17 November 2008
Wait, Where Do I Live?
If I gave you one guess to tell me where this picture was from, I'm guessing you'd say China. The "People's" Post Office and so forth and so on. This notion would most likely elicit images of me fumbling from taxi to bus with passports, "official forms" and the like in hand, doing my best to pick up a box sent far across the Pacific for me to enjoy the goodies inside. Alas, you'd be wrong.
The above image refers to the UK's post office. Not the actual postal service itself (The Royal Mail) but the place you visit to purchase stamps, boxes and so on and so forth only here in the UK, the Post Office sells EVERYTHING. You want car insurance? Done. Homeowner's insurance? DONE. Travel insurance? DONE. Currency Exchange? DONE. Neck pillow? DONE. Birthday Card? DONE. It's like a CVS/Alldays/Target/Dollar Store in one. The one thing not like China: LINES. There are usually 15 to 20 people queuing at any given moment to buy a stamp or perform one of the above tasks, which means no visit lasts for less than 20 minutes. Oh glorious England and their glorious lines!
It's so odd to be in London and yet have constant reminders of China. Maybe it's because I've hit the 6-week mark (the longest I've been in the same place since leaving China) and I'm getting antsy, with nothing but reading and essays in sight. Maybe it's because a hot chocolate costs as much as a fancy dinner our in Shanghai. Or maybe it's just because everywhere is a lot more like everywhere else than I originally thought. In the meantime, I'll just queue up and buy a few stamps.