22 April 2005

Pigeon Post

Oxford calls its intra-university mail system "Pigeon Post", and every college has a room where each student has his "pigeon hole". I get the sense its kind of a thing here, as I saw some Brasenose undergrads heading in the Porter's Lodge (where the pigeon holes are) yesterday saying, "Pidgie, pidgie!" (the Spring term is just beginning, so presumably their excitement had something to do with not having checked their mail in a long while).

At any rate, I can receive mail at college, so if anyone is dying to send me a letter, address it to:

Jeffrey Barrett
Brasenose College,
United Kingdom

So far all I've received in my pigeon hole is my first battels (college bill), my University ID and some spam from the college chapel.

All this brings to mind an incongruity (one of many!) I've noticed in the last few days. The government mail service here is called Royal Mail, but everyone uses the word post to refer to it ("The check's in the post" or "I'll post you this letter"). In the United States, it's the opposite: the service is the US Postal Service, but everyone talks about getting their mail, or mailing a letter.

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