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Blog > January Writing Prompt: three things about your country... with a twist!

The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

Happy New Year, everyone! May your mailboxes be filled to the brim with happy postcards this year!

This writing prompt came from Danny (aka WildernessCat), who suggests you start your January postcards like this:

“I will tell you three things about my country: two are true, and one is false. Try to guess which one I made up…”

And then, you should follow that introduction by writing 2 true facts about your country, and one false fact. Bonus points if you make the false fact believable and tricky to guess, to really test your recipient’s knowledge and make them want to discuss it with you on the registration message. Ok, I’ll go first then…

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I will tell you three things about Portugal, two are true and one is false. Try to guess which one I made up:

  • Portugal has the second longest bridge in Europe.
  • It never snows in Portugal.
  • Portuguese is an official language in 10 countries.

So, what do you think? Did you guess the fake fact there… or did you really believe that there is no snow in our little southern country? We do have a couple of big mountains, and it’s cold up there — you can even ski in one of them! And yes, we do have a 13km-long bridge and Portuguese is the 6th language with most native speakers in the world.

This was a surprisingly tricky prompt to write though, inviting some reflection on our own stereotypes and even a request for help from other Portuguese postcrossers. Which true and false facts will you mention on your postcards this month?

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61 comments so far

kissyberlin, Germany
Great Idea! Have to think about it a bit, but I'm sure I'll give it a try.

Happy New Year to all of you!
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Yurchik, Russia
Good idea! It's 3 things about Russia:
1)In Russia there is a special region, which was named after the Jews living there.
2)The literacy rate of the population in Russia is higher than in the entire Western Hemisphere.
3)In chemistry lessons, teachers tell us how to choose the right vodka.
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cocodrilo, Spain
I like the idea, I'll try. Happy New year for all.
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thibcabe, Switzerland
Very good idea ! :D
In Switzerland :
1. There is the longest tunnel in the world.
2. The LSD (drug) was first synthesized here.
3. We speak Swiss.
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John_Doe, Germany
Happy New Year, all of you. Great idea, with the next card I'm here. Happy Postcrossing :-)
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plomp, United Kingdom
Now this sounds like a lot of fun!! 😄 I can't wait to make up lots of silly facts about my country for this game.
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sharifah, Brunei
great idea but got to do alot of thinking.. im not the fun type though
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Lies76, Belgium
Great idea ! Happy 2019 everyone x
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CallistoSangre, Poland
Really interesting idea! I'll make sure to try it out :)
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ALFAVIT, Russia
Happy 2019
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Jecaly, Germany
Really clever: I'll try to find three interesting things.
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Lorelai, Germany
Wonderful idea to learn more about our postcrossing-friends
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GuyT, Canada
Great idea !!! I am working on it for my next postcards, which should be mailed in a few days from now.
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lysi77, United Kingdom
That’s a good one! Could even put the right answer upside down in tiny writing at the bottom of the card.
Happy New Year everyone 🍾📮
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Nichtsnutz, Germany
This idea is like a fairytale: we come closer together + learn more about our world
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Novembre29, Spain
What a great idea!!
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wildernesscat, Israel
Bonus points if the information is somewhat difficult to Google :)
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jm1122, United States of America
This would be so much fun!
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Mosshumla, Sweden
That's a fun writing prompt. Hope I'll receive a few cards using it. :)
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Gypsypost, New Zealand
Well, I'll try it but cards are a bit slow coming in lately so have to patiently wait before I can send out anymore. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE ON POSTCROSSING, I HOPE 2019 IS A TREMENDOUSLY PEACEFUL AND HAPPY YEAR FOR THE WORLD.
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Stasele, Netherlands
Great idea, sets me thinking!
@ wildernesscat: great extra thought ;)
And please try to mix the facts so that the fake one (about Portugal, Russia, Switzerland and others) isn't necessarily mentioned in the third place ;)
Happy New Year!
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duncanpjames, United Kingdom
Give it a try?
The official animal of Scotland is the Unicorn?
The Haggis is a three-legged animal, and they roam the Highlands?
Edinburgh was the first city in the world to have a fire-brigade?
Not to forget Nessie, she can be found on Instagram.
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Talal90Ahmed, Iraq
waooooooooooo
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Wakabeee, Japan
I love this idea! okay,i'll give it a try then...

three facts of japan(except ONE)

1. Valentine's day is an event that girls give chocolate to boys they love.
2.we use special chopsticks when we want to pick up something on the floor.
3.When we give a present to someone, we say "this is something bored..."

can you guess what is true?(-;
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QueenOfautumnO, Ukraine
Thank you for these great idea.
1) The largest river in Ukraine is the Dnipro.
2) Lavra is the largest and most influential monasteries of the women.
3)There were six presidents in Ukraine
What is wrong?
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AnnaHimenko, Georgia
What a great idea! Let me write three facts (true or false, who knows ;)) about a small Republic of Georgia, and you would guess. So, let's start:
1. Historical, self-proclaimed name of Georgia is "Sakartvelo", which is already used on international level.
2. The most population in Georgia is catholic.
3. Georgian alphabet is one of the most ancient alphabtets in the world.
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Kristina333, United States of America
What a neat idea! I will definitely try this out. Since the US is such a large country, I think I will try to use facts from my state.
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alison41, South Africa
What a clever idea! I'll give it a try.
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Alexander9179, Russia
MSU - 214 m !!!
The average depth of the Leningrad Metro is 57 m !!!
In the Russian Federation more than 100 active volcanoes !!!
USA is not even among the top three big countries !!!
МГУ - 214 м!!!
Средняя глубина Ленинградского метрополитена - 57 м!!!
В Российской Федерации более 100 действующих вулканов!!!
США - даже не входит в ьройку больших стран!!!
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Alexander9179, Russia
Very stupid idea! Without this myth, the wagon !!!
1. The Russian Federation is at war with Ukraine and Georgia.
2. The Russian Federation occupies 1 / 8.76 of the entire land, the planet.
3 The Battle of Kulikovo was on September 8, 6888, from the creation of the world.
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evtse, Indonesia
briliant!

happy new year, all
and happy postcrossing also...
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Avani, India
Greetings from Mumbai, India!
Try to figure out these statements, two of which are false and one true.
Happy guessing!!
1) The title of the world's largest river island belongs to India.
2) 'Hindi' is the national language of India.
3) One of its kind floating post office lies in Dal lake, Kashmir.
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Avani, India
@wakabeee, is the usage of special chopsticks a lie?
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Aalangler, Germany
Portugal is on the top of my wish list to visit soon
Rainer
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booboo_babies, United States of America
This is such a great idea! If one comes up with really crazy statements now, they could be used on cards sent out around April 1 for April Fool's Day. April Fool's Day is fun, although our family does not participate in it as much now that our children are older. I remember when a Postcrosser claimed to be a Queen of Egypt - and the person she sent the card to believed her. So she had to explain that she really wasn't an Egyptian Queen, it was just an April Fool's joke! I have not done any pranks like that, but I have sent out some ugly postcards on purpose for April Fool's. If you have any other ideas for April Fool's Day cards, it would be good to share them in March so we can use your suggestions by April 1st.
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katieau, Hong Kong
Good idea! Here's 3 things about Hong Kong
1)Hong Kong means Fragrant Harbor.
2)Hong Kong's official languages are Chinese (Spoken Cantonese) and English.
3)Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers in the world; double that of its nearest rival: New York City.
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Papabear, United States of America
Everyone knows the USA is a very car-oriented society. Most Americans are licensed by drive by age 18. But did you know that there are actually more registered motor vehicles in the USA than adults over age 18? One reason for this is that federal law makes all licensed drivers eligible to vote, too.
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islander61, Bahamas
Hmmm. I don't know about this. Living in a country visited by many tourists, we already have to deal with their ideas of life here and us. Yes, we speak English. No, we do not wear grass skirts. There are no elephants here and the only shark I've ever seen was in an aquarium.
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Sprinkledonut, Canada
Hello from Canada!
1) Maple syrup flavoured toothpaste is available at most pharmacies and supermarkets.
2) Canada has only had one female Prime Minister.
3) Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is the name of a UNESCO world heritage site in Canada.
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tonamw, Taiwan
Good idea! I'll give it a try.
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mana555, Japan
Happy New year 2019!
1 we often eat raw fish.
2 there are many many STARBUCKS coffee shops in Japan.
3 Streets are full of Geisha girls in Japan
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lalos, Greece
Happy New year 2019 from Greece!
Greece has more than 100 archaeological museums
Greece has more than 2000 islands.
Greece has less than 250 days of sunshine a year.
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Layton, Spain
Happy New Year everyone, such a great idea!

1) Spain means "land of the rabbits"
2) We have a subject in school for dancing Flamenco.
3) We celebrate a tradition in Spain on January 6th and we give gifts like a second Christmas.
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StealthyPolarBear, United Kingdom
Happy New Year from the UK.
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ilzeb, South Africa
... and here are three things about South Africa:
1. Is considered on of the safest places to live.
2. Is no longer suffering under apartheid.
3. Has a unique race, the Comrades Marathon, which is supported by international athletes.
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fisherman, Ireland
2 true and 1 false

1. The Gaelic word for pig is muc
2. The Irish Pound or Punt is still legal tender in Ireland
3. There are only two official UNESCO WHS in the Republic of Ireland
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LisDau, Belarus
Awesome! so, here are 2 true facts and 1 false about Belarus:
1. We've got the one president for 25 years
2. Last year there was an accident in Belarus when a guy slapped the monument of a policeman, so the police officers forced this guy to apologize to the monument.
3. Our national cuisine include a lot of strawberries
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BetterGloves, United States of America
I love flipping Google! Remember card catalogs that were the way to find info? Geez.. Im not THAT old .....right?!?
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Facella, Austria
I like this prompt, I used it on a card I sent today.
Here's three "facts" about Austria:
1. Vienna has a China Town
2. You're not allowed to buy hair dye under the age of 16
3. There's a law against covering your face
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elanj123, United States of America
How about just one true or false thing and give the answer, lol.
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Ceslawa, Lithuania
Portugal has the second longest bridge in Europe.
Yes. yes gama is 17.2 kilometers

There is never snow in Portugal.
NOT . snow covered in november-may

Portuguese is the official language in 10 countries.
YES . The official language of Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde (along with kabuverdyanu or kriulu), Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, East Timor (along with Austronesian Tetum) and Macao (along with Chinese).
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Ceslawa, Lithuania
There are many questions, and who should answer?
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Morrigan976, Mexico
Happy new year to all...

1.- the day of the death is one or maybe the most important celebration for us as Mexicans, we honor and respect our death relatives.
Is the date where all the Hotels and citys are full with tourist from all the world.

2.- We are the country that exports more beer than any other .

3.- We have a Dog Called Xoloitzcuintle that was representative for Aztecs since the prehispanic time, this dog has no hair, and you can see it even in prehispanic art and representations :).
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ZiziLin, China
1)we all have black eyes.
2)Dagon is honoed most of Chinese.
3)we celebrate a tradition in China on lunar January 2ed like a second Christmas.
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penvriendin, Netherlands
I just love this prompt!! Used it many times this month with many different true and false facts. And ofcourse I loved the cards that came in with this prompt too. Learned a lot about other countries because searching for anwers I came across a lot more things I didn't know.
Can't we extend this prompt into February (and maybe March and...)? At least one person will do so: me!!!! :-) :-)
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Darcey1, South Africa
1) We have 11 langues.
2) Our national animal is a leopard
3) It snows in some parts of South Africa.

Which one is false?
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Darcey1, South Africa
@Fisherman in Ireland
I say number 2 is false. Am I right?
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Darcey1, South Africa
@Layton in Spain

I say number 1 is false. Am I right?
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Darcey1, South Africa
@Queenofautumno in Ukraine

Number 3 is wrong. Right?
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Darcey1, South Africa
@Thibcabe in Switzerland
Number 3 wrong?......Am I right?
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Darcey1, South Africa
@Duncanpjames in Scotland

Is number 3 false?
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