A few days ago, I bought a really awesome book about Hawaii from Junkodo (淳久堂書店), a Japanese bookstore in the newly-opened Tianmu branch of Sogo. Instead of the usual maps and lists of places to go, it has photos of everyday objects found in the 50th state, from plastic shopping bags to popsicles to corner store flip-flops. I grew attached to it because some of the products and stores featured, including Long’s Drugs, Savers and Mr. Sketch scented markers, are all things I remember from my childhood in California.

I thought, if the publisher produces a book like that about Taiwan, what would I like to see in it? What marks my day-to-day life here?

I would definitely include a picture of the red and green mailboxes:


Every time I walk past a pair, it brightens my day — incrementally, but enough to make a difference. As you can see from the labels, the green one is for regular mail (“local” means within Taipei City) and the red one is for express and international deliveries.

A few weeks ago, I slipped some wedding invitations addressed to Miaoli County into a green mailbox. I hardly ever use postal mail anymore and it was exciting to think about the adventures the envelopes would go on before landing in my relatives’ mailboxes. I really should mail things more often! Or have them mailed to me. My Mom is sending me a replacement Kindle (our original dearly departed Kindle was a wedding gift that was sent to my parents’ house and Amazon.com wouldn’t ship a new one overseas)… and she included a miniature Santa hat and scarf for Taroko George inside the package! Eeeeeeee! Ron is pretty sure Taroko George will refuse to wear his new duds, so we might just have to dangle them in front of him while he is sleeping and take a photo. But I’m excited anyway. Thanks Mom!

(If you love getting mail and red and green mailboxes as much as I do, please vote for my blog every 24 hours in the Taiwan Best Blog Awards!)