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Blog > Postcrossing Spotlight: scrutiny from Hong Kong


Meet Iris from Hong Kong. Teacher and student who loves theater, books and much more!

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

A few years ago, I was looking to start new hobbies, which ended up being old hobbies revisited! I recalled my love of writing letters as a child and started seeking for penpals. While I was browsing the penpal site Interpals, I came across a profile that mentioned Postcrossing and naturally, I was intrigued. I visited the site and in a blink of an eye, I was hooked. I collected a few postcards as a child and used them to decorate my room, but I didn’t take collecting seriously until I came across Postcrossing. To this day, I don’t consider myself a collector. The person who’s sending it and the message on the back can sometimes mean more than the card alone. Blank, pristine, unwritten cards, even if they’re pretty or rare, are great, but what makes them truly unique are the words written on them and the sentiment they express, or the moment in time they capture.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

One of the greatest loves in my life, apart from my obsession with snail mail, is theatre. I have worked in a backstage capacity since I was 13 years old. Again, it was an instant passion; I loved it from the first moment I stepped on my secondary school stage. I really love the idea of helping craft a piece of art without being seen. In a way, a play or a musical is like a postcard. It has a time and a place. The character of a postcard comes from the inscription, and the setting is in the picture. Both tell a story.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!

When I started postcrossing, I put my postcards in photo albums and stored them on the shelf.

scrutiny albums

But I realised I don’t like this, as I can’t touch or hold my postcards properly this way. I am just beginning to file and store them in a box.

scrutiny postcards

I also have a CD stand by the side of my table which holds my most recently received postcards, which I haven’t filed away yet.

scrutiny CD stand

I am seriously considering investing in a proper rotating postcard rack, like the ones you find standing outside souvenir shops, so that I can browse through my cards at any time!

Here is my mailbox where I receive my mail and a photo of me posting some postcards.

scrutiny mailbox scrutiny mailbox

Here is my local post office

scrutiny postoffice

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

This is the most difficult question to answer, since there are too many to choose from. I really love this Mona Lisa light switch cover card from Roelof in The Netherlands because it describes me to a T – classic with a touch of irreverence; serious and funny at the same time. I had such a good laugh when I received this card, and it still makes me smile.

scrutiny favourite
Have you met any other members in real life?

We recently held the first ever Hong Kong Postcrossing meeting in August 2010, and eight of us met. It was really nice to meet other postcrossers in Hong Kong! Other postcrossers I have met are kasi0408 and Markus_from_Finland when I was in London in 2008. I was also very lucky to meet Ana and Paulo when they were visiting Hong Kong a few years ago!

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

I am passionate about education and literacy. I really believe that a formal education should not simply focus on forming the students’ ability to pass exams, but to equip them with life skills. I am a tertiary level teacher and I volunteer with the local chapter of Bring Me a Book, an international charity that focuses on making good books accessible to underprivileged children and encourages the strengthening of parent-child bonds through reading aloud. As a child, I read voraciously by myself and with my mother. I know this really helped form my character, as well as giving me a lifelong hobby and skill.

22 comments so far

Jodie05, Australia
Hello Iris!

It is nice to meet you! I understand what you mean about taking your postcards out of albums. I like to be able to see mine all of the time too. I have them hanging on wire strings with magnets but one day I will run out of wall space. Maybe then I will join you with the revolving postcard rack idea!

Best wishes
scrutiny, Hong Kong
Hooray! Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to be featured on this blog. It means a lot to me. :)
jarezien, France
Bonjour Iris,
Nice to see you here today ! Great surprise for me !

tristia, Australia
Lovely to see you on here Iris :) Are you posting something to me in that pic? ;)
sybones, Singapore
Iris!! thanks for sharing!! :) the postcard rack idea is excellent!
honeybee, Austria
Nice to meet you here, Iris. I like your interview.
FloridaGirl, United States of America
What an interesting story you have to tell. Thanks for sharing it with all of us postcrossers.
Mama-Bear, United States of America
Great spotlight, Iris! I love your ideals. Good photos too! Ditto about the card rack. I've always wanted one as well. :o)
anagahan, North Macedonia
Great to see you on the spotlight dear!! I love the interview and the radiant smile you have! hugs to you!
isagv, Germany
Great interview. :)
Blogger, United States of America
I agree with isa - great interview - I love the Mona Lisa postcard!!! what a fun card :D
PSHQuilts, United States of America
Iris was one of the first members to welcome me to Postcrossing! She is warm and welcoming and a treasure in our community. Thank you for the great spotlight.
Shaneez, South Africa
Great to see you here my friend:-)))))
Geminiscp, Portugal
Boxes of cards are always such a wonderful vision! :D Thank you for sharing yours with us.
nediam_nori, Finland
A rotating postcard rack - what a marvellous idea :D
scrutiny, Hong Kong
Thanks for all the lovely messages guys! Hugs to all! :)
dandilion, Netherlands
Great to see you in the spotlight Iris!!!
denarose, Australia
Great interview which I enjoyed very much. The idea of a revolving rack is a top idea! "good one" Iris!! :-)
winnie921013, Hong Kong
wow,i am a Hong Kong postcrossers too.A great interview from hk ! =)
Kleine_Liebe, Germany
I really loved when you said: "The person who's sending it and the message on the back can sometimes mean more than the card alone."
I think that's very important, because I have some cards, where I don't care about the picture, it's just all about the text on it.
WY, Taiwan
Great article & interview!!!
I really admire and agree with the education concept that Iris mentions.
"I really believe that a formal education should not simply focus on forming the students' ability to pass exams, but to equip them with life skills."
That's what I also want to let my daughter know although she's ohly 2 years old now. Both of us grow up together through sending/receiving postcards.
Thanks Iris for sharing the experience with us.
scrutiny, Hong Kong
Thank you, WY! I'm glad you agree with me. I hope your daughter encounters many teachers in her future that will encourage this! :)

Thanks to all! :)

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