I thought I was done with tracking Christmas Cards making their way through the South African Postal Service and writing about it on my blog. But when mail gets returned to you and you look at the date you sent it and then check today's date on the calendar, and what you see makes your eye pop out of your head, then you feel compelled to write another blog post. Enjoy!
People in most countries complain about their Postal Service. It's just something you do. But not all postal services are the same. If you've lived in South Africa, you will most likely relish the postal services of any other countries you ever live in, because they accurately deliver your mail without delay or theft.
I'm sorry that this blog post is quite lengthy, but there really wasn't a good way to break it into two parts. Brief back story: As some of you know, I recently decided to conduct an experiment - Was the South African postal service (SAPO) really as bad as my experience suggested, or was I unfairly biased against it? How would it compare to other postal services around the world?
I am starting an experiment to see how long it will take for this year's Christmas cards to arrive in South Africa compared to other countries. I have repeatedly had issues with the South African Postal Service "losing" mail, and it is notoriously slow when packages DO arrive. A reader had accused me of being unfair and lacking "hard facts." With this test I will soon have some hard facts.
Conversation at the Post Office in South Africa: "I'd like to redirect our mail internationally from South Africa." "That's not possible." "It's not?" "No, it's not. No-one in South Africa has ever moved abroad, so no-one has ever needed to do that." There you go. Such simple logic. As much bureaucracy there is when you move TO South Africa, it's very easy in reverse.
It's tiring to have to work so hard at everyday occurrences such as getting your mail. It's hard to imagine a thriving mail-order economy without better mail service. One that sends out notifications for package delivery. Where entire shipments don't disappear like this was the Bermuda Triangle. And where overseas credit card statements don't get intercepted by a Nigerian "prince."
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