Okay maybe not the whole world, but our area of South Africa is into the 3rd month a renewed postal strike which has apparently been in stages of delivery then protest off and on for…3 years!?!?. The love letters I sent Kurt while I was home in Pennsylvania have been in no-man’s land (or destroyed, as I’m told often happens here during a postal strike). I’m also guessing the beautiful and unique, African birthday and anniversary cards I sent have not arrived to anyone in the states. I’ve been told mail is moving in some areas, but definitely not in our area.
What upsets me most is that so many don’t seem to care. Snail mail is passé. The only people really complaining, it seems, are businesses who have a lot of product in transit, expats who haven’t received their care packages from home, a few luddites who haven’t figured out how to manage their bills electronically, and the lovers of all things handwritten and simmered slowly across a few continents, like me.
Snail mail is beautiful.
Sending a postcard, or a handwritten letter is one of the most beautiful expressions of love for me to give, or to receive. It takes more time, care, thought and money to write and send a letter or card by mail.
It’s a dying art—from the calligraphy to the stationery, to the commemorative stamps—and if strikes like these keep happening, it will soon be dead to all but some privatized courier services.
Striking, then, seems to be a nail in the coffin, a shovel in the grave. Don’t get me wrong. I believe there are a lot of injustices in worker compensation in multiple sectors of South Africa. But the way the strikes occur don’t seem to actually have any effect except to turn the average consumer further against the employees doing the striking. Negotiations don’t seem to be handled properly, and there doesn’t seem to be an ability to resolve on either side. And when a strike occurs in an already seemingly useless or dying sector (such as postal service in a world of private, fast couriers and digital communication) there’s little sympathy and little hope for swift and happy resolution.
So I don’t know, friends, if I will get your sweet nothings sent by old-fashioned post, or if you’ll receive my international birthday greetings, unless I decide to make a drive to another area where the post is still running.
But until then, I hope you enjoyed this Traveling Marla online postcard wishing you a happy World Post Day. I hope wherever you are, you can take advantage of a working postal service and take a moment to send a longhand note to someone you love.
P.S. Can you guess what a group of male cheetah is called? (No Googling! I want to see what ideas you create when you guess!)