Until this year I don’t think I ever mailed a postcard. It’s not like I was unaware of them since over time I saw them so often in various places like tourist traps at Niagara Falls, state park welcome centers, and airport gift shops that I grew to treat them as a part of the background. A few months ago through the auspices of some friends I learned that in the internet age they are still alive and kicking even if reduced in popularity.
Getting told while chatting that someone “got a postcard from…” was my first reminder of the venerable card stock rectangles. The story involves a person who lives a very long way from me and was very excited to get this item from someone who lived a very long way from her. It took days and days to arrive, carried very little information due to space considerations, cost a moderate sum to send, and in all ways was inferior than just typing on your keyboard and pushing “send” in your email program. That, In a nutshell, was what appealed to me so much about the postcard idea.
Finding a postcard to send proved a lot harder than I thought. Living in one of the least interesting parts of the country you don’t find many postcards since this locality doesn’t have much to put on them. Come and Visit the Mediocrity!, A Remarkably Low Cost of Living!, Anyone with Low Ambition Will Love It Here!, People Flock Here Two Days A Year Before They Hurry Away!, and Traditionally High Unemployment! are not the kind of slogans that you’d want to mail off to a loved one. For a couple of weeks I kept forgetting to look for them in the larger nearby city I visit once a week or so. Finally on a weekend I asked a friend who had worked in a local civic organization if she could think of someplace I could find a postcard. To my surprise she suggested the area Visitor Information Center. In the back of my mind I remembered something about that recently being set up but promptly forgot about it since I have all the information I can take about the area. With that hot tip I drove uptown one lunch hour to see if I could drum up the elusive item I was seeking. The Center wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Some local arts and crafts were scattered around a woman who looked like knitting filled 95% of her work day. I asked about the cards and was told there were some on the wall and they were free! Excitedly I went over to a few hanging wire retainers that were replete with colorful items of the right shape and thickness. Yes, they were free but that was only because they were basically advertisements for a bird house builder on the Blue Ridge Parkway and the local NASCAR track. Oh well, you take what you can get.
Since then I’ve grabbed postcards whenever I see them and I have a nice stack. I try to remember to send them but my memory for duties like that is terrible. I even joined Postcrossing which is a website for people around the world to send postcards to each other at random. It’s a nice idea and promotes learning about other peoples and countries. So far I’ve remembered to send one postcard. I guess it’s a start.
But now back to my friends who send the little flat parcels of good cheer: Below I’ve shown some postcards they’ve sent from the Philippines. I’m not going to say too much about them since Google is at your fingertips. However I’ve learned a good deal about that country over the last year but the most important thing I’ve picked up is how kind and friendly people can be for no reason besides enjoying it.
Two very pretty volcanoes.
Boracay is a beautiful beach resort area. Banaue has incredible terraced rice patties.
IRRI Campus which does advanced research on Rice agriculture. Colorful costumes of the Masskara Festival.
Gazing over the water at the beautiful El Nido in Palawan. The last card was sent while a friend was visiting this country.
Nice bird stamps and the postmark. Pilipinas is the Tagalog name of the country.