Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bis Surat (Mail Box)



Text and picture ©Eki Qushay Akhwan

Since the advent of the internet and emails, post boxes like this one seem to have become an obsolete artifact. I can't remember when the last time I actually posted a snail mail. So when I came across this "bis surat" (mail/post box) a couple of days ago, it kinds of reminded me of the good old days when I had to go to the post office or find this orange box to post a mail.

This kind of post box is very old. It dates back to the Dutch colonial era. The new model is smaller with stilts instead of solid steel from bottom to top like this one.

By the way, the word "bis" in Indonesian also means "bus". And the word "box" in Indonesian is "kotak". Therefore, "mail/post box" should be "kotak surat" in Indonesian. I think the term "bis surat" comes from the Dutch word "bus breven", and hence the word "bis" stays in "bis surat" as a matter of postal terminology.


6 comments:

ortiz said...

Eki,
You have a great photo blog!
Thank you so much for visiting my site! I hope the pictures will encourage you to make another trip to the California!
Thanks again,
Ortiz in Sacramento

Hyde DP said...

Love the postboxes - as red as they are here.
PS My post yesterday was shopFITTERS not shopLIFTERS - quite a difference - although it might have been intentional humour!

smudgeon said...

It is strange that in our lifetime something as functional as a post box could become an object of nostalgia.

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Very bright/colour-rich shots! So true about the snail mail, too. In the US the cost of stamps just creeps up and up-business isn't what it used to be.

meles meles said...

hi Eki, thanks for visiting my site. what a great photo blog you have. i especially like your B&W shots, and all the cultural information you include, especially the primers on Indonesian language.
these post boxes are so cool. if we had brightly colored postboxes like this in the States it would make me want to use them a whole lot more, although i do enjoy using that old fashioned snail mail from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Hi!!! Thank you for the visit!
I like this picture, all the old stuff works well in photography. Why don´t try this one in B&W?
Julian
http://hima-town.aminus3.com/