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Blogs from 2011

To Explain Those Customs Forms...

on 25 August 2011. Posted in 2011

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img_roadsignsYou know, I was thinking that I'd recently referred to how hard it was to fill out a certain customs form, but that I hadn't EXPLAINED why this was so difficult.  And in this case, with a worldwide audience, the explanation can be really important. 

It's not that I freeze up on forms.  I usually have no trouble. But there are a few countries where the U.S. Customs Form is just not built to accomodate the country's address to which I'm trying to send a package..

Or maybe it's me.

Most customs forms have you fill out something like name, street address, appartment address (if any), county (if any), city, zip code or country code (or these could go after a country) and finally country.

But some aren't like that.  Some are built to haunt my nightmares.

And, of course, if you think you're going to get any help from the person at the Post Office, you're dreaming.  The employeees are only there to say "I have absolutely no idea what to do about your problem.  Next!"

I've also tried to use UPS or FedEx to help me with the really difficult ones, but so far no luck.  That's when I really start to frustrated.  I've already described what a US Customs form looks like, all right? But now I  want to send some books to Hungary.  And I don't speak ANY Hungarian, and the fans to whom I want to send the books know very little English, and, well what I what we get is this:

To: LJ Smith
Subject: Re: Hungary Book Fanatics

Hi.
The full address.:
HungaryKomárom Esztergom Megye2800 TatabányaGál István LTP 714 FSZ/2(Name)Tóth Gyula  Many thanks to the books. Will be a good place.
Regards.:

As you may have noticed, instead of last the country comes first.  As for what part of the rest is a street address and what is a zip code or county code or anything like that . . .  well, I have no idea.  Oh, I've guessed that Tóth Gyula is the name of the person to send the books to.  But beyond that, I'm lost.

So if some nice Hungarian would like to explain to me which goes in the CITY part of a US Customs form and which part goes in the STREET part, it would be very helpful.  (Especially since The Hungary Book Fanarics and I have gone over it about four times, with me receiving about the same thing each time.

And I am, I believe, part Hungarian on my mother's side. Very, very sad indeed.

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