The Mailboxes Hold an Unexpected Surprise
On a drive around Tahiti, Mo'orea, and the rural islands of French Polynesia, you may start to notice an unusual sight: Long mailboxes that look like birdhouses at the end of some driveways. On closer inspection, it seems that the openings of the boxes are long enough to fit not mail, but something more narrow, perhaps even loaf shaped. It turns out that instead of the mailman, the delivery for these boxes comes from the bakery; more specifically, a baguette, or two or three, or even a croissant or French pastry on occasion are placed here first thing in the morning.
Although no longer widely used, “baguette mailboxes” were once a staple of the islands for fresh daily bread delivery—baguettes were a food staple from the days of French colonialism. Even without a mailbox, visitors can still easily find the French loaves at local bakeries, usually for less than a dollar.