BACK in 2008, changes were made to the postal address system here in the southern Costa Blanca.
We were informed that by adding a certain key element, it would simplify things for Correos and that moreover, if our mail did not carry this modified address, then there was a possibility that it would not be delivered.
In other words, destroyed. I always say: ‘If it aint broke, don’t fix it’ and having worked for Royal Mail, I could not for the life of me see how, by adding another street name and area number ahead of our regular address, it could possibly improve things.
A major flaw was that whilst many properties were covered by the new postal address, the actual mail boxes often carried a different one.
Confusing surely for the delivery staff. However, the carteros (postmen) appeared to possess more common sense than the authorities, and continued to deliver the mail to our regular boxes, whether or not it carried the new prefix.
I was back in the UK shortly after the change over, so I took the new details of the revised Spanish address to our Building Society, who duly changed the information on the computer in my presence.
Then after returning to Spain, we received written confirmation that the Building Society records had been changed accordingly. Great. Two days later we received another confirmation – an exact duplicate of the first – followed by yet another a few days after that.
In total we received five identical letters of confirmation and get this: all carrying the old address. Was it any wonder the banking system had all but collapsed I remember thinking.
But crucially, all were delivered to our original address without any problem. By and large, the postal service in the meantime has been quite satisfactory, that is until this past Christmas.
Two weeks before the big day, we had received just one of the many cards we normally receive from our friends around the world. On taking delivery of a parcel one day, we asked our charming cartero Eva about this and were told that the instruction was to make parcels a priority and to ignore letters and cards until they had been cleared.
Cards began to dribble through shortly after, but now in the second week of January we are without at least a score of cards that we know for a fact were sent.
Many of our friends and neighbours have the same complaint and if this applies to others in the Orihuela Costa area, it begs the question: where is all the missing mail?