I’m not entirely sure why, maybe it’s the whimsical nature of it, but I’ve decided to give postcrossing a try. It makes me feel like a kid again, having a pen pal in some unknown part of the world. Or participating in some bizarre chain letter thing (which I actually abhor…as a kid I did feel actual guilt when I stopped a chain letter in its tracks but…well…suffer). Visit the website to work out what it’s all about, but the short version is that basically I am sending postcards to other postcrossers, and will receive postcards in return, but not from the postcrosser I sent the card to; the names and addresses are allocated randomly.
I have sent four cards today, to the US, Germany, Portugal and Finland. The postcards I had were touristy ones of Sydney Harbour, but that’s not especially bad if you’ve never been here (and it is a harbour that was just destined for postcard greatness). My first attempts are rather banal; it’s hard to know what to write in such a small space to people you don’t know. It will be interesting to see what I get in return. I’m going to try to get creative with it; send a postcard of my favourite painting, or write my favourite quotes on the back. I wonder if I’ll be bold enough to write a verse of Scripture on the back – I guess the recipient won’t have my address so they won’t be able to retaliate if they don’t like it (don’t worry, I’ll do it in a nice way…no aggressive postcard-Bible-bashing).
I think the thing that appeals to me is the serendipity of it, although I guess it’s not truly serendipitous, as I am doing something that will cause the postcards to come to me, they won’t just magically turn up on their own. But I am going to be in contact for the briefest moment with a stranger, somewhere in the world. They will send me a postcard they think is cool. They will write something on the back. And that’s all. Little slices of life.