Postcrossing Spotlight: MacKittens from Germany!
Here is what she had to say to our interview questions:
- How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?
I have always enjoyed buying and writing postcards. I like pretty pictures. Then I saw an ad for postcrossing on a paperbag for postcards, liked the idea and I immediately signed up. I then checked my e-mail account every 5 minutes for a Hurray message. I was so impatient! I am much more relaxed now. I only check my account every 10 minutes.
Writing postcards is also tradition in my family. I think my father writes about 10 postcards per week to family and friends and my mother sends greeting cards with beautiful pictures she took herself. I sometimes use her pictures on my postcards - professionally printed of course.
I work as a teacher at a vocational school - so I enjoy being around people. I like to get in contact with them. Now with Postcrossing I have the chance to get to know people from all over the world. I love it. It's fantastic.
- Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
This picture shows my postwoman. She is THE BEST! My street is the very last on her trip so I get my post very late in the afternoon. But if I happen to meet her earlier that day she often tells me excitedly that I am going to receive some wonderful postcards. She likes it best when I receive postcards with cats. Just like me she is a cat-person. And if she has the time she even reads the message on the back. I like that. It is nice that even other people enjoy my postcards.
- Have you met any other members in real life?
I have been to five postcrossing meetings here in Germany so far. The very first meeting was in Hamburg in August 2013 where I met frisendeern, mondkind and schlafmohn. We have been such good friends ever since and try to meet at least twice a month. I cannot imagine a life without them now!
Last year, they persuaded me to come to the International Postcrossing Meeting in Bielefeld in organized by the most wonderful nordbaer. I was so scared at first but I quickly felt welcomed by everyone. As I said: postcrossers are kind people! Now I am addicted to meetings.
- Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.
Postcrossers are such kind people! I am often overwhelmed by the effort the sender made to please me. Just one example: In my profile I wrote that I am a huge fan of Ryan Gosling and I have received so many handmade cards with pictures of him! Thank you!!!
But to be honest: every postcard I receive is special. It is so interesting to read about the sender's life. Rosie sent a postcard with the Prince Edward Island on it telling me that she was on holiday there - her first holiday in three years! Her job in a musical company kept her so busy. Sanna from Finland tells me that in autumn you can see many moose on the roads which can be quite dangerous; Angela from Taiwan writes about her sausage dogs who likes hugs - especially in winter; Katalonia from Finland writes that her oldest children have just moved out and she thinks it is exciting but on the other hand she also feels sad; Bonnie from China tells me that pandas are their national animals and they always look fat, and love to sleep all the time except when they eat bamboo; Maria from Russia admits that she just sat down at her desk to do some work but instead writes a postcard to me; Evy's favorite movie is Amélie; and Judith from China is excited because it is her very first postcards she sends with Postcrossing - and these are just a few examples of the many wonderful cards I have received so far. I really liked this one from Lydia, who agreed to let me share it with you:
- Have you inspired anyone else to join Postcrossing or start collections of their own?
I inspired my mother-in-law to join postcrossing. Now, whenever I come across a postcard with camels it goes directly to her address. She is even planning to do an English course when she retires so that she can write longer messages.
I also created a school account. Now I tell my students about postcrossing and have them write postcards. First, they usually look very skeptic. Writing is not really their "thing". But then I show them the postcards we have received so far and let my students read them out loud. They soon enjoy the idea of Postcrossing and want to write at least one postcard. I encourage them not to write in German/English but in their mother tongue which makes them so proud! We have got a lot of foreign students. The postcards we receive at school I exhibit and there are always students standing in front of the pinboard during the break and reading the messages.
- Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?
I once received a postcard from Madagascar! The ID was MG-118. My lowest ID ever! Kate sent the postcard and told me that Madagascar is the fourth poorest country in the world and that she runs a charity there for poor children to go to school. Surprisingly the postcard took only 13 days to arrive!
- What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about my job. I like working as a teacher! My students are 16 - 25 years old. I prefer working with older students :-) At school I organize work placements abroad. They are funded by the EU so the students don't have to pay anything. So far we have sent students to Birmingham, Portsmouth and Malta. But I just made a contract with a lovely lady from Tampere and another lovely man from Stockholm! So soon we will also offer wonderful Finland and Sweden as work placement destinations, as well as Poland because my father works there a lot and knows a lot of companies there.
I love organizing this! I believe in the importance of a united Europe. Getting our countries closer together is so important! Learning about foreign culture and language is fundamental for a better understanding.
And I am always so impressed by the language skills in foreign countries! In Scandinavia the people speak such fantastic English. When I compare that to my students I feel rather embarrassed. A huge barrier in Germany for improving one's English is that ALL foreign movies or TV series are in German. I hate that so much! On German TV all the TV channels are in German. I know from other countries that they only use subtitles. That is such a huge mistake we make here. I wished there would be at least one channel on TV using only German subtitles... Sometimes I am impressed by the language skills of some students and when I ask them how they have learned such good English they tell me: Online role playing games :-)