“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” is the inscription on a New York City Post Office, and thought of as the motto as the US Postal Service. Now, I don’t know if Georgian Post has a motto, but some things will certainly “stay the couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”. Such as passports. Apparently, you now have to show your passport in order to SEND mail through the Georgian post. I can understand the rationale behind providing identification when mailing a package, or even an envelope, but being asked to show my ID when I’m sending a postcard seems a bit silly to me. Since it’s nothing more than a piece of cardboard, it’s quite obvious that there is nothing nefarious hidden within. I should also point out that this regulation is new–I’ve been sending postcards and even letters on and off for two years now, and I’ve never been asked for my documents in order to send things, just relatively large sums of money. They tell me this is a new regulation, and my Georgian friends confirm.
Now, I swear I’ve read an article somewhat recently about Saakashvili suggesting reforms to the postal system, but I can’t find a citation at the moment (if you know anything, please share!). I am, in principle at least, 100% behind the idea of reforms to the postal system. From what I’ve seen and heard Georgian Post is pretty much a mess, and addresses are often just a suggestion of where something might be located. Reforms to the postal and address system would, for me at least and I assume for many others, do a great deal of good on a day-to-day basis. But being asked to present my passport in order to send a postcard just seems silly–less a reform and more a return to a Soviet-style system. Furthermore, Georgia is actively working to encourage tourism. Tourists often like to send postcards. Tourists will likely be taken aback by having to show their documents to do so. This new postal regulation seems to work against many of the other reforms and changes that are underway in Georgia now.
So, if you’re expecting a postcard from me, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. In the meantime, read my blog postcards as a way of keeping yourself entertained.