Tue, May 28, 2013 - Page 5 News List

‘Mission Impossible’ postman delivers mail

By Hung Mei-hsiu and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Postman Hou Hsiang-cheng, right, on Thursday last week holds the incompletely addressed postcard from Egypt that he delivered to retired teacher Huang Tzu-chun, left, in Hsinchu County.

Photo: Hung Mei-hsiu, Taipei Times

A veteran postman in Hsinchu City showed professionalism and dedication to his job when he delivered a postcard from Egypt despite an incomplete address.

Huang Tzu-chun (黃滋淳) said he was so amazed when he received the postcard showing the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid of Giza that he said: “It’s like the Mission Impossible.”

Having worked as a postman for 25 years, Hou Hsiang-cheng (侯祥正) is familiar with the major roads and most of the streets around Hsinchu City. At times, he got mail that did not have the right address or was illegible, but he was still able to deliver them to their destination.

The postcard from Egypt arrived last year, with an address that read: “To the second breakfast eatery, to the right of the campaign headquarters of ‘Black Dot’ Wang Jung-te (王榮德).”

Wang, popularly known as “Black Dot,” is a familiar figure to locals, especially during election time.

Per the instructions on the postcard, Hou headed to the second breakfast eatery next to Wang’s campaign headquarters. The owner of the eatery said the postcard must be intended for Huang, an art teacher who lives on the second floor above the store.

Huang, who had retired from teaching in the local elementary school, said he was astounded when he received the postcard.

“The postcard was sent from Egypt by a student surnamed Chiu (邱),” Huang said. “I had taught Chiu painting more than 20 years ago, and [Chiu], who’s now grown-up, must have traveled to Egypt.”

Huang remembered teaching his students how to draw the Sphinx.

“[Chiu] must have remembered that and thought of sending me this postcard from Egypt,” he said.

Huang added that he has high respect for Hou, because he has the professionalism to “accomplish his work task without fail.”

Lin Chih-yuan (林志元), an account officer at the Hsinchu Post Office, was full of praise for Hou when he learned of the incident, and gave the veteran postman a thumbs-up.

Other people who have heard of the story said it was reminiscent of the hit Taiwanese movie Cape No. 7 (海角七號), set in the aftermath of World War II, in which a teacher, after returning home to Japan, wrote a bunch of letters to his Taiwanese girlfriend.

However, because of the outdated address — Cape No. 7 of Hengchun District — the letters were not delivered until six decades later, through the effort of a postman.

“It is always a happy occasion to be able to deliver mail to its recipient,” Hou said.

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