I remember how we used to have class activities that require us to write letters addressed to our parents and actually send them through the post to check if we understood the process — reality check, I was never able to use that “skill”. Not until a few years after getting a degree at least. With emails, instant messaging and mobile communication apps fast emerging in the market, snail mails are the last thing anyone will think of nowadays.
But when I attended a travel writing workshop a while back, Ms. Fonacier the speaker, talked about postcards and how she sends them out. She would buy a postcard from countryA and send them from countryB — because… well, just because. As silly and nonchalant as it sounds, I adopted her fantastic idea and bought a postcard in Taiwan during my November 2011 trip. Since the plan was to send them to my parents, I was unable to send them back home until September 2012 when I finally went on a trip without them.
Despite the length of time before I was able to actually send the postcard home, it seems that things fell into the right places. That’s thanks to the fact that the Saigon Central Post Office is a tourist spot, and so my travel buddies didn’t mind accompanying me to the place — even when they had to wait for a good 40 minutes while I figured out how to send the postcard the hard way because of language barriers. After finishing with my first “chain snail mail” — which ended up to be a parcel worth 61,000 VND given it is a wooden postcard — I met up with my friends in the souvenir stalls along the post office entrance and found a pretty pop-up card of the neighboring Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica to send home during my next, rather solo, trip to Perth.
As expected, I arrived home from my four-day trip before the parcel did. But when it did reach home, it was found to be pretty special – simply because snail mails are the last thing anyone will think of nowadays.
Photostream: Saigon Central Post Office