23 August, 2009

The Dedicated Postman

Big Squish raises one of life's little mysteries. When we left KL for HK some years ago, we didn't bother to give the post office a forwarding address, since we never get any mail. We forgot however that we do get bank statements. But instead of the bank statements being returned to the bank or being opened and abused by the new tenants of the house, they started mysteriously turning up at my parents' house. How can this be? They were still addressed to our old house. We can only conclude that not only did the postman know that we were no longer living in the house, he had also worked out that there was some enduring connection between the people who had lived in that house (us) and the people who were still living in my mum's house, three streets down. How did he know? What a soothing vision this is of a society and time that is so peaceful and civilised that the postman can notice something like that and silently deliver the mail to the right address, without a word, without a fuss, not just for a few weeks, but for months, which is how long it took me to realise that I was paying monthly service charges for a bank account I no longer used, and close it down.

It's not the same postman anymore. But wherever the old postman is, I raise my hat now to that unsung hero.

Another postal mystery relates to Big Squish's free subscription to the Max Planck Institute's monthly journal, which she contacted them to cancel when she was moving back from Berlin to KL. Not only did they fail to cancel it, from then on, the journal has been arriving promptly at her address here, even though she obviously did not give them her KL address. On the one hand you condemn their incompetence in not discontinuing the subscription. On the other hand you applaud their ingenuity in finding out her Malaysian address. I suppose people who can unravel the mysteries of the universe's laws can easily handle tracking someone down to the ends of the earth.


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