unfamiliar with postcard

just interesting story i had today :slight_smile:

so i live in a shared house with my friends. our generation dont really write letter or postcard anymore.

when my postcard arrive, they said that “citaa, you got a love letter!” :joy:
and “why it’s not covered in envelope, every one can read that then…” :laughing::sweat_smile:
and i answered, “well it’s supposed to be that way…”

do you have any interesting story with people who are unfamiliar with postcard? or mail in general? :slight_smile:


My students had no idea what a postcard was so it was nice to tell them about the traditional way of sending messages and their reply was - “Why would you not use WhatsApp/Instagram instead it’s so much faster!!!” :woman_facepalming:t3::joy:


You won’t believe it! When I had just started the postcrossing, the postal worker expressed rather annoyed surprise: “Is it allowed to send it at all? I don’t think so!” (I don’t remember why I didn’t throw the postcards in the box, but brought them inside the post office. Maybe it was a blizzard and I wanted them under the roof and safe.)


One of my pen friends in the USA, who isn’t a Postcrosser, sends me postcards whenever she goes places and once the young sales assistant did not know, what a postcard is… :roll_eyes:


I met many postcards sellers, mostly at touristic booths nearby a landmark or a sightseeing spot, who kept convincing me that postcards is a thing of the past. Nobody is sending postcards nowadays, they said.

There’s also a local artist who sells her children’s books, stickers and postcards, but never heard of postcrossing. So she was surprised when I bought 10 cards by her and asked to see which ones :sweat_smile:


During the month of letters (February) I write to my daughters housemates. They are students going to the university nearby and almost always, are young adults. They may not receive letters or postcards regularly but were thrilled to receive some “old fashioned “ happy mail. And they may not have known what a postcard is but enjoyed the picture and the message.

Note, I mail postcard, letters, and boxes to my daughter regularly. If they picked up her mail (which housemates do) they will have seen all the different types of mail.


Back when I attended post office clerk (officially called mail service operator here, dontchaknow) job training, we trainees had all the different types of postage explained to us - letter, card, parcel, small package, etc. When we got to cards, a lady very sincerely asked what they were. The trainer explained that they were a kind of postage that contains a short message and is usually sent without an envelope. She was utterly confused by the idea that written correspondence could be sent without envelopes, and I chimed in to explain that cards usually do not contain any confidential information, and they’re not designed to, “That can be like sending someone a picture and a text from your holiday, except from before the Internet was around”.

Now, that’s a normal question to ask. But, as acting postmaster, I once had a man in his thirties come in and ask to mail a letter, and he was utterly unfamiliar with the concept of stamps. Not just what their function was, but what they actually looked like - he said something along the lines of “I was told to mail this with a stamp? I’m not sure what that is,” and when he bought a stamp, he asked what else he needed to pay to have the letter mailed, and I had to explain that a stamp was proof of purchase.

This all is extra weird to me because I’m younger than both of these people. As of writing this, I am twenty-four, I had my first actual encounters with cards, letters, and stamps when I was about ten years old and reckoned postcrossing was fun and sending physical letters to my online friends was really sweet. I learned how to write addresses on envelopes and cards in my Ukrainian language class in primary school. My mother says she learned how to mail things in school as well, except addresses were written differently in the USSR, backwards, so to speak. So meeting people older than myself and yet not familiar with what I’ve always accepted as normal mail things was and is a wild experience.


Oh, now I must try to purchase a postcard from a small touristy spot this summer, just to look at people’s faces. That is, if they have any postcards. If they don’t, that’s a big ole pity, because it’s a lovely outdoors ethnographic museum, with plenty of exhibits and views that would be perfect for cards.


That’s very sweet! And you’re being educational!


I had one of these experiences just this week! There is a post office near me that sells a huge variety of prepaid postcards — many more than most post offices. But two days ago I handed the same clerk who is always there (maybe the owner?) a written prepaid postcard to send, and they were really confused and suspicious! I had to reassure them multiple times that it was just a prepaid postcard [like all the ones over on that rack] and they read the postage part multiple times!

Apparently no one is sending all those prepaid postcards they offer!


Oh my god! Poor clerk, and those poor cards! Can’t imagine the “Do they not know what this is or are they insane?” glances they must have exchanged with their coworkers.


Not quite the same thing but when I posted some of my first cards last year the youngish gentleman working in the post office queried Finland: ‘Is it a country?’


In my country in many post offices staff never seen postcards before. I used to send mail from different post offices in my country and had to explain that postcards can be sent without envelope. Because very often staff demanded to pay as for letter and send in envelope despite they have postcard rate in their price list. They don’t know about it. Postcrossers always know postal rates better than some postal workers :grin:


I enjoy sending my grandchildren bright and challenging picture postcards. “You are so old! - Just text me.” Finding appropriate postcards for each age is an adventure for me! Most of them do not use the post office any more, so this is a connection with the postal agency and a “new” way to communicate. I reached a pinnacle of success when my first grandchild who is studying in university sent me a postcard to mark the Year of the Dragon. He had drawn the art himself!


I once went to a college store to look for postcards for the school I was visited. It was Rutgers in New Jersey and I had to explain to the young lady what a postcard was because she kept thinking I wanted sticky notes


On Monday we took two of our grandchildren in to London. Main event was the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tower of London.
I was so excited to purchase postcards to send all over the world… nah ! They had a few of some crown jewels but thats was all. Most disappointing :disappointed:


These stories are really sad :smiling_face_with_tear: :sweat_smile:


I’m finding them astonishing. I had no idea that there’s now a whole generation who don’t understand about postcards, and in many cases, how the postal system, stamps etc. work.

And all I can do about the Tower of London (one of the UK’s major tourist sites) shop not having postcards of the buildings is shake my head in disbelief. I’m dismayed. @tesc


I was ready to buy 20 :laughing: - you could cry. Nothing from the coronation of jewels being used / no cards of the crown used last year ! I wasn’t happy.
I hope I have better luck on my travels this summer !


Me neither :worried: This thread made me realize that I seem to live in a country that’s priviledged postcard wise. Here every book shop, souvenir shop, museum, large tourist attraction, tobacco store etc. usually have postcards. Often you can see postcard carousels standing in front of those stores. I do live in the capital, but I would think it’s similar in smaller cities, especially tourist locations. I (want to) believe that younger generations here in Austria absolutely know what postcards are and how they are used :sweat_smile: