On June 17th, 2011, I send out a message on Twitter and Facebook asking friends outside of Vietnam if they would like to receive a real, hand-written letter from me. Ten people said that yes, they would. I took it upon myself to write an 11th letter to an old friend who I’d been out of contact with for some time as well.
I mailed the first letter out to my sister-in-law, Diana on June 20th. And today, August 12th, 2011, I mailed the final letter out.
I decided that I really like writing letters, even though it is slower, more expensive and more inconvenient than email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. At one point back in July, I was on a letter-writing binge and there were a couple days when I wrote two letters a day.
It takes more effort, yes, but it is so much more satisfying, at least for me (and I hope the recipients too). So far, I have received two replies and have been overjoyed to open my mailbox and find them. Sitting down and reading them, I feel so much closer to the people who sent them. The messy handwriting is sometimes like a code and the feel of paper between my fingers is comforting.
Despite the additional effort, I’m going to continue to try to write at least one letter a month. The problem is, I might run out of people to send them to. Let me know if you want one; if you receive one from me, be sure to write back.
P.S.: Here’s a picture I took at the Saigon Central Post Office at lunchtime when I mailed the final letter.