In the movie "Ronin", there is a scene where Sam and the gang have to locate Gregor. Sam knows a guy locally who can help. When he approaches his contact he asks him where the nearest post office is. In response the contact says, "What do you need a post office for? Because over here, they use them for different things."

What are these different things he's referring to?

3 Answers 3


It was just a password exchange. To an outsider it sounds like ordinary conversation, but to the two people involved in the exchange it allows them to ascertain each other's identities, since only the right people will know the correct words to use.

  • I'd say the asker is perfectly aware of this fact, but asks for the meaning of the specific dialogue.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Aug 18, 2013 at 1:25
  • @ChristianRau - But since it is agreed that this is simply a password exchange, the literal meaning behind the words is irrelevant. Aug 18, 2013 at 1:29
  • Then this might be an answer, yet even in a password exchange they don't just spit out some random words and might mean something with it, even if irrelevant for the rest of the story.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Aug 19, 2013 at 11:41
  • @ChristianRau - I guess I'll have to wait for OP to clarify. Aug 19, 2013 at 21:22
  • Along with the previous post, now that I think about the resolution of the movie and this exchange; it makes sense that this was a password exchange based on the follow up conversation. "I thought you were out." "I am, I need your help." Thanks for your help.
    – KillerZ
    Aug 21, 2013 at 19:38

IMO, they are simply making conversation to seem as if De Niro is a bumbling tourist. I don't recall the scene exactly, but his contact is then able to pull him aside briefly to have their private conversation and then conclude it by loudly directing De Niro to the post office.

As for the post office being used for different things, the content of the conversation is quite irrelevant to the plot. In some countries, the post office can be used for doing additional things (besides posting letters) like paying bills and the like. Tourists from a country where post offices offer a variety of different services might expect (in this case) French post offices to do the same. This is presumably why the contact asks (the tourist) De Niro what he actually wants to do at the post office in order to guide him better.

(I have no idea which services French post offices offer/do not offer.)

  • Thanks for the reply. This is in line with what I was thinking as well.
    – KillerZ
    Aug 21, 2013 at 19:36
  • 3
    just to enlighten other people: in Holland, where I live, a 'post office' is also used as a bank. In fact, up until a few years ago, TNT Post was both a bank and a postal service until they split. I'm assuming, then, that in countries like France, they have a similar system. Aug 22, 2013 at 13:20

In some countries, post offices used to offer financial services and even telephony services. I believe that is still the case in Japan.

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