Saturday, October 31, 2009

Received card #2

The second card I received came from Sonja in Iceland. She is German but has lived in Reykjavik for going on four years. She likes to take photos - check out her gorgeous galleries on Flickr, here - and the card she sent me was one she'd had made from one of her own photos. This was quite inspiring to me ... more on that later. :-) She visited Norway, among other places Oslo, on her honeymoon in 2008 and she loved it here. Always nice to hear. :-) What she mentioned as being different between Norway and Iceland was something I'd noticed and been affected by as well on my trip to Iceland in 2001.

The card was sent on October 7th, and it took three days to arrive, having traveled 1,752 kilometers, on October 10th.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Received card #1

My first received card arrived on October 9th. What a great surprise! :-) I had thought it would have taken longer - it had only been two days since my first sent card had been registered as received. But it's obviously true that as soon as that happens with one of your sent cards, you're put on the list to receive. As soon as. :-) I was thrilled to get the card, it was a lovely card and it really brightened my day. :-)

The card was sent by Merja in Lappi in Finland. The stamp is amazing, it shows a viviparous lizard lying on a rock, and it's just beautiful. It says in my profile that I like reptiles a lot, and Merja seemed to have really taken that into consideration. So that made me happy. :-)

I have a suggestion on my profile about what people can write on their cards to me - a question for them to answer, specifically. Namely this: What are the the top three things that any visitor to your town ought to see? Merja thinks that in Lappi, what a tourist should be sure not to miss are the fields and forests of the area, lake Pyhäjärvi, and a bronze age burial site that is on the World Heritage list. So I really learned something new from her card. :-)

The card travelled 638 kilometers to get to me, and it took two days.

And here's the lovely stamp. :-) Click to enlarge, to really see the wonderful detail.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sent card #8

The eighth address I was assigned was in Monterrey in Mexico. The recipient was Erika, who says on her profile that she's happy with any postcard theme. Among other things she mentioned flowers ... so I picked this pretty floral card again. :-)

This card was sent on October 9th. It's still on the road after almost three weeks. Maybe not surprising - it has 8,659 kilometers to travel ... :-) I hope to hear it's arrived any day now.

Update: After the card had been on the road for one month, I emailed Erika to ask if the card had arrived ... I thought maybe I could have forgotten to write the ID number on it. But unfortunately this was not the case. I sent another identical card, this time in an envelope, on November 19th. Fingers crossed. :-)

Update: The card is now expired as of December 8th. :-( Of course it may still arrive, but after 60 days it unfortunately hasn't.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sent card #7

The seventh address I was given was to Jine in Huzhou in China. It was a bit of a thrill to get a Chinese address, partly because it's pretty exotic to me :-) and partly because I've been to the People's Republic; I went there a few years ago and spent three weeks in various famous cities around the country. It was a fantastic holiday, one of the best in my life so far. I wrote a little bit about that to Jine.

I picked the flower card just because it was so pretty ... lovely colors. It was one of the prettiest cards I had available just then, and Jine's profile inspired me to 'choose it earnestly'. :-)

I mailed the card off on October 8th. It took 12 days to arrive, on October 20th, after travelling the impressive distance of 8,074 kilometers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sent card #6

As soon as one of my cards is registered as received, I'm allowed to send another one. So I sent more than my original five before I started receiving any myself.

My sixth card went to Sofia in Turku in Finland. The berry card again ... but she did say on her profile that she likes nature. :-)

I sent the card on October 7th; it travelled 640 kilometers to arrive in Turku after five days, on October 12th.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sent card #5

I could send five cards to start with, and that's what I did. My fifth card went to Michelle in Richmond, Maine, USA. She likes animals and nature, so I picked this card, which she really liked - apparently she loves 'pictures looking through one thing to another'. :-)

This card was sent on October 5th, travelled 5,442 kilometers - by far the longest distance of the five - and it took a really long time to arrive. I have sent a lot of mail to the US over the years and it's rare for a postcard to take this long. But better late than never. :-) It was registered as received on October 19th, after a fortnight of travel.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sent card #4

Card #4 went to Marianna in Helsinki in Finland. Another pretty new user ... but also a very active one. :-) She does volunteer work in her spare time and so do I, so I wrote a little bit about that.

This card was also sent on October 5th. It took only two days to cover the 789 kilometers from my post office to Marianna's mailbox. :-)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sent card #3

This card went to Alina in Bochum in Germany. Yes, I know that I sent identical cards to everyone so far ... four of the five cards I sent in that first round were the same. That's what I had! :-) I think this is a gorgeous card though ... and Alina liked it too, she said she wanted to eat that big strawberry in the foreground. :-)

The card was sent on October 5th, and it travelled 964 kilometers to be registered as received at its destination after 8 days, on October 13th.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sent card #2

My second card went to Willeke - wvl on Postcrossing - in Goirle in the Netherlands. She's been a member only a few weeks longer than me. :-) She said she's interested in sayings from various countries, so I shared a Norwegian one fitting for the season - 'there's no such thing as bad weather, there's only inappropriate clothing'. :-)

I sent the card on October 5th. It travelled 999 kilometers, taking two days to arrive on October 7th.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sent card #1

My first ever sent card went to Georgiana in Dublin, Ireland. She is #1 on the list of Irish members - she has sent more cards than any other Irish Postcrosser, and her cards have also travelled the farthest from Ireland. Kinda cool to get her as my first recipient. :-)

I sent the card on October 5th. It travelled 1,269 kilometers to get to Georgiana, and the trip took 3 days; it arrived on October 8th.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What is Postcrossing?

Postcrossing is a website set up to let people send and receive postcards to and from randomly selected strangers. :-)

The site was set up by Paulo Magalhães in the summer of 2005, based on his opinion, or one might say feeling, that it's nice to get mail. :-) It's grown very quickly and there are now more than 130,000 users, and more than 3 million cards have been sent.

The system is very simple. First of all you must register as a user - this is quick and easy and completely free of charge. (The site is free to use, although you must of course buy your own postcards and pay for postage. You can make donations to the site if you want, but there is no requirement whatsoever to do so.) You then request an address to send a card to. This will be selected randomly - the list of recipient addresses changes constantly. The address may be anywhere in the world. You also get a unique ID code - eg, NO-26893 - which you must write clearly on the card. You then write a few words - whatever you want to write - on the postcard and send it off.

When it is received by the recipient, that person will use the ID code to register the card as received. Your address will then be added to the list of people due to receive a postcard, and someone else will be sent your address when they ask to send a card. This person, again, may be anywhere in the world, and they will not be the same person that you sent your card to.

At any given time you can have up to five cards travelling; as soon as one of these is registered as received, you will be allowed to send another. This number increases in increments with the number of cards you send. You will receive the same number of cards as you send out, from various countries all over the world.

And around and around we go ... :-)

Postcrossing is a wonderful way to get real mail, snail mail, for those of us who enjoy that type of thing and regret the more fleeting presence of electronic mail (although we may appreciate its efficiency and speed). It's also quick and easy - writing a postcard takes only a few minutes - and you don't have to commit to the more long-term responsibility of proper correspondence. A colorful card in the mailbox can brighten anyone's day, and who wouldn't love to receive a friendly greeting from the other side of the world?

When you sign up you also get a personal profile on the site - mine is here - where you can share some information about yourself, your interests, and what types of cards you would like to receive. (But please take note: You can express wishes, but you cannot demand.) If you collect anything, for instance, that would be a good thing to mention. Those who are given your address will also be shown your profile and will usually take this into account when selecting a card to send to you.

It's so easy and so much fun. I'm hooked. I hope you will be too. :-)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day One

I signed up at on October 5th. Basically I had heard about Postcrossing here and there a number of times, and thought it sounded pretty cool, but never really looked into it. Then, earlier this month, being in a situation where I was neither working nor studying (this not through my own choice) the site came to mind again and I decided to take a closer look at it.

At first glance it sounded really good. :-) I decided to sign up - quick and easy - and then to try it for myself. As a novice I could send out up to five cards to start. I had some (identical) postcards already lying around, so I requested five addresses and sent the cards off that very day.

Well, it works. :-) I sent my first cards out on October 5th, and I received my first card on October 9th. And even though it's only been a couple of weeks, I've sent out and received several more since then. I've set up this blog as a way to show off this new hobby of mine - because I can already tell that I'm not going to get tired of this any time soon ;-) - more than what is possible on the Postcrossing site itself. Although I may cross-post from time to time, I don't want to clutter up my main blog with all these postcards. ;-)

So ... this blog will mostly be for myself, although input is welcome, and hopefully one day it will inspire someone else to join Postcrossing. I can only hope. :-)