These mailboxes come with a tear-jerking backstory.
There are a lot of great things to see and do in Taiwan, but for many local and international travellers, one of the top must-see sights is…a couple of postboxes in Taipei.
This might sound puzzling at first, but once you see them, the reason for their popularity becomes instantly clear, as these are no ordinary looking receptacles for mail. While most mailboxes in Taiwan appear in twos like this:
▼ Red for airmail or express mail and green for regular domestic mail
▼ The two must-see postboxes look like this:
As you can see, this postbox duo is leaning to one side, and they look so oddly merry that they’re known locally as ‘smile-inducing postboxes’.
They certainly put a smile on the dial of our Taiwan-based reporter Yui Imai, who went to see them recently after hearing about their popularity.
▼ The postboxes are conveniently located outside a 7-Eleven, just a few minutes’ walk from Taipei’s MRT Nanjing Fuxing Station.
However, when she laid eyes on them in person, she was surprised to find that depending on the angle, the postboxes look like they’re either tilting their heads to the side, as if they’re grinning cheekily at you…
▼ …or bowing respectfully, in a 15-30-degree-angle formation.
Known in English as “Bent Postboxes“, Yui was curious to know what led to their unusual positioning. So she took a closer look and found a plaque, written in Chinese, Japanese and English, that ended up bringing a tear to her eye.
“On August 8th, 2015, Typhoon Soudelor struck Taiwan. We were hit in the heads by a signboard as a result and couldn’t help but lean over from the pain. It was so painful in fact, we can’t stand up anymore. But we persevered: we didn’t fall over after all. We have to take life as it comes and in a way, I think we look more artsy and sophisticated this way! Did we inspire you? Take a picture with us to remind yourselves that we are all survivors and can persevere no matter what.”
Yui knew these postboxes were famous for making people smile, but she didn’t realise they would be tear-jerking as well! She began to feel her heart fill with immense emotion, both at the history behind the humble boxes and the fact that locals decided to leave them as they were.
With their face-like features, Yui couldn’t help but feel strangely connected to the green and red postboxes, and as she walked home, she found herself with an extra spring in her step. The story behind the boxes reminded her that a seemingly damaged state can be a symbol of courage, beauty and inspiration, and that was a lesson Yui was happy to walk away with.
Who knew a couple of metal boxes could have such a profound effect on one’s outlook on life? It’s almost like visiting a public toilet with a huge lock on the door!
Address: No. 104, Long Jiang Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan
Photos © SoraNews24
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