God bless America for its very efficient USPS (United States Postal Service). Every time I go out on a trip that takes longer than a week, I always request online to put my mail on hold, to be delivered only at a date I specify. And sure enough, a bundle of it, strapped by a rubber band, was wedged tightly into my apartment's mailbox when I opened it today.
Why put a mail on hold? For security reasons. A mailbox that's overflowing with mail is usually a red flag for thieves. New York, even with its high rise apartments, have thieves just like there are rats in its subways. Besides putting the mail on hold, I also use this gadget that, at a designated time, turns on and off a lamp in my living room. It's as if to say "I'm home". This kind of in-house security system has been working well for me so far.
I went through my mail, an assortment of letters, bills, magazine subscriptions, special offers, catalogs, and brochures. What really caught my eye was this postcard-size mail from Adventures In Travel Expo announcing next week's exhibit in New York. The photo below - that of the rice terraces in Batad (left) - struck me, having just arrived from typhoon-ravaged Manila. The good news is, the Philippines is joining this important travel show once again. Oh well, I miss the Philippines already!