22 November, 2008

Postcard From Past Lives: Deutsch Post


Dear Deutsche Post,

Oh ye of little faith! Just because I lavish a bit of praise on the Deutsche Bahn (German train company), doesn’t mean that my affections and appreciation of your services have waned. In the 26 years since I moved to Germany, you still can deliver a letter anywhere in Germany in a-day’s-time or two at the latest. Not only do you do your normal duties thoroughly, but you also have little German elves working in the backrooms individually handling the following situations:

Wrong or Incomplete Addressed

Taking letters addressed to me with the wrong house number, or “near the electrician shop” written in place of the street name, or my name/ city/Germany written on the envelope, and asking your elves to write my proper address per hand for the postwoman to deliver with only one-day’s delay.

Broken Package Shelter

A package arrives per sea freight with the carton split at all seams and the package contents no longer contained. Your elves gather up the contents, send them to a broken package shelter in Frankfurt, where they are stored in the interim. They write to me with the news of this unfortunate manhandling (which obviously is not their own, but some bully Scotsman in the Orkney Islands post office who didn’t give a hoot) and then send me the remains in a new carton with apologies for any inconvenience. At. No. Extra. Cost.

Ramped Vandalism

A vacuum-packed plastic envelope arrives with the burnt remains of a letter I wrote to my mother and sent off to Grenada the week before. My return address, written at the top left-hand corner of the letter, is the only recognisable part of the charred remains. Someone had set off fireworks in the post box during New Year’s Eve celebration, and your elves wanted me to know that the letter wouldn’t arrive.

So, please stop sulking and feeling neglected. You are my stalwart friend and I love you to bits and always will.

Your faithful friend,

Ye who believes in elves


  1. I am so enjoying these. Not only are the collages magical, but you charm us all with your magic words.

    Thank you.

    I left you a note "over there:" Yes, G traveling. Two weeks there, then others rotate in. I hoe he get's sent to Germany....where they are having troubles, I'll come along for two weeks there. :)

  2. Wow. That's great postal stuff! You should mail this one to them :)