Okay, I know I’ve been away for so long. I was bogged down with so many things at work – teaching and helping my students do well in school and at the same time learning and improving myself through attending workshops and trainings to keep up with the changing education trends. I am like a post office in today’s internet world, trying to keep with the trend enhancing its operations and services. Many post offices today have gone some major renovation and modernization to attract as much customers as possible, aside from providing a wide range of services of course.
I had a chance to visit the grandest Post Office I have seen yet – Ho Chi Minh’s City Post Office –a beautifully preserved remnant of French Colonial Times. I was so amazed at how beautiful it is. Others say it is perhaps the grandest in all of Southeast Asia, but I can’t comment on that yet since I have seen other countries’ post office. It was designed and built by no less than Gustave Eiffel, the one who also designed the Eiffel Tower.
The building features arched windows and wooden shutters with intricately designed marble floors. There was also an old wooden telephone that served as a reminder of the times when mobile phones and emails were not yet invented. The French influence is at its every nook and cranny; you will forget you’re not in Europe. The only thing that will bring you back to your senses is the large portrait of Ho Chi Mihn hanging at the far end of the building, reminding every visitor that you’re in Vietnam.
It was so full when we got there as there were a lot of local and foreign tourists. There was no air conditioner inside so just imagine how hot that day was. Nonetheless, we enjoyed checking out the paintings on the walls, the souvenir stores where you can buy local crafts, and the beautiful structure of the building itself. There are also a lot of vendors outside selling food and drinks so you don’t have to worry getting hungry or thirsty wandering around.
What is more interesting is that the Post Office is still functioning. It offers all kinds postal services from mailing, selling postcards, stamps and even foreign money exchange. It a piece of living history!