Planet Haolewood

A toolbox, a change of underwear, and a surfboard.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Neither Rain Nor Sleet Nor Snow

A mailbox. Pretty simple right? You move to a new address; you get your mail there. That's what I thought. There are some unusual aspects of postal delivery in Kauai. When I moved into my new place in Princeville (aka Haolewood) I got forms from the post office so that I could have my mail forwarded. But when I talked to my friend in the neighboring town of Hanalei she told me that there was no postal delivery in Hanalei or Princeville. I talked to the previous tenant who told me that UPS would deliver packages but no, in fact there was no regular mail delivery and that if I needed mail service I should try to get a post office box. “IF I needed mail service?” I guess I had never really pondered the mail-free lifestyle and I wasn’t sure that I was ready. When I looked at the place and signed the rental agreement I failed to notice that the house simply did not have a mailbox.

The Princeville post office is only open from 10:30-3:30 so during my lunch break one day I went to inquire about a PO box. There were none available there or at the post offices in the two neighboring towns. My name went on a waiting list 50 long. Post office boxes here are like rent controlled apartments in Manhattan. Those who have them never let them go and those who don’t are out of luck. I was finally able to get a mail box at a private mail service at significantly greater cost than a post office box.

In the meantime I noticed that many of my neighbors had mailboxes in their driveways. And one day as I was walking to the nearby shopping center to check my mail box I saw a mini-van with a post office logo and a dude delivering mail. He was a rural letter carrier who drove his own vehicle, wore no uniform and delivered mail in Princeville. He explained to me that all I had to do was put up a mailbox, fill out a form (which he gave me), put it in the box and raise the red flag. He would pick it up and begin delivering mail. I did as he said. So far the only letter I have received was the test letter I sent my self. It read “Dear Boreas, I hope you are enjoying your new mail box. Love Boreas,” and it had a Honolulu postmark.

I don’t know how old this house is or how many people have lived here, but until that letter arrived no one had ever received mail here. I’m not sure why the whole situation seems so funny to me.


At 7/12/2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dang, Bor - I was going to send you a letter that said that exact same thing, but now I guess it would seem kind of redundant...


At 8/05/2006, Anonymous Otto said...

nice, but why a green mail box, just to inspire envy in your neighbors?


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