THE DEAR OLD BULAWAYO POST OFFICE          - 3/12/2013      <--Prev : Next-->

The dear old Bulawayo main post office has not changed one tiny bit I am sure, since the days of the ox wagon!!

That extraordinary beautiful building fashioned with massive redstone bricks and a white plaster trim, and featuring enormously high pressed ceilings, is an icon in Fort Street Bulawayo.

Walking into that hallowed hall, one almost expects to see the postal workers wearing peak caps and metal stretch elastic sleeve holders!! Sitting over a tap, tap telegraphic machine tapping Morse code!!

Same old wooden cupboards aka booths, same old gigantic cardboard books to hold the postage stamps. The two ancient posting boxes are still there with their brass plaques. 'Dates and times for collection' however no longer apply it would seem and the boxes are no longer marked as 'airmail' or 'seamail'

There was one difference and that was there were No Queues, in fact it was pretty deserted, in this new age of electronic mail!!

The patient queues for the telephone booths were no longer, as it would appear that almost every Zimbabwean today posses a mobile phone. Money these days is not sent via registered mail at the post office but rather transferred by Mpesa or Ecocash or Mukuru, everyone wants a piece of that lucrative cash cow....

My adventure into the post office was to post She Who Must Run's wedding invitations. They are indeed exquisite and feature a little pearl and diamante button, held with a delicate satin ribbon trim. I wondered if they would ever arrive at their destinations with the elaborate decoration intact!!

Each invite cost me a whole dollar to post in Africa (I was charged with sending the African sector postage) almost expensive as the telegrams we knew as children, where one would pay per word and it was so prohibitively expensive that this mysterious method was only used in dire emergency.

It's been a long time since that friendly postal deliveryman arrived at our post box!! Always dressed in a neat grey uniform, riding his bike with a carrier on the front to transport the Christmas Cards, letters, bills and magazines. Nowadays our mail arrives with a clunk in our in-box on the computer, not quite as personal?