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  1. PetoiLin

    PetoiLin New Member

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    How can one receive mail on the go?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by PetoiLin, Nov 30, 2018.

    Hello, I'm new here. Nice to meet you :)

    I'm currently on my third draft of a novel and there's been an issue that has vexed me a lot even though it doesn't affect the main plotline.

    My protagonist along with his friends are constantly travelling, rarely staying at a place for more than 2-3 days and two of her companions sent letters at their homes/friends at some point. However, considering that all the heroes are on the go most of the time, how can their friends/family know where to write back*? They do travel at one country for the most part, so I've thought of having a few cities keep letters waiting for them but I don't know if that makes sense. In fact, the whole case for me is hard to describe....

    *The characters can't tell in their letters where they are heading because they don't know how many days they will be staying at a particular place(Except one or two cases)
     
  2. Hammer

    Hammer Contributor Contributor

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    Hi @PetoiLin - nice to meet you too -- if you put a "hello"and an intro in the new members area you should meet a few more existing members

    WRT your question, I presume your story is set in a world without email? (c:

    Traveller friends of mine use poste restante services all over - the peeps back home could send letters to a few of those in the hope of hitting them?
     
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  3. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    Or telegrams? They were the email of the early 1900s, just go to the Western Union office, send a telegram back home letting them know you're in Paris for the next three days?
     
  4. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Contributor

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    It's not so much of a thing now that people do so much business online, but I've often had to work out the logistics of this as part of my day gig.

    The solution varies according to the era. For context, in the '50's, '60's, '70's and early 80's one of the reasons so many travelers had American Express as their preferred credit card is that in major cities around the world, American Express had office locations called travel bureaus where you could have your mail forwarded, purchase traveler's checks, and arrange your travel to your next destination. They also had a concierge who could arrange your dinner reservations and tickets to the theatre and send flowers home to your loved ones, because concierges at hotels weren't so common then. They also had banks of phone booths for calling home, and they could arrange to send telegrams. Your Amex card was like a membership card that gave you access to all of this.

    The same principle applies today, but American Express offices are no more, so hotels do a lot of this now. Many nice hotels will accept mail for guests who have reservations and will hold it for guests up to a week to ten days until their arrival. Most often, I've made friends with a hotel employee (someone in a position of responsibility) in advance, then I'd FED-X a packet of mail to the guest through them. (I've even shipped luggage.) As long as you know roughly where your characters will be that week, you can make it work.

    If your characters wouldn't have funds to stay in nice hotels, you could have them befriend, bribe, or barter with a hotel employee, local restaurant owner or store clerk, whorehouse madam, bartender, friend who lives in that city...You get the idea.

    When my sister and I were kids in the 80's, her dad was on the road on business all the time and went to the American Express office once a week to pick up his mail. He had a rough itinerary in that he knew what city he'd be in each week, so we'd plan ahead and send his mail ahead accordingly. He'd send us postcards from there as well, and for some reason it was always exciting when he called home from the American Express office even though he called home every night from his hotel...There was something very James Bond about it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  5. PetoiLin

    PetoiLin New Member

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    Thank you. I think I will use that.
     
  6. PetoiLin

    PetoiLin New Member

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    Thanks a lot. I won't be needing all this information because my book is fantasy(though very close to reality) but you were very kind.
     
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