Sunday, March 17, 2013

Snail-mailers around the globe: Spain

After a short break, here's the third interview and we have Arianne who is venezuelan but lives in Spain right now. I met her via the Postcrossing forum and it's been great to get to know her because she's really cool and really nice. 

In what snail-mailing activities do you take part? 
Postcard swapping. 

How did you became a snail-mailer?
I discovered a friend from El Salvador was swapping postcards. She uploaded to Facebook a lot of beautiful images of those postcards, so I asked her about them and she explained to me what Postcrossing is and then I decided to register on the website. 

For how long have you been doing this?
A year and a half.

Can you show three of your favorite postcards and make a little explanation on why you like them?

My very first postcard from Postcrossing. It came from Poland, but it took so long that I believed I was never going to receive my first postcard. The sender explained to me that he asked for the address and then forgot to send my card. Weeks later he realized this and sent it, 50 days later I found the postcard in my mail-box. 

Another special postcard from the official website. It's from Nepal, the most exotic country I've received so far... and the sender was a little girl. 

Last but not least , I'm a huge fan of manga and anime since I was a child. Saint Seiya (Also known as Knights of the Zodiac/ Los Caballeros del Zodiaco) is one of my favorite anime series of all times, and one day a girl from the Postcrossing forum saw my avatar (which was one of the characters of this series) and she wrote me a u2u (message) because she is a fan too, but she's from the very own country of Saint Seiya: Japan, waaaaaa! We had long conversations via u2u about the series and other anime and manga, we swapped some postcards and she sent me this one. I could barely believe it when I saw the postcard in my hands.

How much does it cost to send a postcard in your country?
Through Spain it's 0.37 , to Europe 0.75 € and to the rest of the world 0.90 
But every year the postal rate increases 1 cent (inner rate) and 5 cents (the other two), so in two years we'll be paying 1 € to send a single postcard outside of Europe.

In fact, those rates are for 20 grams, that means I can send three regular postcards in an envelope for the same price as a single postcard stamped.  

Do you have any theme collections? If you do, why are you collecting them?
I'm not a big collector, but there are certain postcards that I like more for no particular reason. Those postcards are lighthouses, dragons, fairies, angels, butterflies, anime/manga and Hello Kitty.
It's weird because when I started in Postcrossing I didn't know that I was going to like lighthouses or Hello Kitty that much, but here I am now collecting them.  

If you are into pen-paling, from which countries do you have pen-pals from?
In the past (like 10 years ago) I used to write greeting cards for birthdays and Christmas to some fellow friends that I made on internet forums. Most of them live in your country (Mexico) and others in Argentina, but right now I'm not writing to anyone.  

Have you discovered any destination you'd like to travel to thanks to a postcard?
Not yet, but I'm afraid that some day I'll receive a lovely postcard from some amazing place in the world and I will never rest until I go there.
However in my first visit to The Netherlands something really weird happened to me. I was in Den Haag (The Haag/La Haya) visiting the Parliament and I saw the Ridderzaal (The Knight's hall) and it was like a deja-vu because weeks before that I had received a postcard with that building on it but I didn't knew where it was located. 

Please share a few facts about other countries you've learned thanks to postcards or letters:

  • My address includes a "ñ" so I realized that in all the postcards I receive from countries with cyrillic alphabet they write with a different character instead the ñ, I think it's related with the codification they use in their computers. 
  • I've learned that some countries have "Poste restante" on their post offices, that way people who are moving to another place or maybe going on vacation can receive all their mail in certain post office if they write Poste restante and the address of that office on the mail. 

A few fun/strange/surprising facts you'd like to share about your country?
Spain is not my homeland, I wasn't born here. I moved from Venezuela to Spain five years ago but one of the things I enjoy the most of Spain is the great culture they have around food and spending time with family or friends around the table talking about sports, politics, gossip, etc. It's amazing. 
Also I love the "siesta". Siesta is an institution in Spain and it's the time you use after lunch to take a nap for 20 or 30 minutes.  

In your opinion, what is it that makes sending postcards and letters through snail-mail special?
To me is special because in this time of fast technologies developing, writing by hand sounds like something anachronistic. It's not the same as writing an e-mail, at least I need to be in the right mood to write. It's like a ritual to me to find the mood and then sit to write using different colored pens.
I think we aren't special because we are writing by hand but because we are keeping alive "ancient" ways of communication. Also I love to see different types of handwritings from all over the world.

Muchísimas gracias Arianne!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to you for the interviews.
    It's very nice to learn about other snail-mailers around the world.