Went today after school to the custom's office to pick up a kimono package from Shinei.
I've never before had any Shinei package getting stuck in customs, oh well. When I got there there was a slight line so I sat down and waited. After maybe 5 minutes or something this middle-aged custom worker guy came and asked me what my business here was, I just said I had a package to pick up and he told me we could fix it. Everything went as usual until he asked me what's in the package exactly and I just said "kimonos" – his weirded out look that followed was golden. xD
He asked for me to show some kind of "purchase paper"; I had been prepared for this so I just took out the "thank you for your order"-email with the purchase info and prices. When the custom guy saw that the prices were 7$ per kimono (there were two, or well, one was a juban) I swear it felt like he did this expression:
|He probably thought he had me cornered now..|
Custom guy: "A kimono can't be that cheap, the real price must be part of the more expensive shipping cost..."
Me: "This seller do sell some stuff very cheap –vintage stuff– and he tends to overcharge shipping costs."
Custom guy: "Vintage you say? Let's check if there's any wrinkles or spots or..."
Me: "It is vintage but..."
*he opens package*
Custom guy: "Sure doesn't look vintage..." *takes the plastic bag with kimono inside and stares at it scrutinously without opening it*
Me: "That's because the Japanese take great care of storing their traditional clothing; it can look pretty much new but there is often some slight damage. (I mentioned about a repaired small hole on one of the kimonos but forgot to mention the "vintage kimono smell")
After that and some other questions it felt like his mind went "fuck this shit" – I don't think he believed everything I said (well, can't blame them for not knowing about kimono prices/stores, it's not a common thing to be knowledgeable about) but he didn't demand any custom taxes or whatnot those extra charges are that you get to pay, more often than not, if your stuff gets stuck in there.
He just gave me the package, after I signed under it (and my hand was shaking while I did so; it was so awkward!). Not because I lied or anything –which I didn't– but my hands honestly very often start shaking in public places when I have to sign stuff or pay with cash or something.
After that I took the package and silently left. The whole thing was awkward, oh so very awkward; I did tell the truth but he sure didn't believe me – it was like he wanted to prove me wrong all the time so I would have to cough up some extra cash I pretty much don't have lol. It sucks to be a student with no income, except study grant... which isn't much to cheer over either.
Oh, and yes. This was the same package I mentioned earlier that originally was stuck in Vantaa...
Nothing else to say! See ya!