Sometimes, just sometimes things can go a little awry in the world of snail mail. For example, Queenie over at Queenie and the Dew keeps getting her own mailed letters returned to her by Royal Mail in the UK. Wouldn't that just drive you nuts?
I had my own little misadventure the other day, and it was to do with a Postcrossing postcard that I'd sent to Spain. I was happy to hear that my postcard had arrived safe and sound but was absolutely flabbergasted by the comment from the recipient. She said she was 'disappointed' with the card because it wasn't a 'proper' postcard. She told me that postcrossing was about sending real postcards, not photos stuck to paper.
My immediate thought was "How rude!" Truth be known, I don't adore every card I get sent but I realise that the sender picked that card out for me, wrote on it, paid postage and mailed it - therefore I would never criticise them.
Is that just me? Are others more choosy? I'm still in my early days with postcrossing.... once I've received 500 postcards will I be more picky?
I had a few other responses, too! Particularly re her comment that Postcrossing was about sending proper postcards. Is it? I know that many participants are happy to send and receive handmade postcards (me included). In fact, I value anything a bit different, quirky or unique.
I also think that Postcrossing is about the spirit of friendship and generosity and reaching out to others around the world. To say it is just about sending proper postcards really minimises it, as far as I'm concerned.
So, what about the postcard I had sent her?
The thing is that my little town of Yass (pop. 5000) doesn't have a lot of 'official' postcards. The newsagents only stocks one that has an actual view of Yass, and that is a picture of the Court House. It's a big white building with grand stairs leading up to a portico and Grecian style columns. Nice, but after I'd sent about half a dozen of those I got bored.
I discovered a few more Yass postcards at the Tourist Info Centre... the only problem being that most of them had a ubiquitous picture of sheep or grapevines or a sunset. Any of those photos could have come from a hundred different regions in Australia; they weren't unique views of Yass. I resorted to sending postcards of Canberra, Goulburn, Young and other nearby towns (anywhere I went on my travels I made sure to pick up a few postcards).
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I went into a photo shop in Yass where they print photos and sell frames etc. I noticed they had a display stand of postcards that were very unique and quirky. They were all black and white photos of things around Yass - and yes, they are just a photo attached to a piece of card with the typical postcard lines and graphic printed on the back, and at the bottom it says Photo Image Yass.
Naturally, I snapped these up. I thought I had solved my issue of not being able to find postcards in Yass. The shopkeeper also told me they regularly changed the photos they used. 'Yippee!', I thought, "a regular supply of interesting cards."
No doubt you've guessed by now that it was one of these cards that I had sent to Spain.
The recipient and I exchanged a few messages. It seemed that her main problem with my postcard was that it wasn't 'store bought'. When I told her that it had, in fact, been bought in a store and pointed out the Photo Image logo, she apologised and offered to send me a postcard or two to make up for the misunderstanding. I also decided to send her a few more postcards (she is getting one of the Yass Court House, one of some sheep in a paddock that says Yass on it, and a Canberra one).
I am glad we managed to sort out the problem and make amends but I am still pretty astonished that there are Postcrossing participants who might criticise my choice of card. It makes me a little more hesitant to send anything a bit unusual or interesting, and that's a little sad.
Love from Kaz