12 Aug 2006

One house, two numbers

The houses in Chennai all have two numbers. Called “old door number” and “new door number”, these bring much frustation and confusion to the people.

If I can remember correctly, around four years ago, all the houses in Chennai were given a new set of numbers because the old numbering scheme was outdated and therefore did not take account well for the newer buildings and houses.

Yet today, both the old and new numbers are being used interchangeably. When people tell you their address, most of them are so lazy, they will not bother to tell you both the old and new door numbers. Some people will refer to the new number, and others the old number.

Ok, atleast that is a 50-50 chance right? The going gets tougher when you are actually on that particular street and start searching for the number. Just like the people, the doors too are devoid of both the old and new numbers. Some doors contain the old number, some the new number, and some others… er… nothing. In fact, I have even once seen a house whose owner had rather diligently put up both the old and new numbers, but somehow had forgotten the trivial act of labelling them.

Yet, the letters will reach the right house even if you mess up the numbers. But that only shows the diligence of the postal service than anything else.

I wonder if this is/has been a case in any other place or country… If yes, do share your experience!

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