23 November, 2008

Me and the postman

@ a post office in Riffa, Bahrain:

Redbelt: "Good morning, I'd like to mail these letters please"

Postman behind the Counter: "OK. Airmail?"

R: "Yup"

P: "... ... ... OK, that will be 110 fils please"

R: "Ok. ... Say, that is a charity stamp right"

P: "yes"

R: " Do I HAVE to pay for that?"

Confused P: "er... You don't want it?"

R: "No, I'm just asking, if I don't buy it, will my letter still go?"

P: "er.. No."

R: "So I have to buy it."

P: "Yes."

R: "erm... Shouldn't charity be optional?"

Confused P: "erm... .... ...."

R: "Do you know where the money goes? What charities do you support?"

Very confused P: "erm... I have no idea. I just work here. I don't know!"

R: "I see."

P: "... Do you still want the stamps?"

R: "I guess I have to."


SoulSearch said...

haha, that was hilarious, but typical of any old governement offices & agencies. Their employees are always left in the dark, you can't really blame them its just the policies that they work by.
Anyway, actually the charity part of this is only the 10 fils. I remember my dad explaining this to me when I was a kid. It was called "Elmajhood El7arbi". Basically the 10 fils supposedly goes towards the war effort in Palestine. Don't ask me how or when that stopped, I'm sure it has. But that has become the norm. You actually pay 100 fils for the mailing service, but the 10 fils is also compulsory :)

Redbelt said...

Hey SS,
Elmajhood Elharbi (or "War Effort") was a 5 Fils light Blue stamp.
It was compulsory due to its militaristic nature. However it was being charged in the 80's and 90's (I think) when we had no wars of our own to wage.
A lot of people started talking about that so the war effort turned from blue to green, from military to "charity" and from 5 fils to 10.

Yacoub Al-Slaise said...

A while back, this topic appeared in a couple of the papers and apparently around BD500,000 is made yearly from these stamps and the Ministry of Social Affairs are responsible on how they spend it I think, you need to look through the archives of Akhbar Al-Khaleej because that was where I read about it I think