Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Why I love postcrossing!

About a year back, I came across postcrossing and decided to give it a try. In today’s age, when people are obsessed by social media platforms, one would think, what is the appeal of writing postcards? If you are thinking along those lines, you can’t be more wrong.

Thanks to postcrossing, I enjoy –

1.       The sense of anticipation – Everyday, as I get back from work, after parking my two-wheeler, the first thing I do is head to that section of the apartment block to open the box marked A-008, with the excitement of a child about to get a candy. Will I get a city view card, a card with a painting, vintage art, a view of the mountains…the possibilities are limitless when you don’t know who from which corner of the world would have written to you today!

2.       Thinking about what card to choose – Reading people’s preferences (some prefer birds and animals, some prefer art, paintings, some prefer vintage vehicles, recipes, some prefer that I paste bus or tram tickets and some others prefer profiles of people and traditional costumes) for postcards and thinking of what card to choose from my limited collection, visualizing him or her getting the postcard, I never thought I could do this until I came across postcrossing!

3.       Reading the profiles of postcrossers – What does a retired school teacher in Finland do? What does she like? What does an Austrian man do in the US? What to girls study in Taiwan and China? What does a Russian man like reading? Sometimes, people write about the work they do on their profiles, some write about their families, some others write about their hobbies and passions. All of this makes for fascinating windows into the culture of a city or a country. Haven’t come across a better platform - connecting strangers across the world - than postcrossing.  

4.       The handwriting – Lost in the world of mails and text messages and calls is the written word. The written word can be beautiful. It can be cursive, large, small, bold, clear with generous spaces between letters, cramped with too much to say…What will the greeting be? Will it be just a “hi”, will it be “Hi Siva!”, “hello”. Would there be a signature in the end? Would there be a smiley somewhere or a small drawing? What color would the ink be?

5.       The heartfelt messages – Postcrossing only gives a broad set of guidelines on what to write, no rigid boundaries. I have received cards with beautiful wishes, descriptions of a day in the life of the postcrosser, the feelings inspired by the harsh winter weather, read cards conveying the excitement of a student before an exam, a traveler before a pilgrimage. People have written about their lifelong friendships, their earnest desires and unexpected tragedies. A girl in Russia surprised me by going through my blog, reading my post on the 100 books I loved reading and even asked for a book suggestion from me!

6.       Thinking what to write – What do you write to a person working in the branding industry in Thailand or a beautician in China? Do you write about the picture on the card you are sending? Do you describe how your day has been, what you had for breakfast, what books you like? Do you express curiosity for the culture of your recipient’s country, envy for their profession? What questions will be considered pass, what will be too intrusive? These are small questions that a curious mind will love thinking through…

Posting the images of some cards I have received –

If you like writing, like cultivating a new hobby and have a curious disposition, register yourself on Postcrossing and start posting! 


kavi said...

I would highly appreciate if you guide me through this. Thanks for the article…
Nice One...
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minski said...

Hey Shiva, it seems you really put thought into choosing a card and thinking of what to write. Good job! As a Finn I gotta love the Finnish Christmas card��

Unknown said...

I read your post good information. I have to thank you of america for the great attempt you are making to break down the barrier. I share post Vehicle towing company. Thanks for posting.

Andrea said...

I received a postcard from you today and found your blog post! You have captured all the reasons that I too love postcrossing. It makes me feel connected to people across the world and adds beauty and meaning to my days.

Magda said...

Thanks for a nice postcard and for this article:-)It sums up all the essence of Postcrossing. Well written.

cosmocat12 said...

Hello Siva, I also received a wonderful postcard from you today (all the way to Australia), and it lead me here to your blog post. You have written a wonderful summary of why we all should be sending greetings to each other. There is nothing quite like receiving something unexpected in the mail, and to know that someone who does not know you has taken a moment out of their day to give you a thought, a consideration and a gift.

Unknown said...

Hi Siva!
Thanks for article on the blog!!
It´s says exactally what postcrossing is to me too!!
Post card tranding is a great way to see the world!
Happy postcrossing!
Paula- from Brazil