Sober Thought Post
Sober Thought Post is the mail system owned and operated by the federal government of Sober Thought. Organisationally, it is the Chief Directorate of Postal Communication of the Vice Ministry of Communications at the Ministry of Community Connections. ST Post is a member of the Galactic Postal Union.
The goal of ST Post is to foster personal communications, printed informational matter and small commercial packets to all parts of the country and throughout the International Democratic Union at a modest cost. Therefore, user fees do not always cover costs. Private sector businesses have the greater than 5 kilogram parcel sector all to themselves, and may offer the same services as STP at the same price.
Postcards may be sent anywhere in the country for Ð0.30, sealed letters weighing up to 20 g for Ð0.50 and sealed letters weighing 21 g to 99 g for Ð0.70. To other IDU countries and GPU signatories, the price is double. These are the most common rates which should allow friends, families and penpals maintain regular and affordable contact with one another, and bridge the distance of province and country.
Packets of printed matter, such as newspapers, magazines, catalogues, booklets, etc., up to 500 g cost Ð0.20 per 100 gramms or part. Printed matter of an informational or educational nature may be eligible for a rate reduction. Printed matter addressed to another IDU country costs twice the price and is not eligible for the rate reduction.
Parcels weighing up to 10 kg cost Ð1 plus Ð0.10 per 100 g per postal region. This service accomodates, for instance, individuals exchanging gifts by post and companies shipping small consumer goods mail order. Until STP decides otherwise, parcels heavier than 10 kg are only handled by private courrier companies.
Pending United Nations actions, rates to places outside the IDU are unregulated and unpredictable, and depend on good relations with the country to which the mail is addressed. Although the Galactic Postal Union is a good start, the number of signatories as but a tiny fraction of the United Nations and NationSates as a whole.
The country is assigned numeric postal codes which indicate (from left to right) the postal region, zone, area, district. There is no Region 0.
Every time the national population adds a billion people, the postal code adds another digit to describe a further subdivision. E.g., upon reaching one billion the fifth digit indicates section, two billion sector, three billion segment, etc. For convenience, within the IDU the postal code is prefixed with "ST," the official country code in the IDU for Sober Thought.
1 Central Province, Western Portion 1000-1399 Sax Valley 1400-1699 Worthington 1700-1799 Magnificent Falls 1800-1999 others 2 Central Province, Mid-Central Portion 2000-2699 Schweindorf 2700-2999 Horseshoe 3 Central Province, Eastern Portion 3000-3099 Dormant Harbour 3100-3199 Sonnenberg 3200-3299 Norden Bay 3300-3499 Oak 3500-3599 Roydon 3600-3899 others 3900-3999 Bight portion of Capital Province 4 Hochelaga, Hinterland Portion 4000-4099 Mit-en-Haut portion of Capital Province 4100-4199 Trifleuville 4200-4399 Gouinshau 4400-4499 Hochelaga (Ville) 4500-4599 Çaguenai 4600-4999 others 5 Hochelaga, Metropolitan Portion 5000-5699 Mont Royaume 5700-5899 Kingsmount 5900-5999 Longueoreille 6 Coastal Provinces 6000-6099 Loyalist, Braunekuste 6100-6149 Johnstown, Bk. 6150-6199 Grandville, Bk. 6200-6249 Moineville, Bk. 6250-6299 Mirage, Bk. 6300-6399 Drewburgh, Bristle Island 6400-6449 Picton, BI 6450-6499 Sheldon, BI 6500-6599 others in southern BI 6600-6649 Paidrig, BI 6650-6799 others in northern BI 6800-6899 Potato Island, Bk. 7 Flatlands Provinces 7000-7199 Kolashek, Jarvet 7200-7299 Saint-Visage-Osseux, Jt. 7300-7349 Anbrand, Jt. 7350-7399 Kyrkje Fjell, Jt. 7400-7499 others in Jarvet 7500-7549 Chelyoost, Pastbeshchye 7550-7599 Lareine, Pb. 7600-7649 Lesbaies, Pb. 7650-7699 Furstenburg, Pb. 7700-7999 others in Pastbeshchye 8 Cholmestay 8000-8299 Nordentor 8300-8349 Bela 8350-8399 Krasna 8400-8699 Zalevfyerma 8700-8749 Cerna 8750-8799 Pontloué 8800-8999 others 9 Thuvia 9000-9099 Chapeauxdix 9100-9399 Georgetown 9400-9449 Barr 9450-9499 Hunter 9500-9549 Fraser 9550-9599 Simon 9600-9649 Skina 9650-9699 Thompson 9700-9999 others
In addition to the usual federal government designation as Chief Director of Postal Communication, the head of Sober Thought Post is called the Community Postmaster. Similarly, each of the nine regions is headed by a Regional Postmaster, each of the 79 zones by a Zonal Postmaster; each of the 900 or so areas by an Area Postmaster; each of the 9000 or so districts by a District Postmaster; etc.
Their insignia is indicated on epaulettes, all topped with a postal horn: the Community Postmaster has three thick lines; the Regional PMs two thick lines; the Zonal PMs one thick line; the Area PMs three medium lines; the District PMs two medium lines; the Section PMs one medium line; the Sector PMs three thin lines; the Segment PMs two thin lines; etc.
Since Sober Thought has more than one official language, its postage stamps have to list both always, neither always or alternate. For a consistent graphic look, and to make it easier for people outside the country to recognise the stamps, the latter option and former option are rejected. Instead, the country has opted for the strategy of RL Switzerland: use a name in a language that is not official. In this case, "Nüchtern Gedanke" which is the literal translation of "Sober Thought" in German.
Sober Thought Post issues a series of cent definitives, denkmark definitives and commemoratives. The cent definitives, issued in denominations below Ð1, bear the monochrome likeness of the Sober Thought's stylised national owl. White graphics with black print represents Ð0.01, beige with black Ð0.05, yellow with black Ð0.10, orange with black Ð0.20, red with black Ð0.30, green with white Ð0.40 and blue with white Ð0.50. The standard dimensions are 20 mm wide by 25 mm tall, including gutter and perforations.
Definitives denominated in full denkmarks have a similar organisation, only using the scales of justice surrounded by chains as seen on the national flag. Yellow graphics with black print represents Ð1, orange with black Ð2, red with black Ð3, green with white Ð4, blue with white Ð5 and purple with white the rarely seen Ð10. The standard dimensions are 25 mm wide by 30 mm tall.
Commemorate issues are fairly rare by philatelic standards. Special issues have included:
- United Nations, March 2005, upon entry into the UN, featuring a square UN globe in natural colours, 30 mm by 30 mm, Ð1.
- IDU Flag Day, April 2005, upon adoption of IDU flag, featuring winning design in natural colours, 40 mm by 25 mm, Ð1.
- Democracy Day, July 2005, 1st anniversary of the founding of the IDU, featuring interconnected triangluar designs representing the fundamental values of the union, 50 mm by 50 mm (two designs together), Ð0.50, Ð0.70, Ð1 and Ð1.40.
- Community Day, August 2005, first billion population, graphic design of people of ever increasing size and the figure "1 000 000," 30 mm by 30 mm, Ð0.50.
- Community Defence Forces special series, November 2005, CDF Land Service crossed swords for Ð0.50, CDF Naval Service anchor for Ð0.70, CDF Air Service falcon for Ð1, CDF pyramid of globes for Ð1.40, all 20 mm by 25 mm.