Three weeks ago, Richard went to Lebanon for some meetings.
There was a particular kind of rather expensive router that he wanted to take with him. It's not available in Cyprus. But that's not a problem - a friend in the UK was able to order it. And since courier delivery would have made it even more expensive, and there was plenty of time, it was sent to the office PO Box via registered mail.
The day before he flew, Richard went to the Post Office. The parcel had not arrived. So he had to travel without it.
He returned five days later.
A few days after that, he went to the Post Office again. There was still no sign of any notification that a registered parcel was awaiting him. So he spoke to the postmistress. She told him that if he could tell her the tracking number, she could investigate.
So Richard emailed his friend... and a few days later, a reply came back with the tracking number and other details. This morning he planned to go to the Post Office again, taking the tracking number with him. And, of course, his passport since that's required as ID when signing for something registered...
I glanced at the paperwork as I handed it to Richard, and queried the address.
It had been sent to the wrong PO Box. The final digit was incorrect. No wonder it had not arrived.
Still, they couldn't give a registered parcel to anyone other than the addressee... could they...?
Richard went to the Post Office again.
Apparently they HAD given the parcel to the owner of the post box to which it was addressed. Yes, someone who wasn't Richard - and probably wasn't even British - had signed for a registered parcel that was not addressed to him, and collected it.
This is Cyprus....
Thankfully there is a happy ending to the story. Evidence of the positive side of living in Cyprus. The person who had signed for the parcel realised that it was not intended for him at all... so he took it back to the Post Office.
And thus Richard was, at last, able to sign for it himself (after, ironically, showing his passport to prove that it was him...) and bring the router home. Three weeks after it was sent.