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OTHER NATIONS., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 0, 17 April 1909
; BEHIND AND AHEAD OF BRITAIN, j J Regarding the Royal Commission of Inquiry into alleged maladministration of the Commonwealth Postal Department, It may not be generally known that France pos-: sesses about one' of the worst postal systems lv existence. It Is so bad that,a number of fashionable women have for some time past addressed their envelopes In a new fashion. They commence the superscription with the name of'the ward in which the person lives, if In Paris, or the name of the department if In the provinces. This Is Instead of commencing with the name of the person to whom it is addressed. Afterwards follows the name of the city or town; then the name and number of street, and lastly the name of the person. It Is 'the usual custom, in most continental countries, to put the name of the person to whom the letter is addressed first, then the town, finishing up with the street, with the number at the end. if the slightest error occurs in the address of a letter sent to France, the postman rarely finds the person to whom It is really directed. This is due to the fact that the same postman never delivers letters on both sides of the street. So it is that an error of one figure in an afldress WILL RESULT IN THE NON-DELIVERY. In France it would never occur to a postman to ask his colleague if he happens to have such a person on his side of the street. Instead of this he simply writes "unknown" on the letter. Then it is turned over to the Dead Letter Office, and. as there are no good general city directions, of course, the letter is never delivered. In the case of the absence of a persou for wuom a letter is sent, there is no method of forwarding the lettter, or of returning It to the sender, as is done elsewhere. The French Post Office declines to assume any such responsibility, and will not re-address the letters. As a result, every person is obliged to arrange that matte, with his concierge, who, for a liberal tip will undertake the duty that should bi done by the postman. The Indian Post Office is simply a century ahead of us. For many years it has been possible to shop by post in India. This is, of course, a great advantage, especially where European SHOPS ARE FEW AND. FAR BETWEEN. In India most of the people supply themselves through the post with practically the greater portion of their requirements, and they never send money. This Is due to the fact that the Indian Post Office has adopted the system known as "value payable." this means that all cash Is paid to the postal messenger who delivers the article. Norway is famous for its telephone facilities—nearly every person uses the telephone there. Still the Norwegian has not got so far as the Americans. Not long ago a farmer's wife, who wished to visit a neighbour, pulled the baby's crib up in front of tho telephone. She opened the receiver, and told "Central" if baby began to cry to call her up at the neighbour's. Thus the telephone in America acts as a nursemaid. THE WORST PRISON. The country which possesses the worst prison on earth is France. This is according to the evidence of Mr de Windt, the explorer, who affirms that out of the hundrede of prlsous he has visited in Britain, Belgium, Italy, Spain, France, Russia, Siberia, nnd also in the British and French colonies, he finds that the very worst from every point of view is THAT OF SAINT LAZARE IN PARIS. Austria probably goes to bed much earlier than Britain, and certainly Vienna does, in fact, in Vienna every man's home Is his dungeon from 10 p.m. to C a.m. Owing to certain Irritating taxes, Vienna is the place n-lsich Is earliest to bed. At 10 p.m. the common entrance door to each block of tlats is closed and bolted, and Vicuna is a city of flats. After this time any person passing in or out must pay a fine of 2d to the concierge until midnight, and 4d from that hour to 0 a.m. This means that to go out to post a letter costs 2d, and it costs tho same amount to return, while to prolong a visit to a friend after 10 p.m. means 2d to get out of his house and 2d to enter your own. Vienna has also the most severe cycling laws of any city in Europe. In the first place, nobody is allowed to ride a cycle who has not obtained a certificate of proficiency. In the case of ladies they must oe able to mount aud dismount from both sides of their cycles, and show that they can turn corners and ride in nnd out ;i number of dummies. In addition all cyclists are photographed by the police, who keep a record of the photograph. A copy of the photograph is fitted into a little book containing the rules for cycling In the city. Every cyclist must pay a sum equalling about 5/ for this book, whilst he has to carry a huge brass number on a conspicuous i part of the handle bar of the machine. The most healthy city, and certainly the most remarkable city in the world, is Kelburg, near Cracow, in Poland, a city where old age is the chief cause of death. Besides being situated underground, this city is excavated entirely out of rock salt. There are considerably over 3000 inhabitants who are all workers in the ; famous salt mines. All the streets and all the houses are of the purest white imaginable, while one of the most famous features of the city is the snow-white cathedral. This vast church is carved in salt, and lighted with electric light. When the late Czar Alexander visited It 15 years ago, ho was so fascinated with the beauty and grandeus that he presented to the church A MAGNIFICENT JEWELLED ALTAR CROSS. The effect of the play of light upon the white walls Is most entrancing. There is no such thing as an infectious disease in Kelburg. The city with the most perfect system of internal communication is Berlin. Its inner railway has a total length of 231 miles. The electric tram lines are about 400 miles long, while the omnibus routes cover about 62 miles. Adding to this S miles of electric underground railway, the total length of Internal communication in Berlin is brought up to 710 miles. The fares are extremely moderate, and there is an unrivalled service of both trains and trams. Still, Prussia has to yield to America, so far as regards the latest railway enterprise. This is a system of carriage reserved for children. ..The "nursery" car," as it is called, consists of dining, dressing, BATH XSD SLEEPING COMPARTMENTS. In the sleeping compartment there are six beds ananged, the floors are thickly carpeted, and the walls are padded, so that the children cannot Injure themselves by falling. In addition to this, the railway company provides a nurse for all of these youthful passengers. The country where salaries are highest and money Is made the quickest is probably ' Venezuela. For instance, when Dr. Pala- j do was made president not-many years ago, be was unable to get credit for the ' price of a ham. In fourteen months he had retired to the more genial clime of Paris with a fortune of £800,000. Again, the late President Crespo used to ■ send down every day, including Saints' days i and Sundays, to the Treasury for £300, | which, he said, was due to him for his sal- j ary as president. This means that he re- I garded his position as being worth, at least, £130,000 a year.
OTHER NATIONS., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 0, 17 April 1909
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