The Death Of The Postcard
Such a small thing, a postcard is, and yet when it is received from a far away land it is treasured. It was this week that I determined to buy a postcard for my friend in Chile. They had requested one specifically from me and touched that they would want such a thing from me, I diligently set out to the nearest store to get it. It did not deter me when upon arriving at the store, there were no postcards for since the store was in a plaza, I was sure that I would be able to pick it up in one of the many others.
An hour later, I emerged empty-handed. Since when did postcards become so scarce? Was I that out of it that I did not realize that the postcard was practically extinct? But I still tried to convince myself that perhaps it was just that plaza. I would try the mall. The mall after all has everything doesn't it? Two hours and three Advil later, I was empty-handed (well not really I stumbled upon a sale and got a great bargain but that is another story) and deeply disappointed. Was it really true? Has the world gotten so far into technology that the simplest yet treasured memorabilia had been almost eradicated?
Eventually I did find a shop which sold them. It was one of those old, dusty shops where mystery lurks in every corner, where the owner (an old man wearing a hat as old as Cortes) knows everything about the old days and where a big franchise will probably come and erase every trace, every tinkle of the bell to the shop, and no one will remember that it existed. I was pleased with my find, buying as many as I could as well as treasures from the past which I had not seen in years. The old man told me the history of the places in the postcards and I heard many a story I had never heard before. This land (not only the land on which I stand but the land where you stand as well) is so pregnant with history and yet most do not seem to notice nor take time to hear of our ancestors struggles.
I ended up posting two to my Chilean amigo (one of the great waterfalls and another of one of the well known landmarks). The rest I put carefully into a box where they will stay so that if the postcard does die, it will not die entirely.
Perhaps this is not the case worldwide. Perhaps it is just my country where the people seem to forget the old treasures and forge on to new cold ways of communication. Maybe there are still places where you can walk into any convenience store and right away see the rack where the postcards are. I would love to know where this place is. Can anyone tell me?