The Weekend Australian - Review

THIS (UNBOXING) LIFE

- JESSICA DEERY Re­view Shopping · Victoria · Instagram · Australia · homeschooling · Australian Postal Corporation

Cross­ing our street to head out on our daily lunchtime walk I crane my neck to see if the de­liv­ery van is stop­ping at our house to drop off the pair of sneak­ers I’m wait­ing on. He slows down … is he stop­ping … I think he is! But wait, he U-turns and parks out­side my neigh­bour’s house in­stead, where he jumps out, slides back his door with a whirr and ri­fles through boxes and bub­blewrapped good­ies that will make some­one’s day.

Dur­ing Vic­to­ria’s lock­downs I have or­dered clothes, shoes, make-up, hair-dye, books, a macrame rope plant hanger kit (it hasn’t ar­rived yet) a Nin­jaLine ob­sta­cle rope from a dodgy In­sta­gram ad that turned out to be a scam, a se­cond Nin­jaLine from a rep­utable shop, ex­er­cise equip­ment, a wok and cases of wine.

These de­liv­er­ies bring an­tic­i­pa­tion, and joy while we’re stuck at home.

And it’s not just my house that’s turned to on­line shop­ping for relief. More de­liv­ery vans drive ex­cite­ment down our street than reg­u­lar cars. Driv­ers fight for park­ing spots and are honked at by big­ger trucks car­ry­ing fur­ni­ture, white­goods and our el­lip­ti­cal trainer. If our street rep­re­sents what’s hap­pen­ing across Mel­bourne, it’s no won­der Aus­tralia Post can’t keep up with de­mand.

At around 10:30 each morn­ing I open the front door to check if any card­board boxes or white plas­tic bun­dles have been left on the doorstep by Santa, aka the postie.

Once there was no pack­age, only this bit­ter­sweet note: “We tried to de­liver your pack­age, but you weren’t home. It’s gone back to the De­pot” (but I was home! I was right here. Where is the De­pot?).

Par­cel track­ing has be­come my new hobby. Each day brings more emails up­dat­ing me on the sta­tus of my or­ders. Some of these emails are chirpy and ef­fi­cient: “Hey Jess, we’ve re­ceived your or­der and are work­ing on get­ting it to you as fast as we can!” Some are down­right com­pli­men­tary: “Wow, great pur­chase Jess.” Oth­ers, per­haps newer to the on­line game, are more re­served: “Thank you for your or­der. We aim to dis­patch it to you within seven to ten days.”

As the de­liv­ery date comes closer, the mes­sages shift from con­fir­ma­tion to ac­tion: “Your par­cel has been packed and ready for pick-up” and “Good news! Your or­der is on its way!”. Then Aus­post chimes in: “We’ve re­ceived your or­der and are work­ing on it.”

One or­der gen­er­ates at least four emails and two text mes­sages. Or in the case of one pur­chase, no emails at all be­cause it was a scam.

We re­turn from our lunchtime walk. Back to homeschool­ing, work­ing from home, and more on­line shop­ping. To my de­light there are two parcels wait­ing for us on the doorstep. We tear open the wrap­ping like kids on Christ­mas morn­ing and dis­cover not one, but two Nin­jaLines. Turns out the first one wasn’t a scam af­ter all.

con­sid­ers orig­i­nal sub­mis­sions for This Life of 450-500 words. Work may be edited for clar­ity. Email: this­life@theaus­tralian.com.au

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