Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Christmas at the Post Office

Guess I can't help it but as a city boy born and bred, I've always associated PO Boxes with isolated rural hamlets where the civilized concept of door-to-door delivery hasn't quite arrived yet. Otherwise that suspicious lil PO Box would probably mean a curiously unsubtle cover for receiving nefarious illegal shipments.

Either way no one I knew ever had one. What would you do with a PO box when they deliver mail straight to the front door? Generally, PO boxes or post office boxes are uniquely addressable boxes rented from the post office either by individuals or by businesses on a monthly basis where the cost of rent varies depending on the box size.

Calvin : But we do have a PO box.
Paul : OMG Seriously, did your father run a secret online service selling contraband products?
Calvin : No. We lived in an inaccessible part of the country so every week my dad and I would journey to town to fetch our mail.
Paul : That's so Little House on the Prairie! Please tell me you travelled on a horse and buggy!
Calvin : We had a car!
Paul : How disappointing! At least tell me your ma wore her best Sunday bonnet to town.

Surprisingly a common practice over here!

Evidently Charming Calvin and his family actually set up a PO Box back home in the Wild, Wild East to receive their weekly shipments of mail, barley and rice. Well I'm only partially kidding about the barley and rice - though his family did have a weekly driving expedition to town just to stock up on goods.

Call!
Dad : Calvin, that's one hell of a Christmas hamper! Don't think we're gonna be able to load all that onto the mule.
Calvin : Aw shucks, dad, maybe we should have taken the buggy!

Since then the city hasn't changed much when it comes to the archaic standard of their postal delivery. It's almost Victorian, I swear. Rather than deliver parcels right to the very doorstep of the recipient, we get odd little requests to come collect at the local post office. No matter how small or inconsequential the packaging.

In the olden days the local post office would have served as the epicentre of the little town with the provincial denizens regularly streaming through its doors. Though I'd be hard pressed to name the closest post office back home in the west, the advent of modern technology and communication doesn't seem to have diminished the role of the post office in these parts.

Something I realized when I was forced to pay the local post office a visit to collect a Christmas parcel. Yes, frankly I do go a bit crazy with my online shopping this time of year. Seriously, gifts for everyone.


Once I stepped into the post office though, I found myself well commiserated. Not only is there an ancient bell to jangle on arrival at the post office, there's even a lowly timeworn bench to wait on while the friendly neighbourhood postmistress searches through the pile of packages in the store.

Such nostalgia. Forget about sending newfangled emails devoid of personality! All these old-fashioned postal methods still being practised here only makes me itch to send a quaintly retro telegram! Wonder if they still have the enchanting Morse Telegraph!

3 comments:

ooi2009 said...

i like guys that have thick thighs ...mmmmm

Tempus said...

haha you never known what you get over the east coast. my current coursemate from there seemed to be astonished with so many things around here, and we are equally shocked as well when he talks about things over there!

ah post office, sheesh after all the uni applications I've ceased to known of its existence XD

savante said...

Very true, ooi.

Things are certainly different here, tempus!