(Star) - THE IDEA behind this week's column came to life thanks to a
letter I received by regular postal mail just two days ago. Wait a
minute, it was not a regular letter, it was a returned one.
Apparently, it was returned due to a badly written address (that's
me again and my clumsy persona). These things happen most of the
time, no need to panic, people just write letters and they come back
to them unread for one reason or another. The interesting thing
however, is that I sent the letter back in July 2000. Let me see if
I can do the calculations right: It took this letter about nine
months to find its way back to its original sender. Nine months!
Isn't this just amazing? Don't you agree it's worth a column? Some
of you might be wondering why I sent this message by regular mail in
the first place. I'm aware of the fact that there is always a
digital means to send messages like our dearest friend the e-mail.
But I vividly remember I used the conventional means back then
simply to add a personal touch to my correspondence. You know, there
is always something special about receiving a letter. Any letter has
a special fragrance; an aroma of ink on paper meshed with glue and
saliva. Our good old/new e-mail would definitely fail to create such
a personal atmosphere.
Anyway, back to my letter. I can think of many scenarios that led
this letter to wander aimlessly, but this is really not the issue
here. The whole point of sharing this fable with you is a mere
introduction to a major topic: Our mail service.
I really don't intend to condemn our mail service as much as I
want to voice some suggestions to improve it. It aches my heart to
tell you this ladies and gentlemen but my humble experience with our
postal service is not an impressive one. From delivering half-opened
packages to failing to deliver letters to their destinations, the
mail service never ceases to disappoint me. So what can we do to
improve it? My first recommendation would be dropping the mail box
notion and start delivering the mail directly to its destination. I
know this entails coming up with a totally new nomenclature for the
streets of Amman, but it's feasible no? Another suggestion would be
respecting the privacy of one's mail by simply leaving it intact.
Facilitating the process of receiving/sending a package is another
thing I would like to propose. I'm not really sure if you are aware
of this, but do you know that sending a package entails paying the
central post office in downtown Amman a visit. See, in the era of
globalization and boundless communication we as good citizens still
need to go downtown to send something as simple as a package.
Anyway, these were my two cents on the matter, it's entirely up
to you to agree with me or simply boycott my mental scribbles for
Looking at my returned letter story from a positive perspective,
however, you'd be surprised to know I actually enjoyed rereading
what I wrote nine months ago. It was refreshing to know that through
the past nine months I have managed to evolve as a person since if I
were to write the same letter today I wouldn't have said what I said