The world is so platonic at the post office. People are always quiet, holding their faces like they’re holding a vase waiting for the flower. Only the flower never comes. Letters are not flowers anymore. Not even letters are letters anymore. They’re just packages, bills, flyers, postcards. Bills, mostly. Perhaps that’s a global fact, but in Portugal it is so much like that it becomes more than fact; it becomes a symbol. All that, I mean. Yes, post offices are probably the best places for a foreigner to get Portugueseness. Or not to get it in the most exact way. Among trees reflections and self-help books, a sort of untranslatable silence. A tepid, hospital-like, quietness, teared by electronic numbers (the ticket-service machine reciting 133, 134, 135, 136, 137), and nobody says anything, nobody gets mad, nobody bites one’s hat, nobody jumps on one’s hat. Quiet people, staring at infinity, dreaming about what?