Christmas 2009

As you are looking forward to the holiday season, The Restaurant would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued patronage.

Thank you for sending in all the wonderful Season’s Greetings cards. Of course, if you have more, feel free to send them to vBox 887977, Singapore. Remember to write down your address so that I can send a card in return.

May your holiday season and the New Year be filled with joy and success.

Don’t forget to send your wish list to Santa!

A Letter from Sydney

As mentioned in the previous post, postage is comparatively more expensive in Australia. Sending a standard letter to Singapore costs A$1.45 (S$1.80), even though a 7-Eleven cashier claimed that it was $2.10, thinking that Singapore is a country in Europe. Postcards require A$1.40 worth of stamps.

However, it seems that one can send a letter out of Australia, at a fraction of the cost. In fact, letters affixed with 55 cents worth of postage were successfully sent and received. Surprisingly, there was no postage due label.

On Tuesday morning, this letter was dropped into a post box located one kilometre above sea level. I was in Katoomba, a town located in the city of Blue Mountains, 103 kilometres west of Sydney. Monday was a wet day, where clouds were so low that I was standing among them.

In Australia, there is only one post box for both domestic and international mail. The red post boxes are found all over the country. In Singapore, the sender has to drop his letter into the correct box, whether to Singapore or to other countries. The yellow post boxes are for express mail.

Arriving in my letter box on Friday afternoon, this letter was postmarked in Sydney West on Tuesday at 18:00. Three working days was all it took, despite possible delays during this festive season. I’m not suggesting that it is alright to underpay, but it’s good to know. Since I paid $2.10 each for all other letters (as recommended by the 7-Eleven cashier), it probably cancels out the underpayment.

A Week in Australia

If you have been wondering why there was nothing new over the past week, here’s the answer:

I have spent the past few days on holiday in Australia, cruising under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and sailing past the Opera House. Even though it is supposed to be the hot season, there seems to be a lot of wind. Well, one would get used to the climate in a couple of days.

Shopping in Australia is indeed more expensive than in Singapore. For example, an average meal would cost anything around A$10 (S$13). To send a postcard from Australia to Singapore, it would cost the sender A$1.40, compared to S$0.50 the other way round.

Since there are over 3000 photographs waiting to be processed, it is now time to sort them out. More about my trip in the upcoming posts.

The Stained Surprise

While clearing away some things from the back of my cupboard, I came across a torn corner of an envelope postmarked 7 January 2009. It was not the date that caught my eye, but it was the cancellation machine number C10.

(Yes, it’s the classic story of finding treasures during spring cleaning.)

C10 Cancellation Machine

If you would take some time to observe the cancellations on recent mail items received, chances are that you would not be able to find one cancelled by the machine number C10. Supposedly, this cancellation machine is seldom used. Perhaps, it is only activated during festive seasons where a larger volume of mail is expected.

Unfortunately, this corner is somewhat stained by beverages and covered with a thin layer of dust. The bright white colour of the $1 machine printed label was also filled with dark spots. Well, at least the C10 mark can still be clearly seen! Just like the C8, the C10 cancellation machine is a dot matrix printer. However, the printed text appears to be slightly smaller.

Since the festive season is just around the corner, why not try your luck by sending some cards to your family and friends. Of course, if you have no idea who to send the cards to, you could always send one to me! Don’t forget to write your own address at the back of the envelope.

Annual Stamp Collection 2009

Annual Collection 2009

The 2009 Collection of Singapore Stamps has been released today. This coffee-table book contains all the stamps released in the entire year, including issues such as the Flora and Fauna definitives, 150 Years of Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore Food Festival, and APEC 2009. The book can be obtained from any Post Offices or via the internet at http://shop.vpost.com.sg. From now till 31 December 2009, the promotional price for the book is $54.90 (UP $60). In addition, this year’s collection comes with an exclusive gift: a miniature post box containing two specially designed stamps.