This is a tale with an uncertain ending, from a Dylan fan hoping to get his hands on a musical fidelity 2LP 45rpm pressing of Oh Mercy. And Australia Post. And Mozambique. (Perhaps I should have sought a copy of Desire.)
A fellow Dylan fan on this esteemed forum recommended the acquisition of said pressing. Cue a conversation with my wife who understandably asked why I’d want another copy of an album I’ve already got, and why I wouldn’t instead buy three other records for the cost of this one. A valid point. Anyway, after much searching of the internet I found one retailer with it in stock, in Australia, yours for AUD125 (about £70). Ouch. For which they would ship it… but only to an Australian address.
An Australian friend (we kiwis do have some) kindly offered to receive the delivery, on the recommendation I avoid Australia Post.
The retailer has an exclusive relationship with Australia Post. So I paid my $125 and watched the parcel tracking as it traversed the land we fondly refer to as the West Island.
Imagine my joy when I received an email from Australia Post confirming its delivery to her office! I immediately arranged a courier to uplift it the next day and sent her an international shipping label to affix. Excitement barely contained!
Spend so far: $125 + $31 = $156
The next morning she emailed back to say, no, it’s not here. She had been in the office all the previous day, no deliveries. (Yes, I should have checked first.) Meanwhile the courier I booked to collect it turned up and of course it wasn’t there so off they went empty handed. I placed a trace on the package and then later that day my friend rang to say yay it’s here! So I cancelled the trace and paid for another shipping note, this time to be posted from the local post office, as she had kindly offered to drop it there for me to save a courier pickup. I sent the new customs label, addressed you will be pleased to note to my workplace in New Zealand, she affixed it and half an hour later messaged me to say it was on its way. Yay!
Spend to date: $125 + $31 + $24 = $180
Now you may have noticed I live in New Zealand, a fine set of islands to the east of Australia. Many items (and nefarious former citizens) are sent to New Zealand from Australia as we enjoy an excellent relationship.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I received this notification from Australia Post:
And that, my fellow music lovers, is where this story stops. I know not where my precious and now expensive record will travel in the coming months, but I promise to update you as information comes to hand.
PS I lodged a request with a very kind person at Australia Post to a) try to stop my parcel from heading westwards and b) refund my first shipping. He couldn’t achieve a) as there was no answer at the post office (as he put it, hopefully the barcode will scan as New Zealand instead of the clerk’s erroneous MZ entry in place of NZ) and put me through to a department to facilitate b) which after 15 minutes on hold advised me I needed to call a different number.