SingPost Ninjas

Singapore has many wonderful things, not least of which is its postal service, SingPost. SingPost employ a crack team of ninjas to deliver large packages, capable of coming to the door of your apartment undetected, and then leaving again without a trace, except for a card in your mailbox, notifying you that they tried to deliver a parcel while you were out. I had read before* people talking of these super secret men and women, silently ringing doorbells and then running away, but never dreamed it would happen to us.

Usually, they wouldn’t need stealth specialists to do this, because any parcel would invariably arrive during the daytime, when we would both be at work. But with the arrival of our daughter, my wife has been at home every day, including the day our package didn’t get delivered. It’s strange: almost as if the postman couldn’t be bothered to take the lift to our floor, and had just put the delivery note in our mailbox at ground level, then gone on his way.

But that would never happen in Singapore, would it?

Although the postal ninjas are capable of sneaking, they’re clearly not good at navigating; we waited, as the card told us, until 2pm the next day, then visited the post office to pick up the package. But it wasn’t there; apparently our postie was lost somewhere in Chinatown. Chinatown is not a very large or complex place, but we let this pass, and waiting another day, I returned to the post office.

Where again, the parcel had not arrived. The lady at the counter was very apologetic, and took my number to call me if and when the parcel did ever show up, but by now I was half certain that it would never be seen again.

It’s odd. In London, the Post Office staff would usually be brusque, if not downright rude, and you’d have to schlep miles to a depot to find your delivery, but it will at least be there when you go. In Singapore, the counter staff are unfailingly polite and helpful, (and it’s hardly their fault when the parcel isn’t delivered by somebody else) but it feels rather random as to whether your parcel will be waiting for you. Or indeed, on one bounteous occasion, that three parcels will be there for you when all indications from the postie suggested there’s only be one. Now that was a good day.

To their credit, after three days of wandering the package did arrive back at the post office, and they rang to tell me I could pick it up, except by then I was embroiled in meetings and couldn’t escape to find out what it was that we had been posted. There is great benefit to this as I’m getting far more exercise walking to and from the post office. Perhaps it’s all part of a greater plan to improve the health of Singapore. Thanks, postal ninjas!

* On a blog I shamefully can’t remember the name of, but which identified and named Singpost ninjitsu long before I could pretend to have invented it.

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