I don’t know if I’m the only person that still mails postcards – they’re stilling them so I guess there’s still a market for them. Of course you need a stamp to mail your postcard and I always find myself in the post offices around the world. I suppose that if you compare the post offices and the people that work and shop in them you can learn a little something about the country that you are visiting.
Right off the bat, the first thing that I noticed about the Australian Post is that it resembles a bit of a retail shop. They seem to be selling everything here from cooking sets to sewing machines. I’ve seen products offered for sale in the American post offices but these products are usually related to shipping, moving and packing. I’ve not seen a sewing machine in our home post offices. I suppose that with the increase in email traffic (and corresponding drop-off in postal letters) and the higher cost of fuel the postal departments are making less and less money. Switching to an alternative stream of income seems like a logical choice. But a sewing machine? I’m still scratching my head at that one.
The staff was efficient and courteous. The line moved along quickly and when it backed up additional workers came out to handle the overflow. Everyone was friendly as are most of the people I’ve run into in Australia. So far, everyone I’ve met in Australia is happy, courteous and very relaxed. It makes for a nice visit when people are pleasant to talk to.
The woman ahead of me was filing a government form to work with children. The post office worker certified her identification documents, stamped the form and then posted it for her. She said, “100 points of ID please.” I’ve since learned that official forms require 100 points of ID and identification is broken down something like: passport, 75 points, driver’s license 50 points, social security card 25 points, national ID 50 points, etc. The woman showed her New Zealand passport and Western Australian driver’s license. I wondered if they would recognize a Texas driver’s license?
The last post office that really stands out in my mind is a Russian post office that I visited in 2009; the service between the two post offices was like night and day. And so where the prices of stamps!
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