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You only need to look up "mailbox" on Google Image Search to see how thoroughly the word is associated with the domed rectangle and semaphore flag of the American postal system. This iconic design actually has a name, the Joroleman mailbox, named after Roy J. Joroleman, the post office worker who invented it.  Pole-mounted at the curb for quick delivery,  with a curved roof to protect against precipitation and a simple sheet metal design, the Joroleman was a cheap and effective receptacle that has sold millions. Today, it's become a symbol used by mail systems everywhere - think "You've Got Mail" and it's little red flag. 

Come to Kazakhstan, however, and see just how culture-bound the Joroleman is. Here, mailboxes aren't tubular at all, but shaped like boxy backpacks. Instead of a latching door, there's a flap with a coin-sized slot in it for keeping it shut. The Soviet models are all embossed with the words Dlya pisem i gazet [Для писем и газет], which means "For letters and newspapers" - a hint that the morning dailies here aren't tossed by paper boys but placed in boxes. The tunnel-like caverns of American mailboxes can accommodate some packages, but in Almaty you'll get a slip of paper directing you to pick up your shipment at the nearest post office. 

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