Thursday, November 12, 2020

tipping the couriers

Today is the day I get to show my postman -- or postmen, in my case -- how much I appreciate the Mexican postal system.

It is Dia del Cartero -- Postman's Day.

I had a brief tryst with Mailboxes, Etc. (a mail service) in Manzanillo when I first moved to Mexico. Every week I would drive an hour to Manzanillo to pick up my mail. It was usually the same mix. My magazines from the prior two weeks and the inevitable 16-page letter from Houston mayor Bill White urging me to send him 55-gallon barrels of money to support his itch to be governor of Texas.

The solicitations would have been mildly interesting to me if I lived in The States. But I was not a Texas voter and each of his letters were as heavy in arcane political matters as they were heavy in weight when Christopher put them on the scale. I paid a rather heavy price for each piece of political arcana. 

That is because Mailboxes, Etc. not only charged a monthly fee, it also charged for the weight of each piece of correspondence I received. And all I was getting was old magazines and unwanted junk mail. After about eight months, I decided there was little value in maintaining my relationship with the company, though, fortunately I regularly see Christopher on my frequent comings and goings at the airport. He is now an immigration officer.

So, I closed that account and signed up for a Mexican postal box. For the cost of what a weekly trip to Manzanillo, I now had a drop closer to my house for about $15 (US) annually. When I opened the box, I was receiving all of my mail faster than it arrived with Mailboxes, Etc. The political correspondence stopped, but letters from friends took about 10 days to 2 weeks to arrive. Even my magazines were a day or two earlier. (I eventually solved the timeliness problem by switching to electronic delivery.)

Even though correspondence is now taking longer, the Mexican postal service has been very reliable for me. But the best aspect of having a box is that I get to know the postmen. They provide me with local gossip for Mexpatriate and one of them gets great fun over the past four years of physically comparing me to President Trump. Julio frequently wants a selfie with me to show his friends. It is all in good fun.

That is why I need to finish up this essay and my breakfast* so I can drive over to Melaque and give each of them a peso-note of a certain denomination in a gift card. It is a small token to let them know how much I appreciate their service.

It is true that we may not have snow and not much rain, but we do have heat and gloom of night, and our couriers always complete "their appointed rounds."

If you have not already done so, I suggest you go to your local post office and tangibly show your consideration by paying consideration. 

* -- I will confess that I have loitered over my breakfast this morning. It may be because of its international flavor. Indian fry bread toasted in bacon grease topped with a melange of beans, chilis, tomato, onion, garlic, and ginger. I then added two eggs seasoned with ghost pepper salt and marjoram. I washed it all down with a Ginger Mojito tea (green tea, lemon peel and mint) from Tess -- a British-Russian consortium, that sounds like a company from a World War One novel. It was a breakfast to savor.

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