Cursus Publicus or Going Postal
I went to the post office today and entering the old building made me think of its glory days. With the church and school, the post office made up the heart of a community.
Only one wicket was open – more than enough to serve the few customers that were in. There were probably 10 or 15 windows open at some point, not so long ago, to serve a never ending customers line up... Customers who heard the growling sounds of machines and postmen sorting and handling the many envelopes and parcels in the back rooms, only imagining how they looked like.
Most of the people in the line up today were there to either claim a parcel or send one. I was surprised by the small number of people that actually bought stamps. I only heard soft music, no growling. An electronic weighting device and a computer took care of letting me know how much I owed.
Did you know the first documented use of an organized courier service for the diffusion of written documents is in Egypt? Pharaohs used couriers for the diffusion of their decrees in the territory of the State (2400 BC). And that the first “true” mail service is that of Rome? “Organized at the time of Augustus Caesar (62 BC–AD 14), the service was called cursus publicus and was provided with light carriages called rhedæ with fast horses. There was another slower service equipped with two-wheeled carts (birolæ) pulled by oxen.” That must have been really slow...
Am I the only one that can’t really remember the last time she got/sent a letter by mail? I’m not talking cards here; I’m talking real, handwritten letters. Sad to think even postcards have turned virtual:(
Is this nostalgia I’m feeling?
But enough babbling. I think I’ll go postal this year and send handmade Holliday’s Cards to family and friends + take the wonderful habit of sending handwritten notes and letters by mail:)
A human touch just feels so much better,
don’t you think?
How about buying some of the wonderful postcards by The Noisy Plume...
They are much easier to hold close to your heart than a computer!
How about you? Do you still mail handwritten letters to friends and family?