The Land of No Mail


One of the really nice things about living in the Republic of Moldova as opposed to Romania is that here, I get no mail. Sure, there’s a very functional postal service that delivers things, but I mean what I said quite literally: I never get any mail.

To be clear, I got some documents last year from my family, and two years ago, I got a couple of letters relating to my immigration case, but since then, nothing. No catalogs. No advertisements. No fast food offers. No junk mail. No pizza joints or delivery places hanging things on my doorknob. I literally get no physical mail at all.

My wife doesn’t understand because she’s used to this situation, but I remember episodes of Seinfeld like the time that Kramer met the Postmaster General in a fruitless attempt to stop getting mail. Likewise, the show The Detour had some funny plot lines in season two about the mail. But those jokes would make no sense to my wife or my in-laws because here, we just never get any mail.

The same was true in Romania when I first moved there, but by the time I got tossed out of the country in 2014, I was starting to get a lot of advertisements and junk mail and food delivery menus in my mailbox. To me, that was one more piece of proof that Romania is turning into yet another boring “modern” country.

In case you’re wondering, yes, we do get utility bills, but not in the mail. For the bills in my wife’s name like the internet, we get a digital notification. For utility bills like the water and gas that are in the landlord’s name, these are hand-delivered by a young man, and he’s apparently “allergic” to putting things in mailboxes because he leaves them all over the place in our ograda. We usually find them on the windowsill, but sometimes he sticks them on fence posts or gives them all to one neighbor or they get blown by the wind and we find them in the garden.

Please feel free to send me all the electronic messages you want. But I must admit, I really do love the thrill of living out Kramer’s dream.

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