On the banks of Suzhou Creek, we find the Shanghai post office. I am a fool for any post office with sampans. Opened in 1924 for the French Concession in the International Settlement, the building has Corinthian columns and a Baroque clock tower. (In the photo above, you can see the words AIR MAIL around the clock face.) The sides of the tower are decorated with statues, including Hermes, the traveler, flanked by Eros and Aphrodite, the god and goddess of love. Let’s hear it for love at the post office.
Shanghai postal persons preparing to make their rounds, circa 1925
Today, the building still contains a working post office, but more importantly is home to the Shanghai Post Museum, opened in 2006. The website of SHmag notes:
The Shanghai Post Museum commemorates a group of China’s unsung heroes – the postmen and women. These brave individuals have, in times of peace and war, fulfilled their duty and safely delivered your mail in a timely fashion. The museum, situated within the heritage site of the Shanghai Post Office, offers a look inside the progressive China and Shanghai postal system… It has moved far from the days of foot mailmen and tortoiseshell-inscribed documents… In addition, one can also learn the Shanghai Post Corporate Song, ‘The Song of Mail Swan Geese,’ a soothing patriotic tune that lives up to their ‘serve the people, dedicate to the public’ motto.
I am so there.