Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Why England is Better than We are (including Canada)

Paul Bates couldn't find the address of his friend Peter O'Leary who had moved to Cornwall. So he addressed the envelope with Peter's name and a map of his location. The Cornwall postal authorities delivered the card without incident in a matter of days.

In the early days of the last century, someone sent a letter addressed thusly:

Hill
John
Mass.

The letter was correctly delivered to John Underhill in Andover, Massachusetts.

I tell you all this because on December 15, I sent a package to Canada. I had the country correct, I had the Postal Code correct, I had the city correct, I had the street name correct, I even had the house number correct, and the name was correct. But because I left off an apartment number, the package came back.

So here's the picture in my head: The Canadian postman is standing in front of this building with a big bag of mail with everyone's name on it. But he can't line up the name with the apartment number, even with a big sack of mail.

Here at home, we frequently get mail addressed to an Elementary school in Hutto, Texas who has the same street address we do. Each time we get the letter we notice that the city is spelled correctly, and the Zip Code isn't our Zip code, so we assume it's correct, but somehow, the US Postal Service manages to send the letter to us, even though an elementary school in Hutto has never lived at our address.

But if you forget an apartment number. . .

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