Blog > Francobolli, the postcard café
What if you could send a postcard today, and schedule the date in which it should arrive? Wouldn’t that be handy for birthday postcards and other such messages? Well, there’s a place in the Netherlands where you can do this – and eat cake while doing it too! Your postcards get put on a “date slot” in a giant calendar wall, ready to be mailed when the day comes… it’s genius! :)
We invited Tiny Klever, the owner of this magical postcard-café to tell us more about it. Here’s her story:
“Dude!” the 12-year old boy said to his friend. The friend apparently made some ‘childish’ remark when the two of them were looking for postcards. They were quick to choose, however, and bought five.
“Are they the youngest customers you ever had?” one of my regulars, a 69-year old retired university lecturer drinking his second fat free cappuccino, asked.“Without parents, definitely.” I said.
Francobolli is a place where you, while drinking coffee or tea, can choose a postcard (we have 300 to 400 different kinds for you to choose from), write it, and have it send on any day you want. The Postcard Café, one of my English guests once called it.
Often children come with their parents and a lot of them already know that when visiting Francobolli they get to choose a card, they may write and send it. To thank grandma for staying over, to congratulate friends with their birthday or to send it to one of their siblings who is not present. As one of the mothers asks her eldest boy when they are having Sunday brunch with us: “Who deserves a postcard today?”
(Viggo (on the right) sends a card to his grandparents, thanking them for staying over and letting him eat a lot of junk food.
Photo: Martine de Clercq)
There are students from fraternity houses who spend one afternoon every half-year writing birthday cards to all of their friends. They barely have time to drink their fresh mint tea or eat their sandwich. See them scribbling away, iPad at the ready, discussing which card fits whom, checking addresses and making sure they get the dates right. Because all these cards need to be put in the right slot in the calendar wall, in order for them to be delivered on exactly the right date.
The calendar wall with written postcards to be delivered. Photo: Elizabeth van Hasselt.
There are so many reasons people send postcards… because a card reminds you of someone, just for the fun of it, to say thank you, to wish someone good night, to remind yourself of the promise you made (quit smoking, have more fun, you name it). A Taiwanese woman came in every day for a few weeks, ordered a latte macchiato and a carrot cake and wrote a postcard (every day!!) to the ex-prime minister of Taiwan, who is currently serving time in jail. She did not know whether her cards would arrive and surely wasn’t expecting an answer to her writings… Intriguing, don’t you think?
So, whenever you are in the neighborhood, come and have a drink. Combine it with one of our delicious home made pies or a freshly made sandwiches and write a card to your loved ones. Or just come to have a look; you’re most welcome!
Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? I mean, just look at that wall!