Former minister of culture Lung Ying-tai’s (龍應台) sparked public interest in how postal workers deliver badly addressed items when she praised Chunghwa Post for successfully delivering a package that mentioned only her name.
At least some information must be written on a package for postal workers to find the correct address, Taipei City’s Daan Delivery Subsection postal inspector Huang Ju-lin (黃如麟) said, adding that if the recipient is not a public figure, they would not receive mail that only carries their name.
When post offices encounter badly addressed mail or when postal workers find themselves unable to locate the corresponding mailbox, the package is sent to district postal inspectors, he said, adding that postal inspectors in Taipei receive packages like this every day.
Huang said postal inspectors must be very familiar with the district they are in charge of to find an address with few clues.
Sometimes mail that is sent from abroad has only the apartment number and alley written on it, but no street name, in which case postal inspectors will check which streets in the district have the same alley and apartment number, he said, adding that the chances of finding the correct address are high.
Huang said a letter sent from China’s Anhui Province a few decades ago left a deep impression on him, because many packages sent to Taiwan in those years were from people searching for their relatives.
The connection between family members could be lost if mail was not delivered, so post offices handled such letters very carefully, he said.
The letter from Anhui had a street name and house number on it, but he found that none of the houses on the street had numbers on them, so he spent the whole day asking from house to house and even at houses with the same number but on different streets, until he finally was able to deliver the letter, Huang said.
The recipient was an old man who smiled when the letter arrived and repeatedly thanked him for delivering it, he said.
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