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I mailed  the  envelopes at the "Vaunargues" Post Office on the rue Marcadet, in Paris' 18th arrondissement.  Years ago, I would have bought the envelopes up to a clerk, who would have weighed them, decorated them with  colorful stamps and placed them in a  bin behind the desk. Now, there is a self-service machine whose stamps bear only the mark of the sum I pay printed on them.

 

After affixing a stamp to each envelop in the bunch of pieces I sent on a particular day, I walked outside to deposit my mail in one of two slots: "Paris and banlieue"  or "Province /Etranger." I notice how the white envelopes glow against the blue and gold facade of the post office; perhaps the post office determined my choice of colors for the art.

Several of the letters never made it to their destinations.

One of the envelopes I mailed was returned to me a couple of months later. I sent it once again, hoping it would reach its destination. I got a "traceable" stamp this time

5 April 2021

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30 April, 2021: Checking up on the letter sent 12 April

The website of La Poste allows you to track the movement of letters. I saw that the letter addressed to the UAE seemed to have been sent to the USA.  I tried to request assistance  from the post office help site. It tooks some time to enter all of the numbers and proof of my receipt. I received a message saying that my request could not be processed "right now." I was supposed to "try again later."

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30 June , 2021: The Envelope was again returned to me. i had moved house by then, but the postman knew to deliver it to my son's office address. 

A second envelope also sent to the UAE bin November returned to me in January.  I able to travel to Southern France to  meet the recipient in July, adding a contrasting example of a "presentiel," face-to-face exchange preceding the image of the piece that my friend would send to me.

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