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An update from Evaneos
Madagascar

Poste restante Madagascar

If you show a little bit of patience, you will certainly do like me and seek an explanation for all the administrative red tape of the postal services of Madagascar... So, how can you be sure that a letter or parcel will arrive at its destination?

In this country located off the coast of Africa, you just need to observe the locals to understand that it takes a little bit of cunning to meet your ends, regardless of the means employed!

Post office alert!

In the UK we often resort to the Royal Mail to send letters. Even better, Signed For mail provides proof of sending, delivery and tracking.

In Madagascar, the stickers which are stuck on the receipts are collected with passion, like Panini stickers or Pokemon cards. But after 5 weeks of failure the game can get a little tiring.

Where did that last sticker disappear to under the counter? Why doesn't my letter appear on the list of registered mail? Didn't I pay the full price like any honest citizen?

In Madagascar, there is nothing to be gained from respecting "political correctness"! My advice is to make sure that your sticker is indeed stuck to the "Biblical Register" and see that your envelope is stamped right before your eyes!

About reverse alphabetical order...

Brush up on your alphabet before any trip to Madagascar! Revise it in one direction and learn it again in the other direction... This will without doubt help you to better understand the logic behind the many administrative rituals that are even more common than the fady.

In fact, it is not uncommon to see an employee get caught in a no-man's land when searching for mail that has been returned to you, or even worse, the mail that somebody has tried to send you.

How can you spot the error at this level of play? It is not necessarily the good faith of the employee that should be put into doubt, but rather their methods of classification.

Why sort mail by SURNAME, when you can do it by FIRST NAME? All the more so if the letters that make up your name evoke something exotic or the desire for expatriation in the eyes of the person across the counter...

This anecdote might have something to do with a classification using the alphabet in the reverse order. Don't forget, in Madagascar, any combination is possible, even the most unimaginable!

Malagasy Post Office @flickr cc bDom - artist - www.bdom.info

Competitors to the Post Office...

If the many services (mail, financial services, postal orders, transport of passengers and/or goods, car rentals, etc...) of the Paositra Malagasy do not fully satisfy you, why not take the matter to a private competitor, MIDEX?

Unfortunately, the price paid does not ensure the reliability of the service, including for the shipment of packages from Europe, if, for example, you try to send your new Malagasy friends a few gifts as a token of your stay. And for good reason: all passenger pigeons choose the capital as their final destination. Indeed, all roads may lead to Rome, but all mail certainly stops at Tana! Then it will be necessary to add 8600 ariary + approx. 40% to the initial rate, without forgetting the value of the contents and the cost of the delivery to the final destination.

A little advice to simplify things if you only have a postcard to send — remember to carry a few stamps with you in your baggage. Who knows — the result might be more convincing!

A word to the wise, mora-mora, in Madagascar, e-mail rules!

Servane Rig
16 contributions
Updated 3 October 2015
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