Dangerous Bottles and Running Blockades

I spent part of the morning trying to convince a man and a woman that bottles of ink were not dangerous items.

As part of a recent, very low margin, side business I’ve been dabbling in, I will track down inks exclusive to Japan and ship them beyond far horizons to recipients waiting on distant shores who’ve shipped specific amounts of cash across electronic horizons to my near shore/PayPal account. I do this because some of the inks are so popular, the stores won’t ship direct overseas. If they did, they’d get bought out quickly and local customers would never get any. (I refer to this as an “export ban” and what I’m doing as running a blockade.)

The inks have sold so well that Sailor, the company that makes the ink, has been forced to change bottle styles because their regular bottle maker can’t keep up with demand.

The problem is, in order to run the blockade, I have to use the Japanese Post Office and it isn’t always much help. (Yes, blockade runners totally used the post office.)

As soon as I handed the package to the staff at my local post office, the woman noticed the fragile sticker on it and said they didn’t ship dangerous items. I said they weren’t dangerous. She then dragged some man over and I then spent several minutes explaining to both of them what I’d meant by “art supplies” on the mailing label, and then adding the word “ink” to the label, and then filling in a couple other forms involved in shipping things to the Netherlands. 

I then had to explain that, yes, I’d packed the ink bottles carefully and that they would most likely survive the trip, especially if delivery staff paid attention to the sticker that said “fragile”.

Eventually they let me hand over money for the shipping (more than I’d expected, making the margin even lower) and I was sent on my way. So, I presume, was the package.


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