Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad’s 70th birthday.

I have sent him 71 postcards:

70 Candle-Postcards.

70 Candle-Postcards.

70 candles and one cake. The cake is actually posted as a heavy letter.

Cake Letter

Cake Letter

The 70 candles all weigh less than 20g each, so technically, they could be considered as a letter, but the maximum weight of postcards according to Deutsche Post is not a specific weight, but a weight per square measure and a maximum size: Maximum sizes are 12.5 * 23.5 cm (where the length has to be 1.4 x the width) and a maximum weight of 500g/sm .

The problem, though is that the candles are not rectangular. Technically, the Post could return the candles to me asking for an additional fee (Nachentgelt), but I didnt put a return address on them. Or they could just deliver them and ask the recipient to cough up an extra 76 or 96 cents. The exact amount of Nachentgelt charges for specific irregulatities eludes me. The fun fact is, that it the actual charging of Nachentgelt from recipients seems random. Apparently, Deutsche Post does not monitor, whether it is actually collected by mail delivery staff. My experience is that the less urban the recipient lives (e.g. the less floors the mailWOman has to walk up to actually levy the fee), the more likely it is that they will try to do so.

On a previous occasion when I sent my dad non-rectangular mail, he was charges 76 cents:

Swiss Air teaspoon as postcard

Swiss Air teaspoon as postcard

The blue “76” in the top right corner means that someone in the mail sorting facility decided that the mail delivery person might want to consider levying 76 cents fee for non-rectangular mail. The recipient, of course, could refuse to receive and therefore, pay.

I sent the 70 candles over the course of 48 hrs from about 10 different mail boxes all over Freiburg. I wonder how many will make it.

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