I used to live with a wonderful canine friend. She was quiet and shy. But once she had warmed up to the duck and me we actually became best friends. Another person who wanted to win her friendship was the mailman. Every time he delivered a parcel he would ask for her by her name and give her a treat. Even if she was too scared to come up to him and instead observed the two weird humans standing at the front door from a safe distance, the friendly mailman would leave a treat for her. After a while, another dog had moved in, a dog who didn’t hesitate whenever the occasion for a snack arose. The first time the mailman encountered our new housemate he had been planning to give our quiet friend her treat, but she was too shy to come up to him. Instead, her new friend ran up to the door (and almost out of it) to snag the treat. As the mailman attempted anew to get a snack to our quiet friend, it went to the wrong dog again. So, instead, he gave me two snacks (how fair!) to give her later, when she’d be alone and could eat them in peace. Sometimes, if he didn’t see our quiet friend because she was taking a nap, the friendly mailman would ask us where she was and leave four snacks behind (two per dog). If I were a dog, it would feel like Christmas each time Santa Claus came to town disguised as a parcel deliverer. The parcels might have been paid for in advance, but the dog treats came out of his personal secret Santa bag. Sure, befriending all the dogs in the neighborhood is a smart move if you are a mailman because that can make your work exponentially easier (if you believe the cliche), but I also think that a lot of pure altruism came into learning the name of every dog that friendly mailman would encounter on his daily route. When I grow up, I want to be just as cool and kind as my favorite mailman!
Do you remember how in love the duck and I were with Japan Post and how they redeliver your missed parcel to a location and within a time slot of your choosing (even more than once, if you are a complete failure)? Well, the same can’t be said for our experiences with the German equivalent, unfortunately.
See, the duck and I are huge fans of old-fashioned mail (but not telegrams – they were such a hassle back in our childhood days). There’s almost nothing that beats a nice little postcard or a cute personal letter; they just have so much more character than a conversation on your favorite messaging app, and last much longer than a video chat. That is why the duck and I used our first visit to a Berlin post office earlier this year to grab a couple of those ten-packs of self-adhesive stamps (because you never know when you’ll have a sudden urge to send a postcard but are too lazy to go to the nearest post office to buy a single stamp – also, how dare those stupid water-activated pieces of paper call themselves stamps?!).
Doesn’t the duck look happy with all those stamps? Well, we both were! Did I mention how much the duck and I love mail? This year, however, Deutsche Post has tried very hard to shake our belief in snail mail:
Now that Christmas is approaching, much faster than we’d like because the festive season is by far our favorite time of the year, there’s this self-imposed force (gosh, are we excited to watch the new Star Wars!) to be social and at least send out a few Christmas cards to show that we’re still alive and have not turned into trains ourselves (yet). Anyway, this post is about how amazing and reliable the Japanese postal services are.
Our first proper encounter probably was when we found this red and white card in our mail box because we had missed a delivery – Santa colors are the best colors! But what does it mean?! Handicapped by our miserable Japanese skills, we turned to our friend Google and found this useful guide on navigating through the Japan Post website. That was going to be the beginning of our postal service appreciation journey: Continue reading