Some of our family and friends mistakenly believe that there is no mail service in Beirut. They're not entirely correct. See this drop box? It belongs to the Lebanese postal service. And, in theory, if you put an appropriately stamped letter in the box, it will be delivered to its destination.
That's the theory anyway. Over the years, we've had some remarkable experiences with the Lebanese mail. I'll share a few stories:
1. There is no standard residential postal delivery. But, in 2006, a friend who lived in Hamra posted a letter to me in Ain Mreisseh. She used the street name and the name of my building, and listed the floor where I lived. A postman delivered the letter to me within the week. We were both astonished.
2. During the first week of July, 2006, I mailed a baby blanket to my sister for her anticipated newborn. Then, a week later, the airport was bombed and the war started and I forgot about it completely. Months later, October, I think it was, the package arrived at my sister's house. Neither of us could believe it.
3. Last year we mailed children's books about Lebanon and stickers to family and friends. About half of these packages never reached their destinations. This is the same experience we've had with holiday greetings that we've sent by mail. This past season, we opted for an e-card, and that's likely to continue.
Today, bloggers all over the world are posting photos of mailboxes in their city. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants