I have a little confession to make: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading other people’s mail for the last couple years. Whose mail you ask? Gimme a minute.
Unlike the US where those Halloween pumpkins pieces left in neighbors’ mailboxes by my unruly friends violated federal laws protecting the mail, Holland seems to have a more relaxed attitude regarding the post. Want to stuff mailboxes with flyers? No problem, just follow the Nee-Nee stickers on their boxes. The post situation is usually direct.
Official mail tends to find its way to the correct addressee in short order–unless an international move takes place. To take up the slack time for our US mail, we leave a forwarding order at the US Post Office closest where we’re leaving directing all our postage-paid items to my parent’s house (especially if we don’t have a new address for where we are going). Mom is great about letting us know if an item of import turns up while we are in transition. (Thanks, Mom!)
Forwarding mail comes at a price that doesn’t extend to posting to other countries. Hence the detailed list of places to notify of a change of address you make prior to moving. Several items fell through the cracks in my system when we moved to Holland, and they tended to be those mailed only once a year.
The previous occupants of our house in The Netherlands left a good bit of post behind including their yearly bill for the Thames Royal Yacht Club, a few investment updates, and their subscription to Engineering & Technology Magazine. I may not be very tech savvy, but I’ve discovered I love reading cutting edge news from the field.
For two years now I’ve eagerly torn the plastic baggie off EandT Magazine to delve into the world of tomorrow today. Did you know a rocket from Space X exploded during take off recently at Cape Canaveral? Or that Lionfish are invading the Caribbean? You may ask how a fish becomes a leading technology story. Well, it turns out a remote controlled robot is being tested for use against these ecosystem invaders. Recently an airship that looks like two blimps strapped together crashed in the UK, and the world’s first array using tidal water movement to make electricity was connected to the grid in Scotland. That’s just on page 6 and 7!
Hopefully you understand why I’m reading other people’s mail these days. What I don’t understand is how they’ve forgotten to update their address with the magazine for two solid years.
Here’s to hoping for a 3rd year of postal neglect.
Kristin King is an author and US expat living in The Netherlands. She has no magazine subscriptions of her own but might consider signing up for a tech mag when other people’s mail becomes unavailable.