March 13

My Corner Emailbox

The other day I walked to the mailbox on the corner to drop in some letters I hoped would eventually make their way to San Francisco the old-fashioned way. Stopping to read the labels to make sure I wasn’t shoving my overseas envelopes into the JAPANESE MAIL ONLY slot, I encountered…WTF?

Was this ordinary-looking postbox secretly kitted out with USB ports? I inspected it. Nope. Perhaps it was a radical wifi-enabled postal service hotspot? Hmm, no again. I showed this photo to a Japanese friend, figuring it was just an Engrish mistranslation, but she laughed out loud. Apparently not.

For now, it remains in the Unsolved Japanese Cultural Mysteries Hall of Fame.

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo


A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car with a pair of strangers. But the more Yumi Hata learns about her friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more