This morning I walked to my local post office. I could have done the millennial thing and hailed an UBER to go the measly five blocks, but I decided to do like our ancestors did: on foot. Dangerous times, this.
It reminds me of this past week, when I remarked to my friends how when we travel, we have no problems walking long distances to things, but when we’re back on home turf, going a few blocks seems like such a chore. I’ve been tremendously guilty of this, obviously; back in the days when I had a car to drive regularly, I totally would have driven the few blocks today to the post office. Good thing nowadays my only car is parked at work, not so easily reachable.
Every time you think the U.S. Post Office is a failing enterprise, you’d change your mind immediately once you enter one, because it’s almost always full of people. I got lucky today as there was nobody in line when I arrived; soon as I settled in waiting however, four additional people showed up. Naturally, there’s but one clerk working the counter, and only one hour away from their mandatory(?) lunch break whereby the entire office closes.
I reckon the USPS will survive just fine. Perhaps like an Olive Garden making its guest wait - even with empty tables - for the sole reason of increasing appetite, the post office provide somewhat shitty counter service to keep us coming back. A place with long lines can’t be that awful, right?
Taking the half-hour walk was a good opportunity to soak in some sun; I work at the basement level of the campus library, so vitamin D can be difficult to come by. Along the way, as one does in San Francisco, I saw a dude pissing in public towards the garage door of a house. My first thought was how awful it must be for the owner of the house: imagine returning home to the stinking stench of urine as the garage door opens. My second thought was one of empathy for the “offender”; compared to Asia, there’s an utter lack of public toilets in American cities, and it’s a real health and infrastructure problem.
Why aren’t there public facilities on what is the main thoroughfare of our neighborhood? It shouldn’t be up to the stores and merchants to provide restrooms - for paying customers only. Maybe I’d hang out there more if there were public toilets, instead of only venturing there to go to the post office.