Moving to a new place highlights differences in everyday life. And moving to a new country brings to life many changes. One that I noticed is the delivery of mail. In the US I’ve either had a mailbox affixed to my house or a locked mailbox in the lobby of my apartment building. My mailbox in Boston was a locked one in the lobby of my apartment.
A couple of years ago I experienced some trouble with my mail. My name fell off of the box and the carrier stopped delivering my mail. I don’t know how much mail I missed. I started to figure it out when I didn’t receive any of my tax information. I contacted the post office and found out the reason. Then I had the pleasure of tracking down all of my tax information, which involved calling or emailing several different companies including my own payroll department. I made sure that my name would not fall off the box again.
When I arrived at my new flat in London I walked into the lobby and saw a long table with mail spread out on it. At the time, I didn’t have time to really consider this. I briefly thought, well that’s odd and turned my attention to other matters. After several days in the new place, when I would take Miles, my dog, for a walk I noticed that the mail for our building was not sorted. The carrier puts a rubber band around a stack of mail and pushes it through a slot. I have started to pick it up each day and sort it on the table.
It is quite a difference experience. There are four flats in my building. But I’ve seen mail for many more individuals. Some of the mail has been sitting on the table for over two months. This system would drive my carrier in Boston bonkers.