June 2015 – It might even go by Snail-Mail

MyanmarPostI had a letter to send. The addressee is a Minister in the Government of Myanmar in the city of Naypyidaw. This city is not really a big one – but is is the capital.

Some days ago I handed this letter over to a “Representative of the Government” in Yangon (Rangoon), where I work. Two days ago one of the representatives came to my hotel, bringing the letter back and telling me, that the courier to Naypyidaw would not go there before the end of next week. At the earliest. He recommended to send the letter by mail. Fair enough.

The nearest post-office is in walking distance from my hotel, only about ten minutes away on the university compound. A small building with the national flag flying on the roof and two postboxes in front.

Inside four counter-windows, barred and and partly protected with bullet-proof glass. Nobody behind the glass. After waiting a couple of minutes I knocked at the window and only seconds later a young lady showed up. Her English was a bit basic but very well to understand.

I showed my letter, telling her, that is has to go to Naypyidaw as quickly as possible and as safe as possible. “No problem” she said, “we’ll send it as Express/Recommended-Letter. It will reach Naypyidaw within the next two or three days.” Well, it is less than 400 kilometres to Naypyidaw – but I had the feeling to have no choice.

She grabbed some forms, five sheets of carbon paper and a pen and started writing. I got the original form as a mailing receipt (see photo) and I have no idea what happened to the five copies.

Finally of course I had to pay and asked her for the price. “800 Kyat”, she said. That’s less than 0.70 US$. For that amount of money I don’t care if it’s a bit slow…