Thursday, 9 February 2012

Friendship between the lines - Part I

When I was around 13-14 years old, my English teacher suggested one way to practise writing and comprehension skills to the class; that was finding international penpals. The idea interested me since then! I suddenly subscribed to the postal database for penpals. Nowadays, you certainly don't have to move yourself anywhere, you should find so many on-line services for the same purpose. Twenty years ago you had to register your info filling out a paper form. However, it had its fascination. When you get something too quickly and too easily, you might not enjoy it enough. You lose some feeling but sometimes you don't even realise you've missed it. Anyway, the new generations may not feel any pity missing that kind of feeling...simply because they've never known it.

I was so enthusiastic that I picked up 3 or 4 penpals at one time, each from different countires. I wrote my first letters introducing myself, telling my physical aspect, my interests, my favorite songs and movies, etc. After mailing them, I waited each day a reply. I knew it took time...but it seemed too much time. Finally one day after school my mom showed me an envelop with foreign was such an exciting thing for me at that time! The first girl who sent me the reply was from Finland. She told her name, her date of birth and she talked about her school and her living place. I still remember her first letter and her handwriting. I didn't wait too much to write her the 2nd letter and then we began to exchange our photos.

A little bit later, I got the reply from another girl. She was German. I remember her first letter and her handwriting too. Slowly the number of my penpals increased. I began to receive new contacts, we swapped small friendship books; kind of sheets strappled together which one began to sign and send to another and after a long trip around the world the last person signing on them sent them back to the initiators...aftera long time they get back to the owners. For years I've had totally 10 penpals to whom I kept writing and tightening the friendship. I spent my weekly wages from my parents on stamps!


  1. I used to swap friendship books, too! Where did they come from? Do they still exist? I loved them!

    1. You're right! It was a beautiful thing but I believe no-one is doing it nowadays, what a pity :(


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