Thursday, November 10, 2005

Mail call

There is a ritual we have here that takes place about 3:15 everyday...I pop downstairs to check the mail. It is, in these days of hunting for employment, normally one of the highlights of my day. I don't know if this is the same thing for all Newfoundland ex-pats, but few things make you feel as good as mail.

I've been down this path before. When I was in South Korea back in '97, nothing made me happier after a miserable day at work than to return to the apartment and find mail from home. Back then, trying to e-mail was an adventure. It mean an hour-long trip into Busan, waiting for a computer at a busy internet cafe and spening $5 an hour for a slow connection to read e-mail. So letters were precious. I even wrote a ton of them, although my handwriting was so bad that I was required to translate several of them when I eventually made it back to Newfoundland.

I'll also mention I still have all the letters sent to me in Korea. There are days I think rereading those letters were the only thing that kept me sane,

When Cathy was in Rankin Inlet last year, mail was also one of the few things that kept her sane, like getting the odd care package from home. She had decent internet, but there's nothing like a care package to pick you up.

However, there is a problem when you crave a mail fix and there is none. You start manufacturing it. For example, both Amazon and Chapters have free shippping. Future Shop has a free shipping on some items. And places like Canadian Tire and The Source have reasonable shipping rates.

So, for example, the $300 in Chapters money we got as wedding gifts is gone. We've already ordered and had delivered some lamps from Canadian Tire. And we're actually looking at getting a new TV for Christmas. Once I get a job, I'm going to plow through Amazon's graphic novel section and drop a chunk of change.

So yeah, mail is good. Mail helps keep you sane. But the problem with ordering things so that you get mail is that it tends to generate other kinds of Visa bills. And as happy as we are to to crack open that little mail slot and see envelopes (or better still, the little card saying go to the post office because you have a package) we're not quite at the point where we're enthused to see Visa bills...

Last 5 on iPod
1. Happy phantom - Tori Amos (Little Earthquakes)
2. Breaking the girl - Red Hot Chilli Peppers (Greatest Hits)
3. I want you - The Beatles (Abbey Road)
4. Cruel - Tori Amos (To Venus and Back)
5. Selfless, cold and composed - Ben Folds Five (Whatever and Ever, Amen)

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