You’ve heard of tree huggers.
You’ve heard of free huggers.
But, have you heard of a postbox hugger? That’s me.
A self proclaimed deltiologist, I’ve been fascinated by postcards since god knows when. When I was a kid, my uncle used to send snail mail regularly to my grandparents and I used to rip off the stamps even before they laid hands on the important letter. Snail mail started fascinating me. Then, a couple of my friends from school traveled outside India and I pleaded them to send me letters or postcards. The day I received my first postcard from Germany (Thanks to a dear friend who moved there) and soon after, a post card from the USA (my best friend traveled there), I was addicted. The email age came and I was still writing letters and postcards to people. For those who still did not get it, deltiology is the official name for postcard collecting and is thought to be one of the three greatest hobbies apart from stamp and coin collecting.
So, these are reasons why I am / am not a deltiologist, in no particular order –
1. The first thing I do apart from finding a tourist information office in any city is finding the post office.
2. I’ve spent more time selecting postcards for friends than eating breakfast, lunch, dinner in every trip. My husband will certify this.
3. I can spot a mail van / post box from a mile but I cannot spot a Mc Donalds.
4. I went into a 2 week depression when 1 set of postcards of mine from Argentina did not reach my best friends.
5. I live in this imaginary romantic world where I think that you can explain your life’s purpose on postcards. (If you were to explain this in corporate language, why make a power point presentation, that too a lengthy one when you can make your point in one page)
6. There is nothing more exciting to me than receiving a postcard. For every 100 or so that I send, I receive one. So, obviously it is exciting.
7. Postcards are great bribes when you want to ask your boss for leave.
8. You can break up or make up on a post card. Its the closest to being face to face. Forget the mobile phone, chat, blackberry, etc of the world.
9. The one thing I treasure most in my life is the 40 odd postcards I have received from my Grandfather when I was in college. Old yellow postcards. Written with all the love and care in the world. I just hope I had replied to every one of them. I know I did not. He probably got one letter from me for every 10 he sent. I’m making up by sending cards to the whole world now.
10. Postcards make me cry. More than onions and lovers quarrel.
11. They say a deltiologist can track history with postcards. Well, I know one thing for sure. If I were to read the postcards I sent to myself (I started doing that since others dont), it would make a historical diary
So, I’ll leave you with my favourite images of postcards, postboxes and all things beautiful. The thing I spend more time in when I am traveling. Even more than sightseeing.
This was taken in Windsor, England and this is one of the oldest postboxes of England. It has a vertical opening instead of a horizontal one and this is how postboxes used to be till they discovered water used to go in during rainy season. Then, they changed it to a horizontal opening with a cap 🙂 This is one of the postboxes I hugged.
The lady in the post office in Antigua, Guatemala assuring me that these cards would reach in 3 to 4 weeks. I did not let go till then. Remember that moment vividly.
Stuck in the middle of the jungle trekking for 4 days in Chapada Diamantina, Brazil. There were no postcards. So, I wrote postcard length notes and later, pasted them onto cards and mailed them. The strong black coffee (Brazilian coffee) – Oooooh, I would kill for that.
God bless people who built post offices. Check out the brass work in the post office in Mexico city. ‘Estampillas’ sound as enticing as ‘Enchiladas’.
Hope I have given you enough reason to send a postcard instead of an email. If you are inspired, send one to the Ninja. Shoot me a comment and I’ll send you my address.
Stamped with love. This is Ninja signing out.