials take whatever it is they decide they want before you get it, and that your stuff gets damaged and destroyed. You know, the exact same way you fucking assholes do it here, for mail coming to us from the United States.
On a recommendation from a blogger that I really like Rachel Lucas I ordered some dehydrated dog food from The Honest Kitchen. I had the food shipped to the service that forwards our mail to us - we got the box today. Yeah! Packages are always a good thing, if you live in a normal world; living here is NOT living in a normal world. Getting mail has been an issue since we got here. It's a gamble as to whether or not you're going to get your mail - you often don't, and it's a gamble as to whether or not everything you are expecting is going to be in that mail - it often isn't. I know this - but still - there is just so much you can't get here in The Sandbox that you have to have it sent to you or you have to go without.
Finding great shoes is unrealistic and an impossibility, here. What passes for fashion in the shoe stores here leaves a great deal to be desired. A few years ago I ordered several pairs of shoes from Zappos and had them shipped to my parents, and then had my parents send them to me here. I knew I was taking a risk having fabulous shoes sent to me - that someone could decide that they needed them for one of their wives or daughters and that I'd never get them - so I tried to get tricky. If I ordered three pairs of shoes, and then I would have my Dad send all three left shoes in one box to me one week, and then a week or so later have him send all three right shoes in another box. That way, when the assholes in Customs opened the box there'd be three mismatched left or right shoes - but no "pair" or "pairs" together that could easily be swiped. Very, very smart on my part, right? Well, no, not really. Someone caught on to my system and thought they'd be smarter - they took ONE pink shoe out of a shipment to me thinking that they'd get the match to the pink shoe in the next shipment. Well, since I'd received the first pink shoe already - there was no second pink shoe coming - but guess what? I never got the second pink shoe, either. Lesson learned - expensively, and the hard way.
If you order from Victoria's Secret - if and when you can access the site - it's blocked, again, now you can pretty much bet that you are never going to see one of the catalogs that gets put in your shipment. I have had them all confiscated except for one! Victoria's Secret catalogs are considered pornographic material, here. So, what exactly are YOU - Mr. Customs Official - doing with MY Victoria's Secret catalogs, anyway? I'm sure I don't want to know. Pervert.
We open the box we got today - and there's food spilled out all over inside it! I ordered two sample packages of each kind of food The Honest Kitchen sells for my Kids. They couldn't possibly have opened the packages and taped them back up. Hell no. They slashed the packages open with a knife and then just threw the packages back in the boxes. You fucking assholes! I paid $66.43 to have the package shipped to me - the food cost less than half of what I had to pay to have the box shipped to me, and this is what I got [actually, there were more packages that had been ripped open, but I tried to salvage what I could, before I decided that I needed to take pictures]:
For even a half a nanosecond, did you seriously think I was sending something other than what the packages say they contain - like drugs - to The Sandbox? Do you honestly think that just because I'm blonde I'd be foolish enough to be sending marijuana or something to myself? Do you really think I want to be beheaded or executed for drug smuggling? Ahh, no. I don't think so. I like my head just fine like it is, thank you very much, attached to my shoulders.
Oh, and the bags of food weren't the only items opened in the box we received today. My DH got something from American Express. That was also ripped open. What? Do you jokers seriously think we'd be foolish enough to let American Express send our credit cards to us, here? Gimme me a break. When we packed up our household and personal effects some five years ago to move to this part of the world, we didn't neglect to pack our brains! And, we have since learned from the first-hand experiences of others that have been foolish enough to have their credit cards sent to them from the States what happens. YOU confiscate the cards and start "shopping." We have our credit cards sent to us via Federal Express so that they can be traced from the time they leave to the time WE have to sign for them, and if by some fluke a credit card ends up going to our mail forwarding service, we immediately get on the phone and call the issuing credit card company and have the card canceled and then call our mail-forwarding company and tell them not to send us ANY mail from American Express or XYZ Credit Card Company - we'll just wait to get that mail on one of our three or four yearly trips back to the States.
You know... Really, I want to see good in things. I'm here in The Sandbox as a guest - although treated more like a criminal - and I really, really would like to go back to the States someday and say just how wonderful things were, how fabulously we were treated, how much this Country has to offer and what an incredible experience it has been to be able to live here. But it's things like this - the assholes in Customs - stealing stuff that is sent to ME - destroying stuff that is sent to ME - confiscating stuff that is sent to ME - that is going to leave a very, very bad and bitter taste in my mouth about my experiences, here. And that's THEIR fault, not MINE!