Wed, Aug 12, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Mailbox move criticized

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Two damaged mailboxes in Taipei that attracted attention after the nation was battered by Typhoon Soudelor are to be exhibited at a new site, Chunghwa Post Co said yesterday, as visitors to the mailboxes had disrupted traffic.

The mailboxes on Longjiang Rd, one red and the other green, were bent out of shape after being hit by a billboard during the storm. Photos of the “crooked-back” mailboxes went viral, drawing hundreds of visitors to the site since the weekend.

Chunghwa Post chairman Philip Ong (翁文祺) said the visitors had affected traffic flow on the street and even led to a traffic jam on Monday afternoon.

Ong said the company would move the two mailboxes at 5pm tomorrow to a spot outside Beimen Post Office near Taipei Railway Station.

Beimen Post Office is designated a national historical site, being opened in 1895, he added.

Ong said the mailboxes would maintain their leaning postures and a sign would be attached to them to inform visitors how they were damaged by the typhoon.

“The nation suffered heavy damage because of the typhoon, but people still have their sense of humor, he said.

Two new mailboxes are to be set up on Longjiang Rd, the company said.

To mark the relocation operation, the company said people posting mail in either of the tilted mailboxes from today to 5pm tomorrow would have a seal in the image of the mailboxes stamped on the envelopes.

The decision to relocate the two mailboxes drew mixed reactions from netizens.

A person who identified himself as Michael Lin described the decision as “idiotic,” saying the mailboxes would only be of cultural value if they stay where they are.

“The historical item and the setting on which it occurred cannot be separated, and together they would continue generating new stories and economic value,” Lin said. “The new tourist attraction would become part of the community history, as well as its development. Someone should start a campaign to stop the crooked-back mailboxes from moving somewhere else.”

Others found it mind-boggling that so many people would wait in a long queue just to take pictures with the two tilted mailboxes, which are nothing special.

“This whole thing just exposes how ignorant, boring and stupid people can be. More attention should be paid to people in the disaster zones,” netizen Ho Yang-chieh (何陽傑) said.

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