Tuesday, February 19, 2008

there was no internet back then

i was reading the day zero blog back during the holiday season. i was looking for a new hobby to keep me off the streets and i was working out some resolutions and goals for 2008. (i was able to come up with a pretty good list. maybe for 2009 i will act on them). anyway, day zero introduced me to postcrossing. the husband thought i was kind of crazy at first (which is normal) but i was all kinds of excited to have a very noncommittal pen pal.

yes i was excited to have many different pen-pals from all over the world whom i would only ever have to write 4 lines or so to. truth is that i had a pen pal back in middle school. i believe i used the service advertised in the back of 17 magazine. she was a girl my same age from sweden. i chose sweden because i had spent most of the 7th grade studying sweden as a country of my ancestry and baking swedish pastries and trying to convince my mom that it would in fact be a bad idea to have me dress up as st. lucia and parade around the house wearing a crown of candles. now that i think of it maybe i should have gone for that so i could post the pictures and make my own daughter do that one day should i have one. i'm betting that would just thrill my mother to no end.

anyway, my pen pal and i exchanged letters for some time. then she had the great idea to exchange recorded tapes of us talking. that was fun and i felt cool when i would receive a package in the mail that was stamped from across the globe and i could play my tape for my girlfriends and say things like "inga is so cool. she really has blond hair, too!" i learned
about her life in sweden which didn't seem any different than mine really except that she always talked about going to the disco which mystified me. i get it now that i'm older and wiser.

but the commitment of full time pen-paling was too large for my 12 year old self. see, i would have to buy the blank tapes, and the mailers and then convince my mom to drive me the whole 4 miles to the post office and pay for airmail postage. and well, i was that kid that didn't really like to ask for stuff and going to post office required waiting in line and then i had to take time out from my busy schedule of reading 17 and taping singles off of the radio in order to create a totally riveting version of my life for my friend in sweden. so basically, i stopped writing to my pen pal and it fell off my radar until i read about this site. i wonder what ever happened to inga?

so i signed up right away and requested some addresses. i sent off my cards and in about 3 weeks i started to get cards of my own. i have received cards from japan, italy, taiwan, finland, new zeland and estonia (which i have to admit i didn't even know existed until the card arrived). this is a sampling of what i have received. i'm into the pictures on the cards and seeing what the postage looks like and trying to decipher the english is fun too. oh, and i get to take it one card at a time. very minimal commitment needed.

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