When it comes to sending greetings to my loved ones back home, I write postcards to them. I’m old school like that. When it comes time to sending my postcards, I go to the Bogo post office. Now my visits to the Bogo post office are an event in itself. It’s sort of an adventure… every single time.
Writing postcards is a long tradition in Finland and in Germany. A tradition that is slowly dying these days due to Skype, Facebook, and WhatsApp. But still, there are some people out there that like to take time; write on actual postcards; and drop them off at actual post boxes. I am one of them. I regularly send postcards to my family who are not connected to Facebook or Skype.
The distance from San Remigio to the Bogo post office is 12 km, around 30 minutes by scooter. Entering the post office feels like entering into another time. Everything is done old school. The handling and processing of receiving and outgoing letters is done by hand.
There is no computer in the office. But, there is a typewriter! Where do you get to see typewriters nowadays? It turns out, at Bogo post office, that’s where. I think I just found my kindred spirit in things old school.
Another highlight of this tiny and wonderfully cramped office is a world map on the wall. Very handy for pointing out where Finland is, because not too many people here in this rural area of Cebu know where Finland is. As an example, only a few days ago a young man asked me if Finland is a French city.
The desk of the two employees are covered in letters, packets, and other things. I wonder what kind of system do they have. But still, all this represents the Filipino culture at it’s best: although things may not look so organised, controlled, or even modern, but still, there is a relaxed, laid back atmosphere in the room. The two guys seem to have their own system of handling things. A system that, for me as a visitor, seems impossible to understand. But they handle it in the most customer-friendly way with a big smile, chuckle, or generally being friendly. When I hand them my postcards for sending, the friendly man takes them, puts them inside his drawer and says “It’s OK!”. Easy as that.
If any of you, dear readers, would like to guess if my postcards do arrive at their destinations (Finland and Germany), well, your guess is as good as mine. Let’s just say it like this: some have arrived (as confirmed by my mom), but most of them… well.. they still might be on their way to their destination. Or, it could be possible that it’s still in that drawer. Who knows.
Sending postcards here in Bogo sure is an “adventure”. Luckily, I only send postcards. I don’t send important documents or items that I can’t afford to get indefinitely delayed, like the birthday card I sent to Arthur in 2009—still waiting.