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Postbox finds: A banana and inflated balloon

HOW DID IT GET IN? SingPost staff are baffled by how an inflated blue balloon with a stamp and a valid address ended up inside a postbox.


    Mar 31, 2014

    Postbox finds: A banana and inflated balloon

    LETTERS addressed to God, bananas and balloons sent as mail - these are just some of the quirky items that Singapore Post has dealt with over the years.

    Every day, the nation's postal service handles some 14,000 items that cannot be delivered, according to Lianhe Wanbao.

    Most of these have return addresses, and can thus be delivered back to the sender.

    But there are some items that cannot be returned because they are too damaged or have partial addresses.

    Some of the more memorable items include a banana that came complete with a postage stamp and address.

    "The banana was rotten by the time we received it, so how could we have delivered it? We've also had people use flower petals as envelopes or letters, but by the time we get them, they are withered and crumbling," said Mr Jumali Tengat, 60, SingPost's returns unit team leader.

    SingPost has also received several letters simply addressed to God over the years, which it believes to be written by the same person.

    Another baffling item received was an inflated blue balloon.

    It came with a stamp and a valid address, so SingPost dispatched a postman to gingerly hand-deliver the balloon to its recipient.

    To this day, Mr Jumali is unsure how the sender got the balloon inside the postbox. He believes the person may have inserted the uninflated balloon through the slot, blew it up, and tied it off.

    Not all the items have remained a mystery, though.

    SingPost sometimes receives letters with addresses written in Chinese. It has a resident translator, Mr Sun Xing Cai, 70, who tracks down the English addresses and ensures the letters get delivered.

    He recalled that he once received a letter addressed to "Hainan First Street" in Chinese. After much digging, he realised it was the old name for Middle Road.

    "Through my job, I've learnt a lot about the early names of our streets, which is quite rewarding," he said.