About Me

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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Not bicycle friendly, and no mail

On Friday, I found a note from the post office saying that they tried to deliver something to "湖山鳩", at my address. Since the name on my post box is not written like that, it said that since they could not confirm that such a person lived there, they took whatever they wanted to deliver back with them to the post office and said to get in touch with them.

Those three Kanjis are "lake", "mountain", and "pigeon". My last name is Sjöbergh, which is made up from the Swedish words for "lake" and "mountain". "Jonas" comes from the Bible and means dove, as in a symbol of peace, in Hebrew. So if you were to write the meanings of my name with Kanji, that would be how you would write it.

Presumably, one of my friends had sent me something and decided it would be funny to write the name in Kanji.

I went to the post office and explained all of this to them, that basically that strange name was actually me. They asked me to show them some ID, and said: "The name on your ID is different". They then checked rules and regulations for 15 minutes or so and came back and said that since the name was different, they could not give me whatever it was that they had tried to deliver. They would send it back to the sender.

I asked if they could tell me who the sender was, so I could get in touch with them and tell them that unless they write my name with Latin letters, post will not reach me. (Sometimes things come through with my name in Katakana too.) They disappeared for another 10 minutes or so and came back and said that since the problem was that they could not confirm that this was meant to reach me, they were also not allowed to tell me who the sender was.

I asked if I could write a message that they could stick to the thing before they sent it back to the sender, to explain how they should get this thing to me. Again, after some more checking, the answer was no. They said that they would explain that "this name is wrong" when they returned it, though.

So I left empty handed, with no idea what they had tried to deliver or who might have sent it. Or, I had some ideas of who might have sent it, since not that many of my friends know my address, and not many of them think that the Kanji thing is funny.

The post office that takes care of these matters is pretty far from where I live. It is open 24/7 though, which is convenient. But since it is so far away,  I took the bicycle there. Parts of the way is not great for bicycles in winter. The photo for instance shows that the bicycle lane (center of the photo) is very much blocked on the other side of the street.

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