Sunday, 8 September 2019

The postman

The postman was a very important person in my life -- when there would be letters replyig to job applications, exam result slips, exciting letters from friends overseas, sometimes even a parcel (!) -- compared to the mostly bills of today. Well, actually he or she is still an important person today but I can't place a face to any of them as I hardly bump into them.

In my childhood days, the postman would be dressed in khaki-coloured uniform, riding a red bicycle. He would crashed onto our gate (maybe his brake wasn't working too well, and there was a little slope from the road to the gate) and slot the letters into our letterbox. He would then ring his bell to alert us to collect the mail (as though the "crash" wasn't loud enough) before he back his bike out -- and crash into the next gate. Delivery was twice a day, around 11am and 4pm, if I remember rightly.

If there were registered mail, he would let himself in through the side gate and gave us a surprise by suddenly appearing at the window, peering in. Spotting one of us, he would grin and hand us the registered mail and a receipt to be signed. On hot days, mum would ask me to offer him a cold drink. He would thank us profusely, mopping his brows.

At times when there were no letters for us or for our neighbours, you could see him soaring down the road, probably enjoying the breeze in his face. I had never seen a woman postman though, in my childhood.

Nowadays, there are quite a few woman postmen. In fact, those whom I have seen at my block, inserting etters into boxes with much alacrity, were all women. And of course, they don't ride bicycles anymore.

Here's a song we learnt in primary school, in celebration of our hardworking postmen:

I like to be a postman
I wake up with the sun
And on my back
I'd carry my sack
And onwards
I would go


streetsing said...

I do remember the Postmen of old that came while I was staying at Jalan Sultan. They indeed carried a big canvas bag full of letters. However, as the Post Office was nearby at North Bridge road near the Sultan Mosque, they usually walked to our place :)

Lo Tien Yin said...

Oh yes, the old canvas bag full of mail!