Thursday, 14 January 2021

Unintended consequemces

I had to send off a couple of copies of my excellent Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer today (You can get your own signed copy by clicking the appropriate button in the left margin.) But where could I post them?

A few years back, all the post offices in Holland were closed. Replaced by something resembling a sub-post office. Except lower key. Really a shop of some kind with a sideline in a few postal services. A large percentage were tobacconists.

For me, quite handy. As there are a few such tobacconists that are closer to my house than the post office was. I normally use the fag shop on a nearby square. Just a couple of minutes walk away. The came corona.

The current restrictions allow only "essential" shops to open. Chemists, supermarkets, bike shops. And ones offering postal services. Including tobacconists. However, they weren't allowed to sell fags or newspapers. Only supply postal services. While supermarkets can sell tobacco products.

As a result, most tobacconists have temporarily closed. The postal stuff only being a small fraction of their business. In consequence, you have to search around if you want to post a parcel.

Luckily I could find a place that was still open. Didn't look like they were doing much trade, mind. I wonder how much longer they'll stick it out?

All because the government rushed through the new rules and didn't think them through. I'm sure they hadn't intended postal services to become so difficuult to find. But it is a direct result of the actions they took.

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