The other day we finally tromped over to a post office to mail all of our postcards. After the ordeal, we decided it may be one of the last times we tromp over to the post office. Colombia no longer has a government-run postal system; Adpostal was eradicated in 2006 because it supposedly had too many pension liabilities and a negative net worth, and in it’s place sprang up various private services. I initially found this boggling, how did international mail decide which private service to use? Did they all take turns loosing people’s correspondences? Enter 4-72. 4-72 was initially created as a subsidiary of Adpostal and now, like it’s predecessor, is the service that deals with incoming international mail and is also the cheapest to send international mail by because it doesn’t have to certified.
But cheapest doesn’t mean cheap. Each postcard cost about $3 to send! Better than the $40 of another place, but still, I could get a meal for that here. I also had a letter to mail, which required a copy of Manu’s ID and a fingerprint, incase we were narco traffickers. really. I think the cartels probably have a better system…Fun fact: the name 4-72 comes from the approximate coordinates of the middle of Colombia, Longitude 4 Latitude 72. That’s about the only fun thing about 4-72, and mail in general here though. Things are known to get lost, tampered with, or just stolen. And because of the envelope thing, as one LonelyPlanet user noted, “they tie your correspondence in a knot and put a staple through it so it rips apart when you try to open it.” It is true, all of our bills arrive this way.
I shouldn’t get you to judge too quickly though, everything I have received from the states has gone un-mauled, and postcards are unexciting enough to probably make it out fine.
Still, don’t anticipate much epistolary contact from the two of us—cat food is cheaper than writing letters and Truffaut is very vocal about his needs.