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Journey to the East

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This adventure started sometime towards the beginning of 2020; I believe I was on holiday at Disneyworld visiting my parents and brother, and I had just negotiated a deal for a large set of Gamate games. I also managed to set up a trade with a guy from South Africa, Gary, for a Famicom game called van der Merwe en Boetie. This game is a South African exclusive, a hack of the original Super Mario Bros. with some South African cartoon characters in it. Fortunately for me, although my contact was a big gamer, he was more interested in Sega Mega Drive games than Famicom or Famiclone stuff, so we quickly hashed out a trade, a Sega shooter (Thunder Force III, IIRC - it was definitely CIB) for the van der Merwe game. I also threw in several other games as a bonus, including a local Taiwanese Sega shooter, and he followed suit with some other Famiclone carts. We both mailed off our part of the trade at the end of February, right before the COVID-19 situation really started to kick off worldwide, what a relief...or not.

As Covid started impacting supply chains and flights, it quickly became realized that both of our parcels might be delayed. Gary finally received his that summer, around June or July I believe, but mine never arrived. As the months lingered on, an inquiry was placed at the South African post office, but little information was to be gained. Eventually, the tracking code expired, and what little glimmer of light to be had quickly began to dim.

The question that Gary and I had was whether the parcel had made it through customs and onto a boat / plane bound for Taiwan, or whether it never made it out of South Africa due to the Covid situation. Was the parcel sitting in a dusty warehouse somewhere in Taiwan, in customs, or in South Africa, in customs? There was honestly no way of knowing how far the parcel actually made it, and although it was a hard pill to swallow, as I figured I wouldn't be likely to find another one of these cartridges so fast, I just learned to accept it and got on with my life.

Ironically enough, this is one of literally four parcels that had been lost in the mail. The first package I lost was a 3 1/4 disk set containing the PC Bible Adventures game, which I had bought back in the early 2000s. Never showed up, I think the guy ripped me off, lol. The second and third parcels were this one as well as one from South America, which got held up in South American customs due to Covid-19; it was later returned to the sender, who mailed it back to me a few months back, so it was recovered. Finally, I ordered a homebrew game from Japan, and I had to give a romanized address (no idea why since Japanese can understand Chinese characters). The guy read the address wrong, and delivered it to a furniture shop a few blocks away. It was eventually recovered too, though I still have no idea why no one did anything, seeing that a random package for a foreign guy just appeared at their shop.

Well, anyways, I had a nice surprise a few weeks back. After 600 days of waiting, something finally showed up 😄





Edited by fcgamer
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