Like every postcard-favorite public building, the GPO Lahore is not the glorious landmark it promises to be, and this visit was proof that my whole life was a lie.
I ordered a massive Victoria Secrets order, and it got detained because it valued over 20,000 PKR/- and that meant a payday for the customs and postage department.
You park across the busy main road, cross the street and enter this heart patterned gate, all is good. building.
Then you get yourself an application made, with the help of the hawkers standing at the main entrance and they will exactly tell you that you what to say to the Superintendent, President and what not sitting inside the fancy looking building and it all seems simple.
But, then you gotta switch one room to the other, one person to the next, looking for various departments, various people to stamp and sign your documents.
And in the middle of it, you can spot something like this. Look closely and find the dead rat. I promise you it gets creepier and nastier and makes you question does each person sitting in the one of 100+ offices in the GPO need 3 assistants and 2 peons, or does this place need a bunch of cleaners, lesser personnel, more efficiency.
Anyway, the time given to me in the detention letter was 11-2. And i was there at 11. But, it took me more than 4 hours to get the whole thing done.
They had no sense of logistics, stocking or organizing, the bundles included abandoned Canon cameras, expensive watches, birthday gifts from uncles and aunts living abroad, medicines and medical apparatus and what not.
Meanwhile instead of signing my document this person wanted to change a light bulb, even though it was pretty much sun shining in the inside of the room through crazy windows.
And then when i found my parcel, I had to change through 10 other offices and buildings until I could take it home.
And each room was loaded with parcels from all over the world, these people open, and reseal them, and then decide if they want to send it out to the recipient or not.
Mold and rotten furniture were in each room, most rooms were empty like gigantic classrooms, their only purpose being that of passages. But staff was everywhere, their exact role unclear, and tea served to each one of them nonstop during those hours.
Finally the president of the GPO said don’t order products, get them from the luggage of relatives coming abroad, because he Fucking Doesn’t Want To Do His Job That Bought Him The Latest Freaking iPhone. I wonder how though on government salary.
A whole day wasted, not just of mine, but of numerous others who were there for the same reasons, a bunch of thousands paid in bribes and yet I am told that i curb my wants, because being a citizen in this God Damned country means no access to the globalized world.
The buildings are as large as a palace, it can be converted into a heritage site, an international 7-star luxury hotel, a crazy place to get married, some holiday destination and the potential is unlimited, but it is sitting under men in power who share bribes and open gift packs for entertainment, because this is what patriarchy serves in here.