No Clocks, No Toys, No Packages

I know that people have already sent me gifts.  One friend sent something before I even left, although I don’t know if I will ever receive it.  Why?  Well . . . Italy is a bit crazy with customs.  Usually, you have to pay import tax on items that sometimes equals the value of what is sent.  Sometimes items are worthless, like papers, and they will still charge 8 euros tax.  I find this a bit odd considering that, from what I heard, many Italians–especially in the south– are guilty of tax evasion.  But being double taxed on items . . . ahh.  Luckily, amazon.co.uk will ship here without the customs tax.  But shipping from America?  Good Luck.  I’m kind of sad because what will happen to things people sent?  A trick is to declare the value below $40 for clothes, declare as second hand, etc . . . never send vitamins or prescriptions, and . . . well, avoid all these items.  It seems like a joke, but it is real.  Seriously, do NOT send children’s toys unless they are made wholly of wood.

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