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Last November when we left Italy it was possible to put one of these on an envelope and know that sometime in the next five to ten days the letter would arrive in the U.S. of A.

Last week the nice tabaccaio (the man in the cigarette, salt and stamp store) told me I would have to put this on a similar letter to the same destination:

That’s right.  Postage to zone 2, which includes the United States, increased from .85 to 1.60 in December (the patient tabaccaio had to show me the official notice before I was able to believe him).  Factor in the exchange rate and that’s about $2.25.  Can you imagine what would happen if the U.S. Postal Service almost doubled rates from one day to the next?  There would be Congressional hearings at the very least, and quite possibly the streets would be filled with rioting junk-mailers.

So to all dear friends and family who are accustomed to receiving snail mail from me, you’ll be getting only half as much in the future.  Which will still be pretty much the ‘none’ you’re already used to.

Hi, Jay!