There are a lot of empty houses in Portugal. Some of them have been like that for years; some of them are for sale. I pass several every day.

This morning, however, I stopped and looked inside the yard of one such empty house.
Well, blow me down if that’s not an old Deutsche Post postbox!  I had never noticed it before, despite it being close to the road.  (The old three-tone horn logo of Swiss Post has the horn pointing in the opposite direction, for those of you who want to know.)



Despite being rusty, the postbox is firmly fixed with an iron rod in the masonry, now also worse for wear.

I have no idea who used to live there. I have been in this little corner of the Algarve for ten years, and have never seen anyone on this property. Would it be too much to imagine that the former (or current) owners are German? There are many Germans in the Algarve, so it is not altogether unreasonable to think so.  Let’s see what the grapevine yields by way of information!

In related news, I finally got my business cards in the post today – one whole week later than expected.

Getting them at all was purely by chance, for I did not receive the postal advice slip in the normal way. The slip had been erroneously put into a numbered postbox in the village, some 4.5 kilometres from where it should have been placed, in Alfontes. The slip was handed in to Gida, the woman who works in the tiny postal services section of the local authority offices in Boliqueime. She recognised my name, so gave it to another woman, Mané, the driver of the minibus operated by that same local authority. Gida – and many others – know I take that minibus into Boliqueime most Thursdays. When I took the bus this morning, Mané gave me the postal advice slip. Were it not for Gida, I would have had the hassle of the parcel being returned whence it came. I shall buy her a coffee next week, since I know exactly where she will be sitting at the café next Thursday when I take the bus to the village.

The courier of the parcel of cards ordered from a UK company to be sent to Portugal was Deutsche Post, of course.

©2018 Allison Wright


8 thoughts on “Postbox

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  1. Clearly it’s the season for post being delivered to the wrong place. Tomorrow I’m off to a village several kilometres away to collect something (I don’t know what yet!) which has been sent to the shop there for me to collect rather than to the one in my own village! I assume the delivery driver simply forgot to drop it off at the right shop and thought “Ah, here’s close enough”. Fortunately I do drive past it about once a week anyway.


  2. Update:
    The postbox is well and truly locked. I tried a few of the keys I had on me, none of which worked. I rather suspect that a screwdriver would do the trick, as it did when I would inadvertently leave the keys inside my 1966 Austin 1100, but then that would be vandalism, and so I shall refrain from further meddling, and simply imagine what letters the box might contain.


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