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!