Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Living in the land of zero junk mail

All this talk of Christmas back in the States (here and on multiple other expat blogs) got me thinking: “Where are all the clothing, house wares and gadget catalogs that usually show up in one’s mailbox?” Luiz and I have received exactly ZERO catalogs by mail over the past three years living here; not even a folded department store circular.

We have never received a solicitation for a charitable contribution (although this occasionally happens via the telephone) nor a political hit piece of any kind in the run up to the recent election.

Aside from monthly gas, light, telephone and health insurance bills, our mailbox pretty much sits empty.

Once in a great while we will receive a personal correspondence, but then that is usually from abroad. Folks here just don’t seem to use the postal service.

I’m sure there must be some reasons for this, for example, I’m told it is unlawful to send money/a check through the mail. So that would cut out the request for charitable donations and such. But catalogs and other advertising? Seems weird.

It is a relief not to have to stand over the trash bin every afternoon and sort out the few keepers from all the trashed postal items. Lot’s of trees are being spared.

But it’s still a little weird. (Good weird.)


Stephanie said...

Very true! Last year we did get an envelope from a charity that contained 5 blank Christmas cards and a request for a donation with a duda to pay at the bank, but that's the only time I've received something like that here. Normally the mailbox is pretty empty with the exception of bills and statements. One other thing is that if you're late on a bill, say power, gas or phone, instead getting a late notice, you'll either get a phone call or just have your service cut-off...you really need to pay attention.

Danielle said...

Yes, I love the lack of junk mail, too!

However, you're not driving, so maybe you haven't seen (or maybe Rio doesn't have) the abundance stoplight marketers, or people handing out flyers for stores, akin to those you'd receive in your mailbox in the US. So instead of filling up your mailbox, they fill up your car. But you can say no, they don't come out when it's raining, and there's less. So I guess it's better.