Thursday, April 10, 2008

An Post - The postal service

An Post, the Irish postal service has many charms. There are only two letter rates. One for Irish destinations and one for everywhere else in the world. So it costs the same to post a letter to France as it does to Bolivia. However, what makes it special is our postman. When we came here ten years ago (1998) I thought it a good idea to inform the postman of my name. After all Irish houses in the countryside have no name, or number, nor are there street names. Before I had a chance to tell him he dropped a small parcel off for me. "How did you know it was for me?", I asked. "Just put two and two together", he replied.
As most Irish country addresses simply consists of your name, the parish name and local village, I though he might need some help, what with many O'Driscolls, several McCarthys a couple of Connells I must tell him that my partner's surname is also Connell. No need. Before I had my chance a letter arrived addressed to my other half. "How did you know?", I again asked. "I just put two and two together again". he replied.
It gets better. One day a gardening catalogue arrived. The label's address simply stated "Schull, Ireland". No name, no township. All was obscured. When I asked the postman how he knew it was for us, we were told that he'd noticed a few others correctly addressed for us previously and guessed, correctly that this too was for us.
Often when I'm around and about, the postman will recognise my car, maybe parked outside someones house, and drop the mail inside the car. You can't do that with postcodes and automated sorting! .

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