I got a letter!

Jun 19, 2008

I remember when I was about 13 years old I started writing letters to my friends over the summer. We only lived 20 minutes away, but there was something really cool about going to the mailbox every day to check to see if there was anything in there for me. We made collages and sent them, or decorated our letters with wax or by burning the edges.

Then I went to Australia for a year as an exchange student (this is all before the internet, folks) and letters were how I connected with my friends and family back home. They would take a couple weeks to get there, but they were always a welcomed surprise. We always wrote long letters, 4 or more pages, because we were far apart and there was so much to cover between letters!

When my sister went off to college, we started writing letters to each other, too. We got along pretty well until she was a teen and I was still a kid and she didn't want to play Barbies with me any more. When she went off to college we connected through our letters and that was the beginning of the friendship that we now are so lucky to share.

Once I started working from home and Hans was working on site with a client I would wait for the mailman to come so I could go see what we got. Mostly it was junk mail, but really it was a break from my computer. It meant that I could sit down with my Anthropologie catalog and veg out for a few minutes before getting back to work.

The mail system in Mexico is spotty at best. When we got our cable set up they told us we were responsible to come and pay the bill on the 17th of each month whether or not we got a bill. I told family and friends not to send me something if they really wanted me to get it, so naturally, I only check the mail box once or twice a month.

Today I went to check the mail and I had a cable bill (it came!), an electric bill (man, electric's expensive here), a phone bill and A LETTER! I got a letter! Yeah- it's just a little thank you card from my cousin, but still... it got here! Wow!

I know some people order stuff online here and receive it fine. I dunno. I sort of like not getting mail. I sort of like not being able to order online. I like the challenge of finding the things I want here on Mexican time. So far, I have found that if you want it bad enough you'll be able to find it.

Anyway, it still feels good to go to the mailbox and see a little envelope with your name on it an a ton of airmail stamps. Nice.


Fned said...

The thing I like most about letters is the expectation that comes with a sealed enveloppe. Even if you know there's a bill inside (or worse, your tax forms) I still get a tingle seeing a sealed enveloppe and/or a pretty stamp. ;)


P.S. I think Mexico's postal service has gotten a lot better though. Every postcard I've sent my family have gotten to their destination (even if it does three months after I sent them... but whatever)

mexpat said...

Yeah, I think for a regular letter, I would use the mail system here. I probably wouldn't send a check or anything that was irreplaceable, but just a letter- cool. I heard that the Mexican Gov't had hired the US Postal Service to help them modernize their facilities and I think the mail system is pretty reliable on the west coast.

Michele in Playa said...

I receive one peice of mail every year. A Christmas card from my friend Erin. I get it in April. Better late than never.

sean_peadar said...

You would have had a birthday card in the mail too, if you'd only given out your address.

Plus, a cool surprise that I KNOW you would have liked.

mexpat said...

Michele- It's kind of funny that it can take a letter longer to get here than it would have taken for her to drive down and tell you herself, lol!

Sean- More like I'd have a b-day card in September! :) Ok- I'll email you my address, but only for a SURPRISE!

By the way, I had a dream with you in it last night!

Fned said...

Fned. Just a quick update on this post. Last week I sent my parents a package from France as an experiment. I decided I was going to have faith in the mexican postal system and mail them a few gifts we'd brought for them from Japan. I was really nervous because if the stuff "got lost in the mail" it was not replacable...

Then yesterday I got a call from my mom saying she'd received the package!!!

I admit it, I was really happily surprised. Not only was the box intact (and it was pretty big box, stuffed with STUFF!!) but it took a total of only 8 days for it to get to its destination all the way FROM EUROPE!!!

Maybe things are starting to change..... a little. :)


mexpat said...

Fned- cool deal! Yeah, Nancy from Countdown to Mexico gets books delivered in Mazatlan without problems. If I was in Guadalajara or somewhere big I might be more trusting! Plus, I'm not even sure I know my real address! It's so general!