18 January 2010

Stamps Not at Face Value

I said this time it would be on registered mail codification. Now I change my mind because I found something interesting and can't wait to share with you. Rev. Charlie Dittmeier, a Maryknoller who now works for deaf welfare in Cambodia, has written about his experience at the Phnom Penh Central Post Office, with his kind permission I would like to quote it here for your amusement:

"Today I went to the post office to buy stamps. I would like to ask our office manager to get them for me when he goes to the post office every day to pick up the mail (there is no mail delivery in Cambodia), but the counter clerks always want to charge him more than the the actual costs of the stamps. I told the clerk that I wanted ten 2600 riel stamps. 2600 riel is the amount for a letter to the United States. She didn't have any 2600 riel stamps--they don't print that value -- so I was expecting some combination that would equal 2600 riel. But to my surprise she gave me ten 1000-riel stamps and ten 1800-riel stamps and said just to use them even though it was putting too much postage on the letters. I only paid 26,000 riel for them but got 28,000 riel worth of stamps. It's no matter to the clerk. As long as there's enough on the letter, it's OK.

In any developed country to deliberately sell the wrong value of stamps for the amount received would cause all kinds of problems! Not in Cambodia!

These are the stamps Fr. Ditteier bought at last.
(photo by Fr. Ditteier)

Fr. Dittmeier has very interesting writings and photos on the society and politics of Cambodia through the eyes of an American. Please click here for the homepage of his enlightening website.

Hit here for Fr. Dittmeier's original 7th June 2005 entry.

In my 19th June 2009 blog entry I mentioned a Briton blogger, Michelle, has her story at the Phnom Penh CPO, please click here to read if you miss it.

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