Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn
The post office on rue Saintonge continues to be a nightmare. There are other post offices within walking distance but we have had the habit of using this post office. It is a habit we consistently consider changing. We like the bread from the boulangerie directly across the street from the post office which makes any trip there a useful double destination. The machines in this post office have been in place for a few years. In the last year the rest of anything else has been removed. There are three machines for weighing letters and parcels and for purchasing stamps. There is a huge empty space where there used to be counters and people and displays of envelopes and boxes to buy. Now there is just space. It is all very white. There is a person in one window which was cut into a wall. There is not even a counter on the outer edge of the window. It is just a rectangle cut out of the wall with a saw. The machines for posting letters are unable to take coins or bills. They only function with a credit card. Other post offices have machines which will work with bills or coins. At this post office money is not an option. Yesterday a woman at the next machine from me started to scream. She screamed that she did not have a card. She had cash and she wanted to pay with cash. She screamed at the machine and then she screamed at me. She screamed at me because I was the only one there except for the man in the window space. The man ignored her completely. She screamed into the big empty room. She screamed about the price of rents in Paris. She questioned loudly how much it costs to keep this big empty room empty in the middle of a city with such high rents? She said a family could easily live in the space, but she was not able to post a letter in it.