May 18, 2017
Hi Jingting (Zhang). You’re a first year university student and I understand that one of your hobbies is writing postcards and that you combined this with an interest in making new friends from around the world. Please can you share with readers a bit more about this?
I use a website called Postcrossing. It’s designed for people who like receiving postcards from far flung places. If you are interested in receiving real postcards from people from different cultures and backgrounds, the program provides a good opportunity to do so. In addition, the website’s service is free of charge which is great.
So how does it work exactly?
The exchange progress is actually quite simple and fun. For example, I sent my first postcard about 2 years ago. Firstly, the system selected an address for me at random to address it to. I received an ID number for my postcard, a person’s address and their profile in an email. I then choose a postcard based on their stated preference and wrote down something about myself. Finally, I sent the postcard to the address which the website supplied me with.
Did it actually work?
A few days later, the person registered my postcard on the website and the system started to select different people to send a postcard to me. I still felt surprised when I first received a postcard via the website. This was mainly because the website will not let you know which person has been chosen to send you a postcard until you receive it.
Do you think that’s a good thing?
I think the rule is quite useful as in increases interest and means your life has a bit more surprise and perhaps expectation.
What happens if you don’t have time to select, write and send a postcard?
When you are too busy to send a postcard, you can choose to freeze your account and you will not be selected to either send or receive a postcard.
Have you received any interesting postcards from places?
Since I started to participate in this project I have received postcards from Belarus, the Czech Republic and Germany, amongst others. In my views, it is a good way to learn about different cultures as well as to collect stamps.
Thank you for your time.
About the Column
This series focuses on individuals who have lived in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province for a while and have a tale that’s worth telling. Age, gender, nationality and race are all unimportant in comparison with what adventures the subject has been up to, the experiences they can recount.