Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Testing the Postal Service (and the Muhtar)
It should take about a week for something to reach here from the UK, but I've sometimes waited weeks or months for a delivery. Some years ago I received a christmas card in February, from a friend in England, who had posted it at the beginning of December, clearly addressed. The envelope had stuff written all over it, and it appeared to have gone via Malaysia for some unknown reason!
When we moved to the village last year, I discovered that the delivery of post was very erratic. A van from Milas would come to the village with post, only when he had enough of it to justify the trip. So I decided to take a postbox at the main post office in Milas, and so far this has worked very well. In fact the postmaster there has got to know me quite well, and if I receive parcels, instead of him putting a slip of paper in my box for me to collect from one of the counters in the main building, he just hangs on to them for me in his desk, and I just pop my head round the door and ask if there's anything for me.
When I was in England last month, there was some post for me at my brother's address. Some of it was in my former name, and none of it was of great importance or urgent. But it was correspondence that I wished to continue receiving. So I decided to test the postal service. I sent my new address to the people concerned, without changing my name. I not only put the name of the village in the address, but also the post office box number too. Haha I thought...that'll confuse them! No-one in this village has a house number. Any post will just be addressed to the name of the person and the name of the village. And that's it. The postman from Milas will bring the post and dump it in the teahouse in the village, and the villagers will collect it from there.
Well I am delighted to say that it has worked. Last night, the deaf guy from up the lane, who was so kind to the dogs whilst I was in England, turned up at my gate with an envelope. It was addressed to me in my old name, with the name of the village and the postbox number. He asked if this was me? And I replied that it was. Of course it wasn't too difficult for anyone to realise that this was my post. After all it had an English postmark, and I am the only English person living here. But a least he had taken the trouble to find out. And...bless his heart...he has promised to look out for any further post for me and to deliver it to me in future.
And...testing the Muhtar (the head of the village)? I went into his office this morning to pay our water bill. You may recall that it took us months to get a rubbish bin outside our house. They are supposed to collect the rubbish every week, but it's not happening. I am supposed to pay 3 lira extra on top of my water bill for this service. So I handed over the money...less 3 lira. He asked for the rubbish money, and I said he could have it when the rubbish had been collected...it hasn't been collected since I returned from England.
He jumped up from his desk...called out of the door of his office to the man with the tractor who normally collects the rubbish....and told him the rubbish must be collected today...and has assured me that it will. We'll see...