Postcards from Hell 9: The Postman


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

One thought on “Postcards from Hell 9: The Postman

  1. Mate, I remember queuing at the post office in Nairobi trying to rent a box, only to be told – after a not inconsiderable wait – that the rental waiting list was at least six months.

    Mind you, a friend posted me an Aussie Rules football while I was in Nairobi. I never received it. But a few months after we’d given up on it, it turned up in Sydney marked “address not found, return to sender”.

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