Today, I bit the bullet. I resolved to face the giant. I told myself, I will successfully mail two letters. Sheesh, what ridiculousness. How scary can the post office be? Really? But let’s back up a bit.
In Germany, air TV is not free. Well, you could lie about watching it and then it would be free. But TTM is about getting a deal on the up & up, not on the D.L.
Basically, “they” (I still haven’t figured out “their” exact identity) send you a letter asking if you watch TV, listen to the radio at home, or use the radio in your car. If you say yes to any of these things, you must pay. How much, I don’t know. I really don’t watch the TV, listen to the radio, or even have a car.
After you fill out the form using the popular German honor system, you must mail it back to “them.” If you do not, “they” will keep sending you this same form and perhaps even stalking you, showing up at your front door. I don’t like unexpected visitors of the official variety, so I will try to be a good pretend-German and mail it.
The problem? The front of the envelope does not say “no postage necessary if mailed in the US.” This means a trip to the Deutsche Post which I have heard is notorious for NOT speaking English or being very friendly.
But, today I did it. How? I just didn’t say anything at all.
Domestic stamps cost 55 cents. I also mailed a card to the US. That cost me 1,45 euro and came with a free puzzled look on the clerk’s face. She measured my made-in-China, bought-in-US, mailed-in-Germany envelope THREE times, including once with one of those ancient wooden folding measuring tapes. Ha. Excellent. I just hope she didn’t rip me off when she finally settled on a price.
Random fact: the stamps are not self-adhesive. Germany still uses lick-n-stick. If you’re like Sandra Bullock’s character in Two Weeks Notice, I hate to disappoint you but I have no idea how they taste. The clerk used her sponge, and that was just fine with me.