Earlier this month, we

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Earlier this month, we received three yellow cards from the post office in quick succession, all of them telling us that we had foreign packages to be delivered and asking us for instructions: redeliver? When? Where?

When a package arrived the next day and the postman hadn't taken the redelivery slips I'd filled in, I figured he'd had gone a bit overboard on the notices and we only had one package after all. I had it now and all was well.

Well, we really did have three more packages! And yesterday, Tod & I went to the post office to fetch them.

Our slip, one with a dire handwritten notice that the packages would be mailed back on the 20th if we didn't come and get them, directed us to the yu-yu window of the main post office. (The Japanese word for postal service is yubin, so "yu" shows up in a lot of the promotional words.) The man at the yu-yu window took our slip, asked for ID, then dashed into the back room. Moments later we were presented with three rather large boxes from Tod's parents.

And a dilemma. There were no taxis to be had outside the post office. The nearest subway station was a ten minute walk. But we estimated that we could walk to our house in about 15 minutes, providing we didn't get lost on the way. We decided to walk home carrying our boxes.

"It's this direction, more or less," Tod announced and we headed off towards the west. Although it is a maze of twisty streets just like every neighborhood in Tokyo, ours is actually very easy to navigate as long as you keep some of the taller landmarks in sight--the new apartment building and the city office. From those two, we were able to triangulate our position and with the help of a map we walked past, we made it home without getting lost at all.

And we solved the puzzle of the three delivery slips. At last.

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