If your name is Michael Kelly and you live in rural Ireland, chances are a couple of other Michael Kellys will read your mail before you get it. Ireland doesn't have postal codes—some rural areas don't have house numbers or street names, either—so mail carriers often just play hit-or-miss until they deliver to the right residence. But the government is now planning on introducing a $32 million postal-code system in the spring that perhaps overcompensates for its previous lack of labeling: Each house and business will get its own postal code, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The change is expected to help better handle mail that could end up in the wrong hands: More than one-third of the country's 2.2 million residential addresses could apply to more than one household, notes the Journal. However, many Irish citizens used to the old way of doing things aren't happy about the new plans for efficiency, saying it's "intrusive" and suspiciously wondering if it's easier for the government to collect taxes this way. The mail carriers' "old way" of delivery if a parcel was going to someone with a common name and no clear address? Going down the line of everyone in the area with the same name by age, from oldest to youngest, until the right person is found—which seems to suit many in Ireland just fine. "The bloody post codes … don't start with me on those," one resident tells the Journal. "They're a necessary evil, maybe, but I think Ireland is losing its charm." (On the bright side, fewer delivery stops could mean fewer dog attacks for mail carriers.)