Mailboxes of the WORLD

Behold … the mailboxes of the WORLD, as sent in by The Art of Doing Stuff readers.

This is easily the weirdest post I’ve ever done.

Last week I asked readers to send me in a picture of their country’s communal mailbox.  Then I spent a lot of time explaining what I meant.  Not the mailbox at the end of your driveway, not the mailbox beside your front door where you get Dwell or People Magazine delivered.  I meant the mailboxes you’d walk to to mail a letter.

Once that explanation was out of the way, the pictures came flying in.  My hope was to get mailboxes from at least 10 countries.  And I did!  Although I’m pretty sure Laos is a made up country.  Almost positive in fact.

I’m a bit iffy on Finland too.

But … from The Art of Doing Stuff readers to YOU …




The last picture was sent in by Steve, a reader whose kids watched a video of fainting goats and then killed themselves laughing.  After that everything became a fainting version of itself.  One morning after Halloween they went outside and found these on their street corner.  Fainting Mailboxes.

Special thanks to Eleanor (in New Zealand), Maggie B and Karin (in Germany), Mel (Danish mailbox), Kim (English mailbox by way of Switzerland), Nathalie (in Scotland), Roxana (from Romania), Caroline (R2D2 mailbox in Chicago), Mel (in Switzerland),  Natalie (outside of Tokyo), Cathryn (travelled to Kyoto, Japan),  Terrie (travelled to Laos), Jenni (in Finland), Virginie (in France), Christina (in USA), Beth (travelled to China) and Steve … (fainting Goats)

Sorry to everyone who got their pictures in too late to be included in the collage.  Poland, Australia, Netherlands, Tel Aviv, etc. … you’ll be missed.

You can expect to see more posts like this in the future.  With so many readers spread around so many countries it seems stupid not to take advantage and have you produce all of my content for me.

Wait … what I *meant* to say was, With so many readers spread around so many countries it seems stupid not to take advantage of it and use it as a tool to take a look at the rest of the world.  Yes.  That’s what I meant.

Have a good weekend!


  1. Jo says:

    Karen … was re reading this post from a few years ago. Have you done any other readers submissions on other subjects that I missed? Just curious if I had missed them. Thanks.

  2. Kori says:

    I’m super late to this party, but I wanted to drop a note to tell you how awesome this is and I look forward to seeing more of these “around the world” posts with pictures!

  3. Bill says:

    I love the R2D2 box. I’m not a huge star wars person, but I just think that is great.

  4. magali says:

    somehow I had missed this post before today! I loved it! and I look forward to something else like this!

  5. Jodie says:

    ha! Fainting… from laughter!

  6. Efrutik says:

    YES! The Canadian mailbox is the shiz! I snagged a few pics of it in Montreal and fell so in love with it. It even delivered my postcard to Germany so quickly, lol!!!!!

  7. JamieK says:

    Love the Fainting Canada Mailboxes!

  8. Leslie Zuroski says:

    Wow! Denmark gets the prize for graffiti-mailboxes. And at first, I thought Finland was “McDonald’s mailboxes.”

  9. Larissa says:

    Do man hole covers! They are amazing all around the world. In my city (Bergen, Norway) they have a beautiful scene of the city’s unesco listed warf and they are beautiful!

  10. Caroline says:

    Love this idea (loved the Scottish box the best!) and love the idea of photos from around the world. My suggestion is vending machines…my husband and I lived in Japan for a year in the late 80’s and you wouldn’t believe the stuff they sold in their vending machines…could be very interesting (not to mention racy!)

  11. Thera says:

    Also in Ontario, washed milk bags can be used as boil-in-the-bag meal containers for camping trips 🙂

  12. Laurel says:

    Fun to see all the variety of mailbox designs.

    Mailbox tipping used to be a classic Halloween prankster move in rural B.C. – every year we would tiptoe out of the house to see what havoc the local hoodlums had been up to and every year the mailbox was on its back. I won’t go into all the other “tricks”, don’t want to give anyone any ideas!

  13. Gayla T says:

    What I find amazing about this whole mailbox thing is that you thought it up. I often wonder at people’s thought processes, you know, how a thought comes into the mind and starts bouncing around like the little shiny ball in the pin ball machines. It finally hits enough spots and this wonderfully creative thought rolls out. In other words how do you get from point A, mailing a letter to point B, having a blog about the mailboxes of the world. You never fail to amaze me. Just to keep you humble though, who was it that said that there is a very thin line between genius and insanity? Was it old Sigmund F? Anyhooo it is a very good blog idea. I think I hear a call for more!

    • Karen says:

      Gayla T – As with many of the funniest/best ideas on this site … the fella came up with it. Stupid fella. ~ karen

  14. Gknee says:

    Scotland and rual England get my vote. As for bagged milk we bought it for years here in BC, called them milk bladders. Didn’t seem weird at all in fact there was less container waste and you could freeze it easier. Anyone remember back in the 60’s when margarine came in bags? The margarine was white and inside the plastic bag was a thingy that had yellow dye in it. You had to massage the bag to break the dye thingy and massage it till the margarine turned yellow like butter. How yummy is that??

  15. martina says:

    My fav was the Scots mailbox. Still can’t comprehend buying milk in bags, never seen that in this part of the U.S. Maybe there is no udder way to package it in parts of Canada. ha ha!

  16. Maureen says:

    You would think the French would come up with something more chic! Rural England wins for me.

  17. debra b says:

    Loved seeing the different mail boxes would love to see more post’s like this, maybe bi-monthly or monthly??

  18. jen says:

    The Scottish and Japanese mailboxes are so beautiful! The US one…so boring (except R2D2) but I guess they have enough problems just keeping branches open these days.

    I would love to see a post with pictures of taxis or mass transit. Everywhere we travel, I’m astonished how different they are from home.

  19. Ruth says:! I forgot to take the photo of our Jamaican Post Office slot! Oh boy…

  20. Ann says:

    I would love to see a post of statues from all over the world. Maybe not the big famous ones you can see if you are a tourist. But the smaller, historic, regional ones. I once found a statue in the middle of a busy boulevard. The statue was to honor Wilhelm Roetgen, the discoverer of modern xray. Which is what I was trained to be, a radiologic technologist. So a statue to honor Wilhelm was very cool to me. But to anybody else, it would have seemed quite odd.

  21. deborah345 says:

    So very much enjoyed seeing the different world styles of mailboxes.

  22. Lauren from Winnipeg says:

    errr…change that to brick wall, not stone fence. Obviously that dumb ad has me so rattled I can’t see straight.

  23. Wisconsingal says:

    All the post boxes got me thinking about “Little Free Libraries.” Its a cool idea. Someone puts cute little house up keeps it stocked with books (get them from your basement, garage sales, resale shops), then anyone who wants to can take some and read them. So far, none have ever been vandalized. It helps create a sense of community. Kind of like your blog, which I open first everyday – to start the day with a laugh. Here’s the link with a pic:

  24. Lauren from Winnipeg says:

    Great pics. My favourite is the rural England one. Love the stone fence.

    By the way, is anyone else getting an annoying Pull Ups ad in the middle of the post? I can’t see the mailbox under Scotland because of this irritating thing. It won’t let me move it and anywhere you click just makes it bigger. It was on yesterday’s post as well. A very aggresive ad box.

    • Karen says:

      Lauren – I know. I changed ad networks and things are wonky. I’ll get it all fixed soon. I have a request in to have it fixed as we speak. Or type. Or whatever. And thank you for not “demanding I take my ads down”. I’ve had a couple of those comments. Problem is, if I take down the ads, since it’s the only source of income from my site, the entire site would have to come down with them! ~ karen

  25. Julianna says:

    LOVE this post, Karen! More, please! 🙂

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