unfamiliar with postcard

Same here for Ukraine. It warms my heart when I open a bag of incoming mail and see a postcard that appears to be written by a younger person, for somebody in my village who is not me, not a PX card. It makes me go “Aw yesss, the old poscard isn’t dead and buried yet!”


Here it’s the same. Once two university students were walking right behind me and discussing their recent visit to a post office. One of them had to send some documents via a registered letter. She said she only managed because she had her mum on the phone walking her step by step through what she needed to do. And she concluded that if she had to send something again, she would call her mum again because she couldn’t remember the procedure.


Assuming that the woman you asked about postcards was a Rutgers student, it’s a shame she was unfamiliar with them. Just because people might not make use of something, like postcards, or physical mail in general, you would hope that they’d at least be aware of them. I’ve never used a telegraph, or sent a letter via the Pony Express, but at least I know what they were.


What is the procedure for sending a registered letter wher you’re at, do you know? I can’t imagine it’s so complicated and hard to remember…


It’s really rather simple, I’ve done it countless times, last time just this week (also sending some documents).

You basically need to address the envelope correctly (from what I gathered from the conversation, already this was a problem) - address of the recipient in the middle and address of the sender in the top left corner, and then fill the registered letter form (available for free in any post office, you don’t need to ask the clerk, they are just lying in a place accessible to everybody who enters) with the same information - sender’s and recipient’s addresses.

Then you take it to the counter and the postal employee does the rest - they will ask you if you want priority or not, information if the item has been delivered via SMS/mail (you can check that yourself on their website too) and put the label with tracking code for you. That’s it!

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Huh, it appears to be largely the same as here, except we don’t do blank forms - you just tell the clerk all the info, they enter it into the system and put a barcode sticker onto the letter (and, of course, they put a stamp on the envelope if you don’t have any). You can even pre-register the letter online and either print the label out yourself or take the letter to the post office and tell the employees the tracking number that you were given. That way, you don’t even have to actually write the addresses.

I never realised this could be an issue for some people. Well, I do know that some don’t know how to address letters correctly, but here at UA national post, where I work, we don’t even mind it when addresses are written in the wrong order, we just need them to be in the right places (top left for sender, bottom right for recipient) or otherwise clarified. I’ve had a customer that wrote her name as “Human woman X from the Y family line”, and I just went along with it.

Hopefully, with enough practice, that person can memorise the process. Knowing how to physically mail things is still a good skill to have.


Perhaps you can do some of the process online here as well, I have never bothered to learn :smiley: Since you have to take the letter to the post office anyway.

Oh, and you can’t use the stamps on registered mail anymore, since a few years. The sticker with tracking code is also the “stamp”. It’s in two parts - one goes on your letter and one on the form you filled, so you can then later enter the code at the website for tracking (if you are interested).

Oh, that is rather convenientl! We don’t do that for internal letters* because barcodes also get used for other things, like internal company mail (e.g., the previous postmaster forgot to give me the spare key to the office, so she mailed it to me from her new office), and they can be printed out as needed, as much as you please - so it’s best not to use them as proof of purchase. And because we don’t have those forms, the letter’s tracking number is printed on the receipt. We do have something similar for parcels, though.

*We also don’t do that for international letters, even though int’l barcodes aren’t printed out at will, they’re given out. We don’t do that for letters at all. Your guess as to why is as good as mine, I think it’s because they also get lost easily. But pre-registered letters can be prepaid. Still have to take them to a postal clerk though.

I’m 99% sure that they’re all students that work there. After the third and four time with me trying to describe it I just give up there was no language barrier or nothing like that

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A friend of mine was in a gift shop in a town right outside the entrance to a national park. She asked if they had postcards, and the clerk didn’t know what postcards were. On a related note, a friend and I were lost on a country road in Louisiana with no GPS and stopped at a store to see if they had maps. There were two clerks probably in their late twenties. One said, “I don’t know what those are.” The other made motions in the air and said, “Is that one of those folding things?”


That is WILD to hear!

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A few years ago, it occurred to me that my generation (I am in my fifties) is going to be the last one to remember life before the internet, [edit: I’m talking about into adulthood - so living decades, plural - a good portion of adult life - before the internet was a common/routine thing] (smartphones, online social media/messaging, etc). Things like vinyl records, cassette tapes, analogue radio, writing cheques…. including writing real letters and postcards as a matter of course without giving it a second thought. Feels weird really!


My granddaughter was helping with my mail a few years back. She asked me how to get the stamps to stick. You lick them🙈


This reminds me of when I had to explain to a classmate at university that while, yes, I am from Scandinavia, that is not a country, which is why I am also from Norway. He kept insisting Scandinavia was a country.

I’ve also found that Brits will insist that Finland is part of Scandinavia, but often exclude Denmark.


I think you are not quite the last generation - I am 34 and I do remember “life before the Internet” because it only came to really be used when I was about 10. I also remember vinyls, cassette recorders (I got a CD player when I was 10) etc. But I also always think that I was born on a turning point - I remember these things from my childhood but a lot of them changed in my teens.
Regarding the topic: I have never met anyone who did not know what a postcard was but I have known people my age who were not entirely certain where to write the address on a letter e.g. I find it super strange because I am so used to writing postcards and letters.


Perhaps that’s one way of separating Postcrossers generationally; those who remember having to lick postage stamps, and those who’ve only been alive during the self-adhesive era.


I think that is quite a common misconception, actually. At least also around here, from what I can tell. Haven’t heard about Denmark being excluded, just all the countries with “similar flag design” - I think you know what I mean - being grouped as Scandinavia.

Depressing though it is, I think this thread could be the basis for a really interesting blog post. Just a suggestion @meiadeleite


I’m a Brit and I’ve never been clear on what countries ‘Scandinavia’ includes, so I don’t use the term. :face_with_peeking_eye::upside_down_face:


On a related side note about mistaken countries, British tabloid The Sun used China’s flag when speaking about Singapore :person_shrugging: this was last year.
For the umpteen time - Singapore is not China