Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates

Check out What's New on the Expat Web Site
Information for foreigners moving to Indonesia

Home » Practical Information » Expat Stories

The Post Office

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

Translate this Page

Bookmark and Share
Links to hundreds of articles giving practical information for expats moving to Indonesia
Post your questions or communicate with other expats in Indonesia on the Expat Forum
Looking for a place to stay in Indonesia - check out the Housing Forum
Looking for a weekend or holiday getaway ... visit some of Indonesia's Great Escapes
Advice and resources for conducting business in Indonesia
Info on expatriate community organizations in Indonesia
Shops, Products and Services
Links to other useful Indonesian or expat-related web sites
Expat Humor - spread the joys of Living in Indonesia through e-postcards
Site Map
Return to the Home Page
expatriate information for Indonesia

The regular postal service in Indonesia is a nightmare.

We visited the central post office in hopes of tracking some missing mail, both coming and going, but we ended up almost as lost as the mail. We had entered a strange realm comprised of hundreds of people, thousands of letters, and none of it in any obvious order.

I had letters all ready to mail to family and friends, and I wanted to track some mail that had gone missing. Against Emily's good advice I visited the central post office here in Surabaya. Imagine a large barn that someone has made a half-hearted attempt to turn into an office.

As we entered this space I was dumbstruck by the sight before us. Large canvas bags were piled haphazardly on the floor. Some opened, some not. Envelopes, large and small packages, and other assorted mail spilled out onto the floor. Around this unattended dump site were a number of offices.

Having no signs to follow we entered the office nearest us.

Seven people sat around a long wooden table. A few were holding envelopes. They held them in the way one might hold an alien artifact. They were examining the artifacts, not reading the strange inscriptions. They fondled, caressed and gently patted the packages. They worked with a reverence for detail and an energy that you only see when really strong cough medicine has been ingested.

One begins to suspect that mail is not being checked for addresses. Draw your own conclusions here.

Emily asks if they can help us locate the missing mail. We are sent to another office. This new office is much the same. The process is repeated until we have visited seven offices in the barn. All the offices are staffed by these arcane specialists applying their unique skills to the business of artifact sorting.

We had time, and a bit of patience. We were also possessed by morbid curiosity. How much more special could this experience get? We entered another building. The process was exact down to the fine details. I swear the canvas bags were dropped in a spot corresponding to the other barn. The mail was scattered in patterns so exactingly similar you'd swear there was an alien intelligence directing the placement.

We were so impressed, we left.

Our thanks to Wayne Duplessis for his series of short narratives on his years living in Indonesia - working as a teacher, raising a family, traveling and generally enjoying life - from 1996 to the present.

Housing and schooling information for expats in Indonesia expatriate website for Indonesia Indonesian language translation of article

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

Practical Information |  Expat Forum |  Site Map  |  Search |  Home Page |  Contact

Return to top

Copyright © 1997-2018, Expat Web Site Association Jakarta, Indonesia All rights reserved. The information on Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates may not be retransmitted or reproduced in any form without permission. This information has been compiled from sources which we, the Expat Web Site Association and volunteers related to this site, believe to be reliable. While reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the facts are accurate and up-to-date, opinions and commentary are fair and reasonable, we accept no responsibility for them. The information contained does not make any recommendation upon which you can rely without further personal consideration and is not an offer or a solicitation to buy any products or services from us. Opinions and statements constitute the judgment of the contributors to this web site at the time the information was written and may change without notice.