I recently rejoined Postcrossing, a project which allows users to request addresses in order to exchange postcards with other members. Upon registering, you can request up to five addresses which are assigned randomly. You write a unique identifying number on the postcards that you sent and when a user receives one of those cards, he/she registers that number on Postcrossing as “received”. You do the same with any postcards that you receive. Each time one of your cards is received, you can request an additional address and you can increase the amount traveling as more of your cards are registered.
I was a member of Postcrossing during the time I lived in Chalong, a community in the southern part of Phuket. The post office that handled our mail was the Rawai branch and our letter carrier was extremely reliable. I received a great number of postcards while living there. The majority of those were from Finland and the Netherlands.
Now that I live in Phuket Town, mail delivery is much more haphazard and I rarely receive things that friends and family members tell me they have sent. Last year when the State Department mailed my new passport (by registered mail), it arrived fairly quickly but it was just left on the unmanned front desk in the lobby of my guesthouse. Anybody could have taken it!
Somebody recently told me that such mail items as postcards aren’t considered “important” and that it was up to the Thai Post letter carriers whether to deliver them or not! Don’t know how true this is and one has to consider the legality of such an action.
To test this, I sent myself a postcard from the main post office at the end of last month. I had to buy the stamp from a table located at the side of the lobby and then give it to another clerk at the main counter. I watched him postmark it and throw it into a plastic bin full of other mail. That card finally arrived at my apartment yesterday, taking only NINE DAYS to travel a distance I can walk in about ten minutes!
No telling how long my first five Postcrossing postcards will take to reach their destinations, all of which are in Russia (three to Moscow, one to St. Petersburg, and one to someplace in the southwest). But I am somewhat heartened that the postcard I sent to myself did arrive so perhaps I will actually receive a few from fellow Postcrossers.
I’ll report on any postcards that make it here…