On the Trans Canada highway between Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Taber, Alberta, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Calgary, Alberta on Wednesday.

Friday, December 3, 2021

We aren't destination people... we are explorers.

We've been in Berat for two weeks now. Which has been okay... we like the city and the area and the campground we are at is great. But even when we like a place, we are ready to move on after two weeks. We aren't destination people, we are explorers. Which is why our home has wheels. 

So what's keeping us here?

Well the major thing is Ruth's dental work. She's having Invisalign braces made, and we were told they might be ready to pick up on Thursday (yesterday), but we never heard from the dentist. So we are hopeful that we'll hear from him sometime today.

The other thing is that we are waiting for a water filter that we ordered from Germany. When I made the order, I had been told that DHL courier gave the shipper a delivery time frame of between 6-8 days, but the supplier said he expected it to be quicker than that.

Well yesterday was day 6. Which is okay... we planned on maximum 8 days based on what we had been told.

The problem is the status updates and the tracking information.

The last update on the tracking number is from November 26th...

Shipment was prepared for onward transport.
Destination country/region: Albania

Fr, 26.11.2021, 02:31 hours
DHL Service Point Kevin Read, 5000 Berat

And absolutely nothing since then.

The supplier says "well, it's on its way, maybe DHL can tell you more".

So yesterday we walked into town. We needed a few groceries anyhow. We went to the DHL office and the woman didn't speak much English, but enough that we could understand.

She said that the tracking number I have isn't a DHL tracking number and that it's an Albania Post tracking number and that I have to go to the post office. I tried explaining to her that it was DHL that gave me the number, and I even showed her the email. But she showed me a list of tracking numbers on items she was expecting that day and they are all 10 numerical digits. My number is two letters, then nine numbers, then two letters again. I entered the tracking number into the Albania Post website and while the number goes in, it doesn't display any information at all. At least when I put the number into the DHL website it gives me the info up until the 26th.

So we went to the post office. Nobody spoke English there, so it was a little difficult communicating, but eventually another customer stepped in to help with the translation. The post office insisted that number had nothing to do with them and we had to go back to DHL.

So we did. But the woman says that there's nothing she can do. 

Scenery along the way.

So when we got back to Max, I emailed the supplier again. He says that they had a big snowstorm in Germany around the time that it shipped, and DHL is swamped because of Black Friday and Christmas stuff, and that it might take an extra couple of days. Well, we don't mind an extra couple of days, but if that turns into another week we would be upset.

He got back to me again later and had obviously done some more digging. He said that DHL handed it off to Albania Post when it entered Albania. He's assuming that the post office will deliver the package to the DHL office here which is how it was addressed on the shipping label. He also said that he shipped an identical item to Greece around the same time and it took four days, so he blamed the fact that Albania isn't part of the European Union.

But all of this begs the question... what's the point of having a tracking number, if you can't track it???

So apparently all we can do is wait.

Record low deal on Coleman's Roadtrip 285 Propane Grill. Green color only at this price.

And in Canada...


  1. Sorry to be the bringer of bad news but deliveries in and across Europe normally take way longer than estimated. More frustratingly there is nothing you can do once the item is on its way, they always have excuses.

  2. If it’s any consolation, we have the same delivery problems here in rural southwest Virginia, and sometimes experience nearly the same language problems ! Good luck !

    1. Well, we have to say that it does make us feel a little better. We know that problems like this can happen anywhere in the world. We will just have to be patient and wait for it to show up.

  3. We are having the same issues here in the Ottawa Valley. Parcels are shuttling back and forth between one courier service and another, being delivered by outside contractors too.

    1. Yep, I guess it happens everywhere and this time of year doesn't help matters.

  4. Same in n and it's multiple companies, including giants like Best Buy and Amazon. They get here, but you just aren't quite sure when. Luckily, we live 20 miles from an Amazon DC so what usually comes the next day is just a day later, even though tracking disagrees.

    1. Well it is reassuring know that it isn't just here that there are problems with courier companies. We will just sit a wait for it a little longer, seeing that we have to be here anyways to wait for my aligners to be ready. :-)

  5. Well, at least you learned a lesson. Never order anything from a country that is not part of EU. I learned a lesson too :-)

    1. Your comment doesn't really make sense. Lots of things get ordered from Albania and don't have a problem making their way here, it is just a fluke that ours is having an issue. As the people in the comments above have mentioned these things happen both in Canada and the US as well!

  6. Technology, internet, human errow hasn't improved much. Heck, you still can't get a decent signal in most of the world. We're in the 21st century but we're not a 21st century world.

    1. Yep, everything has it's limits and things just happen! It is funny but most places that we have traveled to that are outside of Canada and the US have had amazing cell signals.


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