I drove behind this truck for a 1/2 hour before I realized I was following a U.S. Mail truck in Costa Rica. Do you suppose this is where they come to die? And what do you suppose was in it? Certainly not mail! Nobody sends mail locally here, unless you have a PO Box in town and don’t count on getting one of those right away. In some towns, you have a 3 year wait for a mailbox.

Then there’s the whole address sticky wicket. No street signs, no house numbers. Nada. If you want to send me mail, or drive to my house, here’s my address (write this whole thing on the envelope): quinientos metros norte de la escuela Santa Cecelia en la calle de Santo Domingo de Heredia, la casa tercera en la Finca Las Vacas [500 meters north of Santa Cecelia school on the road to Santo Domingo, Heredia, the third house on the Cow Farm.] We don’t get a lot of company.

If you don’t have a local po box, you can hire a private mail service, which costs anywhere from $12/month up to a few hundred (some people must get a boatload of mail every month). You get an address in Miami so all your friends who send you triscuits and M&Ms and birthday cards (hint hint) mail to your personal Miami address which is then forwarded by the mail service to their local office, via customs. If there are customs charges, they are billed to your credit card. The mail service charges $10/minimum handling fee per box, more if it’s over a minimum weight. For an additional $1, they deliver right to your door once a week. If they can find it.

So… what’s in the truck?

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