Every few days a cheerful chap in uniform riding a motorbike comes to my door. He rummages through his sack and pulls out an envelope addressed to me. OK, it’s usually nothing more exciting than a printout detailing exactly how poor I am. But once a week it’s my copy of The New Statesman and from time to time (including this morning) it’s a cardboard box from amazon. Big deal, I hear you say.
Well, in my experience of failed states – or even moderately dysfunctional ones – door-to-door postal services are a rarity. In Kenya, my post (or at least those bits of it that didn’t go missing) were delivered to a post office box on the other side of town. I checked it once every six weeks without fail. The houses weren’t even numbered – no point if there was no postie trudging up your street each morning. So I’ll never take door numbers and postmen for granted again.
Postcards from Hell is my ironically titled list of things that are cool about Pakistan, my new home, or which contradict the notion that the country is some sort of failed state