Postcards and stamps

Whilst travelling back from England at the weekend we stopped at one of our favourite service stations: Aachener Land.

Situated just over the border between Belgium and Germany it offers a family meal for around 10EUR plus drinks which we find very good value for money.

Whilst I was paying for our meal this time, a lady with a British accent came up to the cashier and wanted a postage stamp from her for her postcard. The cashier politely pointed out in her broken English that there was a queue and asked the lady to join it. She did not – she just repeated her demand and said that she had paid for the postcard and now wanted her stamp for it.

I decided to help the cashier at this point and also told the lady politely, that the cashier was serving us and had a queue of people waiting. But no, she wanted her stamp. She had, after all, paid for her postcard.

By chance I caught a glimpse of her receipt (as she turned to her friends to complain about her loss, then deciding to give up and buy a stamp elsewhere). She had indeed bought a postcard – and just a postcard. Without a stamp.

The trouble is, I believe, that in many countries you automatically get sold stamps with postcards and maybe come to expect it. This is not the case in Germany!

If you want a stamp, then you have to buy it from the post office, or one of their agencies, or from a machine.

In some tourist hotspots (Rüdesheim springs to mind) you may also find that shops selling postcards also sell stamps for them. Judging by the response from the cashier at the service stations they may well do too.

But remember, they sell the stamps as an extra service. The price of the stamp is not included in the price of the postcard.

Oh, and please join the queue!


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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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