Friday, October 2, 2009

The mail must go through

I think we previously mentioned the sporadic delivery of our mail in France—but in the US “the mail must go through.  No matter if it rains or snows, the mail must go through….” (Those are the disney lyrics—there are other versions too.)  Well, maybe calling it sporadic was a bit extreme.  Or maybe I can’t tell any more, since I only check the mail once a week.  One thing that being in France has taught me is that I don’t really need to do bills as soon as they come.  In the land of 5-week vacations, bills just aren’t due in 30 days.  Most of our accounts are linked directly to the bank (because all the companies demand it), and I tend to get a 45-day head’s up indicating when money will be withdrawn—but all that’s required is a glance at the statement to verify it’s accurate, and my job is done—no check-writing, no online bill pay, no action required.  This is how bills should be done.

Well, I may have given the wrong impression of la poste last time around, but I had to chuckle when I got this in the mail today.  La poste insists that it’s not their fault that this letter was damaged—it came to them this way.   Rotated_P290909_17.53 Then it hit me—the French version of the song should be—“No matter if it rains or snows, no matter what condition the letter is in, the mail must go through.”  They’ll just make sure to clarify it wasn’t their fault!  It’s just junk-mail though, so maybe they shouldn’t have bothered.

There’s more about la poste—everything domestic is delivered in 2 days; you can opt out of tons of junk mail by noting the following on the outside of your mailbox “pas de pub[licité]”; domestic mail costs 0,55€ (US $0.80), while back home it costs $0.44.  I wonder where the extra 36 cents goes—it’s definitely not used for gas, because all the postal workers we see are on bicycles!

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