A few days ago the mailman left me a pick up slip for a parcel. That was bad news. First of all the post office is far away I have to take a bust to get there. The bus never shows up at least not when you need it. When you get to the post office there is a long line, you have to wait forever until somebody can looks for your package. And here comes the best part three out of five times they can’t find your package. Then I have to go all the way back home, go all the way back the next day and hope that they can find it this time.

In a desperate attempt not to project onto what lies ahead I said to myself before I left, “Don’t think too much, maybe it is different today.

It was different. When I walked out of the building I saw the bus taking off on the next corner and prepared myself for a half hour wait. Two minuets later the next bus arrived. When I got to the post office I encountered the longest line ever. At least 10 people were in front of me. Under normal circumstances assuming that the place would be as unorganized as in the past I calculated 45 minuets to an hour to get to my package. Then the miracle happened. A second postal worker took care of pick up slips and today they were to find stuff. Within 10 minuets it was my turn.

About three weeks ago I was browsing the web. I have to admit I love eBay. I bought many fantastic things from there especially photo equipmen. I was looking for a camera hot shoe level.

During my, “Leaf” and “Grand Street” projects the camera was always directly on top of my subjects. To shoot down in a straight line was essential since I was very close and used extension tubes to achieve that. The depth of field was very shallow and I wanted to make sure that the whole image is in focus. Every time I set up a shot I had to put a level on the back of the camera to make sure it was aimed right. That took a lot of time I had to find a way to make my life easier.

I found a level for $ 2.50 what sounded amazing. Usually anything that is used for photography is automatically expensive. Shipping was $ 4.99 since the little level was in…… China. Well, I thought it will take a while to get here. I hit the pay now button and paid for it over Pay pal.

Sign here the stressed postal worker told me and handed me an envelope. I walked out of the post office thinking, “that was not too bad”. The envelope looked amazing. There were Chinese letters written all over it and a little customs sticker on the front. I opened it and found the level as described.

While I was walking back to the bus stop on this cold but beautiful day I was thinking about what an astonishing time we live in. You sit at home, go on eBay, buy a level in China, send the money by Pay pal, somebody in China puts it in an envelope and a few weeks later it arrives on the other side of the world. That truly amazing.

Out of curiosity I just checked the B&H website, the biggest photo store in the world that operates out of New York and found a level that looks exactly like the one I just received for $ 36.50.






“Amazing” Williamsburg/Brooklyn/Grand Street/On bus to post office 12-30-08 at 01:07 PM


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