no. 41 – receive a handwritten letter thru snail mail

Much has improved in the way we communicate. In fact, many forms of communication are so readily available some of them are sometimes taken for granted. Have you experienced talking to someone who is busy typing in his cellphone? Or are you the guilty party who does not pay attention when someone is sharing a part of them to you? I have nothing against the internet and chatrooms and e-mails but there’s something about letters delivered to your door by a postman. Yesterday, while manning in our canteen, a guy looked for my father and when I said he was away, the man gave me a letter and let me sign in a notebook. I thought it was the electric bill or something only to realize that the guy was a postman. I was happy to see one (though he was not in uniform and there was nothing to identify him except the envelopes he carried) because it reminded me of books or movies where the children were eagerly waiting for Mamang Kartero to deliver the mail. The anticipation taught people back then delayed gratification. What we are now are impatient little beings.

Anyway, the first letter I received was from my host mother Hiroyo back in 2008.

I was happy to receive one because it has been almost a month since I sent my first letter and I thought she’d never reply. I found it cute that she even put a Clover sticker on the envelope.

The letter was handwritten and three pages long. I read it a couple of times and the tangibility of holding the paper in my hands made me smile the whole time. The salutation was “Dear Lans” because when I introduced myself and said my nickname was “Rans”, they pronounced it with an “L”. Some mistakes are not worth bothering with.

Meanwhile, the last letter I sent via the conventional postal delivery was a 5-year overdue birthday card to ka-org. I decided to drop it in the Main Post office building and I dragged Pangs with me.

The place was huge but some of the counters were closed and there were fewer people than I expected. The building has seen better days.

I was clueless as to what to do. Thanks to asking questions, I had my envelope stamped (because I did not have a stamp with me) and then I dropped it in one of the many boxes that says “Domestic”.

Come to think of it, this form is less “efficient” because people would have to sort out the mails by region (or by province? I really don’t know) and a couple more process would be done before the letter reaches your doorstep unlike e-mail, one click and it’s done. At least it employs more people, and makes us realize how important communication is. Anyway, while we were there, I noticed a man who does not appear to be sending a letter. He just sat there, reading his book. I’d like to do that sometime, maybe the place is conducive for such activities.

Pangs and I decided to visit the Postal Museum and Philatelic Library in the next building. I was sad because the so-called museum looked sad and abandoned.

The ventilation was bad (if there was any) so Pangs and I did not stay there long. I liked how they utilized natural lighting in one portion of the rather small museum. The artifacts like old typewriters are just placed there, without proper identification nor protection.

I read rumors saying that there are plans to convert the Post Office into a luxury hotel like the Fullerton in Singapore. I hope they remain rumors. Thank you Pangs for the company and for always telling me stories about better your days.

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