Monday, November 11, 2013

honor thy postman

Tomorrow is Dia del Cartero hereabouts.  If you left your universal translator on the Enterprise, that means Postman's Day.

For me, it means thanking the three men who sell me stamps, send out my cards and letters, and ensure that my ever-increasing pile of mail gets to my postal box.  They do a great job.

These pages have included several entries about my love affair with the Mexican mail service.  If I mail a letter to The States from here, it will be delivered up north between 10 and 14 days.  And letters sent this way arrive on a similar schedule.

The only problem I have had is with magazines.  My print issues of The Economist are once again showing up in my box -- even though I can read it through my internet subscription.  I now read The American Spectator solely online.

Babs recently sent me a card from San Miguel de Allende.  If I remember correctly she said this was her first use of the Mexican mail system.  I had it in hand within 5 or 6 days.

But all of that is merely the job.  What is more important is that I enjoy talking to Saul, Julio, and Ramon.  When I go in to check my box for mail, we stand around and talk about soccer, the weather, accidents, recent deaths.  The type of conversation you would have at a small town post office in southern Oregon.  That is, if the participants knew only a few words in each person's language.

But it works.  Guys don't need lots of words.  For me, that is fortunate.

Dia del Cartero is the day that all of this service is honored.  Patrons of the post office drop off small gifts or tips during the week (the office is closed on the day itself).

In my case, I combine their Christmas gift with my Carterois tip because I am usually out of the country for most of the winter.  And that will be true again this year.

So, I will use three of those tiny, girly cards that grandmothers use to give gift money to their grandchildren, and stuff a 200 peso note into each of them. 

Small change for three workers in an institution that is central to my life in Mexico.

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