Iceland is officially the coolest place on earth, and not just because of their free flights for British expats or the fact that it’s the official site of winter. No, Iceland is officially the coolest place on earth because their postal service is so smart they deliver to hand-drawn maps instead of addresses.
The proof: this piece of mail, which was recently posted on Reddit by user Jidoen with the caption “Without an address, an Icelandic tourist drew this map of the intended location (Búðardalur) and surroundings on the envelope. The postal service delivered!”
Yes, there’s a story there: according to an account by a local newspaper (and some handy translation from CondeNast Traveler), the letter was mailed from Reykjavík by a tourist who had visited the address — actually a tourist attraction with a mini petting zoo — earlier in the year. All the postal service worker needed to locate the recipient of the letter, apparently, was the village name, the hand-drawn map, and the two descriptor lines, “A horse farm with an Icelandic/Danish couple and three kids and a lot of sheep,” and “The Danish woman works in a supermarket in Búðardalur.”
We’ll concede: it’s an exceptional story, and no…you probably shouldn’t just start drawing maps on pieces of mail and seriously expect them to reach their destination, even if you do live in Iceland. (Although consider what a convenient excuse that would be in the case of your “accidentally lost” credit card payment.)
That said, other Redditors pitched in with their own crazy post office delivery stories. User sillylittlewilly wrote,
I used to work at an ISP, and I asked a customer to send us some info to our support address, firstname.lastname@example.org. They wrote the info out on paper, put it in an envelope, wrote the email address on it and posted it. It arrived.
While Davin900 shared the story of the Irish post office’s very personal delivery success:
My Irish friend sent his mom a letter addressed simply to her name (very common Irish name) and her county.
He did it as a joke to illustrate how much Ireland can be like a small town.
Naturally it was delivered without issue and even arrived with a note from the postman asking how her son was getting on in America, ha.
Of course, not all postal service stories shared were positive. When the conversation turned to mailing potatoes, maskthestars wrote,
USPS sucks though. They will eat half the potato, put it in a different box and then act like they never had anything bad happen to any of their packages before. Source: went through this last winter
And then there were stories of baffling technological ignorance like this one shared by jonnyu182, which actually has nothing to do with the postal service at all, but is still ridiculously entertaining.
I once asked a Team Leader in another office to send me a screenshot of an error message they had. They proceeded to take a screenshot, print it out, take it to the fax machine and have the fax machine scan it and email them it as an attachment. They then forwarded the email on to me.
This is why we love Reddit: fascinating stories of success meet hilarious stories of regret and sheer bafflement.