A question like “what is a postal code?” may seem trivial to people all over the world. But in Lebanon, where postal services are still hanging on to our deep rooted traditions of the pre-1934 era, the answer is not an obvious one. But when a postal services employee asks the question, it becomes a little too much.
A month or so ago, I tried to hunt down my apartment’s postal code. I had a couple of items I purchased returned to sender after LibanPost failed to “find” my address. And I was able to get it from someone who seemed to know what a postal code is at LibanPost customer services. Apparently he was the only one in the company who knew!
This whole post was triggered by a very funny (or not, you decide) telephone call I received in the morning asking me to come collect my parcel from the LibanPost office in downtown Beirut. The guy asked me if it was the first time I got parcels delivered, I said no of course. He said that they couldn’t find the address. So I asked him what was he looking for. He read the address to me and it was perfectly findable on Google maps (after all that’s where I got the names of the streets from). I asked him was there a postal code on the label and he was dumbfounded. I told him it was an 8 digits number. He looked and voila, there it was. Next thing he said made me real sad though, so I laughed. He said: “that’s a long number and it’s not a phone number”. I explained it was a Postal Code, and that I got that from their offices. But that did not ring any bells. He just said in a very forced politeness: “Come get your things from Riad el Solh office, TODAY!” I guess he let go of the “or else” part, thankfully.
I’m pretty sure no one reads my rant blogs. In fact I hope no one is reading this one …