Thursday, July 24, 2008

Of Letters And The Singapore Post Centre

Last I heard, it's up for sale at a tag price of $850M.

It's a marvelous view, it might as well have hidden thrusters that allow the entire building to be propelled up into the air. I'm talking about the Singapore Post Centre in Eunos. My photo doesn't seem to do much justice to this futuristic-looking building but you should be able to do a google image search to find better pictures.

I had the opportunity to work with a BPO company in Ubi Techpark for a couple of months so I passed by this building almost every night going home. It's right next to the Paya Lebar MRT station. I've sent postcards and letters to friends and family through this post office.

We don't just go to the SingPost HQ when we want to send letters though. Sometimes my former colleagues and I would come here to have lunch either at Subway, KFC or McDonald's. We'd have coffee at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf after that. There's also a Kopitiam outlet at the basement that we visit when we're in the mood for it.

There's a beautiful fountain on the building grounds. I've seen people gather around it to sit and talk. A few pieces of coins in the water reveal wishes have been made by some visitors. I wish for their wishes to come true.

Speaking of wishes, don't you sometimes secretly wish that you'd get a letter in your mailbox? I'm talking about the snail-mail, classic, post office thingamajig. There's something truly special about receiving letters and postcards in your mailbox. It's just different from the feeling you get from receiving an e-mail. There's the thrill of sifting through the envelopes, looking for one that's addressed to you. Then there's the excitement of opening your very own letter.

Reading a letter that's hand-written is also special. It's absolutely rare. Who goes out of his way nowadays to write using a pen? It's always easier to type, revise and then print. I'm not saying it's wrong to be practical about the whole thing; I'm merely supporting my statement that a hand-written letter is indeed special.

I guess the same can be said about cards. It's always easier to send e-cards. Again, there's nothing wrong with that. But we let other people know they're special to us when we send them greeting cards through the snail mail system. More so when we give it a bit of personal touch -- a paragraph of thoughts that come from the heart rather than a one or two-liner of the usual "Hi! How are you?" stuff.

I remember my grandfather's delight when he received letters from my mom or distant relatives. I've also witnessed how happy my mom was to receive a letter from her dad or her friends. I am fortunate enough to have experienced the same thing. Letters from my parents, friends or even pen pals always brought a certain kind of warmth to my heart. I'd sure welcome one nowadays, it will be a respite from the tireless arrival of bills, ads and notices.

If sending an e-mail just seems to be the easier option, think again. If you're having second thoughts because you think your handwriting is too ugly, you might want to reconsider. You might just bring a smile to a person when he or she opens that envelope. When was the last time you sent someone a snail mail anyway?

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