October 28, 2017

Queensland Quirk: Microwaves for Mailboxes

I’ve now been in Queensland for three months! And as of now, I’ve got another month or so in the state before I head to New South Wales. Queensland has several local quirks that I’ve been told don’t cross over into other states. One of the more perplexing quirks is people using microwaves for mailboxes. Yep, you read that correctly. People put broken microwaves in their front yard to hold their mail and packages. And sometimes they don’t stop at one mailbox… one house I saw way up north had three microwaves out front. I assume they receive a lot of mail.

My first host had a microwave out front so I had to inquire as to why this is a thing. His first response was “What else do you do with a broken microwave?” I am being honest when I say the idea of throwing a broken appliance away never crossed his mind. I’m still flabbergasted. In some parts, especially very rural areas, everything is held onto in hopes that it can be repurposed in the future. Their commitment to recycling is amazing – but you definitely end up with sheds and backyards full of broken crap waiting for its rebirth. The second reason he offered seemed more practical, the microwave stops your mail from getting wet. Queensland has a very wet summer so in that case, I’d have to agree that the microwave mailbox serves a purpose.

And when Queenslanders don’t have access to an extra microwave they’ll improvise… On top of dozens and dozens of microwaves, I’ve also seen oil barrels, plastic tubs, breadboxes, and vacuum drums used to hold mail. I even saw a three-foot-tall chicken made out of plastic egg cartons which served as someone’s mailbox. Apparently, anything goes here as long as it’s lying around and will keep your bills dry!

1 comment:

  1. That is hilarious although very practical. Packages would fit,a week’s worth of vacation mail would fit, and it would stay clean and dry.