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Junk mail & Wedding invites

September 3, 2007

The local post system is, well, a little interesting. Before we arrived we rented a post box at one of the larger Larnaca post offices and, for the main part, use that for our mail. A couple of times a week we swing by the post box and check for mail.

It’s surprisingly how that changes the perception of getting mail. Instead of it arriving at someone elses convenience we now get mail when we want it and have time to deal with it. And, instead of it arriving in dribs and drabs with a letter or two each day it eventually arrives in batches which makes actioning it that much more efficient. These are unexpected, but useful, benefits.

The real reasons for having the mail box are to give us some continuity until we get settled in our own house and to bypass the relaxed nature of the post delivery. We have a postman and he swings by a couple of times a week or so. Here in Cyprus they have solved that age-old problem of long post rounds and tired posties. Postie here has a scooter and, instead of being weighed down with the mail and getting a bad back from carrying a heavy mail bag instead he has a cardboard box sitting between his feet. He rides the scooter, along the pavement obviously, and stops at each house in turn. He dips into the cardboard box and finds the mail and then drops it into the mailbox attached to the outside wall of the house. If there’s no box then the post is thrown onto the front step, or left with a neighbour, which ever is most convenient for him.

So, a couple of times a week he drives by with the post and then on the rest of the days he delivers the junk mail. No, we don’t know why he does them separately. Different employer or strange local laws maybe? Whatever the reason the process is the same; scooter on pavement, cardboard box between feet, no uniform and certainly no helmet. The junk mail is often shrink-wrapped so, presumably, anyone needing something delivering to the whole village drops it off at a central point, pays their money and everything is then collated and delivered.

This is the latest batch we received;

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It had the usual contents; fliers from the municipality which we don’t understand as they are all in Greek, latest offers from the supermarkets, details of a couple of new dance schools that have recently opened, a few wedding invitations from total strangers …

The first time we opened the junk mail package and discovered the invitations we were, well, baffled. Why on earth would people want strangers at their wedding? Well, the locals are sociable souls and enjoy a good party and, frankly, the more the merrier. Huge weddings are very much the norm here and the wedding sector is a thriving industry. Within ten minutes drive there are probably a dozen or more wedding dress shops who are all doing a roaring trade. Anyway, back to guests-you-don’t-know at your wedding. The local tradition is for guests to give cash as a wedding present so the more guests, the more cash which usually translates to the deposit on a house.

As yet we haven’t been to one of the weddings but this latest batch of post had three invitations in it. Maybe one of these days we might venture along to one!

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