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Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "mail-delivery"

Since we’re sort of on the topic of movies, have you ever seen “Il Postino” (aka, The Postman)? The movie might be over 20 years old, but it’s a magical one, featuring a postman as the central character. Timeout’s synopsis is pretty spot on:

Il Postino poster
“When, in 1952, the exiled Chilean poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda (Noiret) takes up residence in a house on a quiet little island off the Neapolitan coast, the fan mail he receives is so copious that the postmaster hires Mario (Troisi), the none too bright son of a local fisherman, to deliver the celebrity’s mail. At first, Mario is simply star-struck by Neruda, who responds with understandable wariness to the postman’s gauche attempts at conversation; soon, however, he’s teaching Mario about metaphors, and when the postman falls for Beatrice (Cucinotta), a lovely but rather aloof barmaid, the poet agrees to try to help him win her with words. Inspired by an incident in Neruda’s life, the story’s engaging blend of easy humour and sunny romance takes hold from the start and never lets go. Much of its seductive charm derives from the excellence of the leads: Noiret does his gruff but malleable turn to perfection, while Troisi (who died soon after filming finished) exudes a simplicity of heart, mind and soul that never seems excessively sentimental. Mercifully, Radford avoids making the small peasant community too glamorously Arcadian. Old-fashioned it may be, but it knocks the spots off pap like Cinema Paradiso.”

And here’s the trailer, if you’d like to have a look:

So that’s our suggestion for your weekend entertainment! Do you have other mail-themed movies we should check out? Let us know in the comments!

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Today is the day to thank our mail carriers, and a few days ago we invited you to make something special for these everyday heroes. A lot of you showed us the postcards you had made, and we were in awe of your talent and creativity… so many mail carriers are going to have a super special day because of you!

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You can see all the submissions we’ve received on this gallery. We had a prize to give to the best one though, so here it goes — the winner is…

Thank a Mailman dayThank a Mailman day

EmilJohn (aka Emil) from the Philippines, who drew, wrote and decorated the card above. It reads “February 4 is ”Thank-a-mailman Day". Thank you and all those who work in order for us to receive our letters. Thank you for delivering my postcards always :) Respectfully, Emil, postcrosser."

Isn’t it just stunning? Congratulations Emil on your new stickers.

Now it’s time to go and thank our mail carriers, let them know we appreciate their hard work! 📬

PS – A big thank you to Pipsticks for sponsoring this giveaway and making all our postcards a little bit more fun! For those of you who would like to give the service a try, use the code HAPPYMAIL for 20% off the 1st month of any subscription.

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… and we have a mission for you, if you wish to accept it! 😉 February 4th is Mail Carrier Appreciation Day and every year, we encourage you to make something nice for your mail carrier on this day. They’re the ones who walk, ride or drive miles and miles every single day, sometimes enduring harsh weather conditions in order to deliver all our mail… without them, this hobby would not be possible. So it’s time to say thank you, and make sure they know we appreciate their hard work.

This year though, we thought we’d give you an extra incentive… how does a $50 voucher from Pipsticks sound like?

All you need to do for a chance to win it is grab a postcard, write a nice message for your postman or postwoman on the back and decorate it. Put your heart into your thank you message, and make use of that stash of crafty things you’ve been collecting for a while now: your rubber stamps, stickers and all those lovely washi tapes. Feel free to use old stamps as decoration too, if you’d like — these cards are meant to be delivered by hand or stuck on your mailbox for them to find on February 4th (or February 3rd, since this year the date falls on a Saturday). Make it sincere and make it stand out!

Thank a mailman day

Once you’re happy with the result, take a photo or scan the postcard you’ve decorated and send the image to thank-a-mailman@postcrossing.com until the end of Feb 2nd (GMT). The best submission will win a $50 voucher from Pipsticks. We’ll announce the winner on Feb. 4th, and also show you the submissions we’ve received until then.

I’ve already started my postcard… but I really want to see yours! 😍 Come on, show us what you’ve got — and let’s make our mail carriers extra happy on their special day!

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We all know how it works: find a nice postcard, write it, and mail it off. Then, after a few days, weeks or even a little adventure later, our postcard finds its way into the recipient’s mailbox. But what happens in the meantime, after we post it on a postbox? We’ve written about mail sorting centers before (e.g., here, here or here), and the magic that goes on behind the scenes… but it’s always nicer to see it with your own eyes, right?

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

That’s what a group of curious postcrossers in Germany thought too, so they got together some time ago, and asked Deutsche Post for a tour of a mail sorting center — which they got, due to their persistent and persuasive requests! They turned it into a Postcrossing meetup, took pictures, sent postcards and even wrote about it for our viewing pleasure. 😊

Here are Claas (aka Speicher3) and Christine (aka Reisegern), the meetup organizers, to tell us all about it:

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

In the morning of June 19th, we were welcomed by employees of Deutsche Post to the “Briefzentrum 28 Bremen” (that’s the official name of Bremen's mail sorting center). This is one of more than 80 sorting centers for mail in Germany, that every day process about 66 million letters from 140,000 mailboxes throughout the country. So this is the place where postcards come to after postboxes are emptied.

Visiting a mail sorting center in BremenVisiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

Wow… they take quite a tumble! We could even see what happens to letters containing keys, coins or other loose parts when going through the machines. Can you imagine? You’d better not send things like those on a simple envelope…

The mail that arrives is sorted by size, and then a machine checks the postage and puts a special cancellation mark on the mail. Perhaps you’ve already received a postcard with a postmark from Bremen?

Visiting a mail sorting center in BremenVisiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

It shows the outline of this distribution center’s zone of responsibility and one of the city’s landmarks: the Town Musicians of Bremen (a donkey with a dog, cat and rooster standing on top of it), from the famous Grimm Brothers fairy tale!

Visiting a mail sorting center in BremenVisiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

A machine further down the line reads addresses. Did you ever notice the orange bar code on postcards from Germany? This code is printed onto the card in the sorting center, and it contains all the important information about the card’s destination.

Visiting a mail sorting center in BremenVisiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

There are plenty of impressive machines in the giant, busy hall of the sorting center. Within those machines, letters and postcards dart back and forth at breathtaking speeds.

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

As soon as a Postcrossing postcard makes its journey through all these machines, it finally arrives in a yellow box, together with hundreds of other letters and postcards, which will be sent to the sorting center closest to the recipient’s address. And from here, the postcard will be delivered by a mail carrier to a happy postcrosser.

Visiting a mail sorting center in BremenVisiting a mail sorting center in BremenVisiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

If the postcard is being delivered to another country, it will instead be forwarded to the international sorting center in Frankfurt, where it will be delivered via air mail. Every day, busy and focused employees make sure that our mail will be delivered quickly and reliably.

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

Postcrossers were visibly impressed by all the machines and the dizzying speed at which our postcards passed through the sorting center.

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

After the tour was over, the meetup participants did what is a traditional part of every postcrossing meetup: sitting together, talking and writing postcards!

The cards that were written during this special meetup didn’t need to take the detour through a mailbox though — about 1000 of them were mailed directly from the inside of the sorting center in Bremen. The participants gained insight to the world of mail delivery and learned a lot about the adventurous journey of their postcards!

Visiting a mail sorting center in Bremen

A big thank you to the Deutsche Post and the friendly employees of the sorting center in Bremen, who enabled us to have this very interesting day.

Thank you Deutsche Post — and thank you Claas and Christine for this wonderful report!

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Just in case you forgot… February 4th is Thank a Mailman Day! They’re the ladies and gentlemen who deliver all our postcards day after day, rain or shine, so they deserve our appreciation. If you’ve always wanted to do something nice for your postman or postwoman to thank them for all they do, next Thursday would be the perfect time to show your gratitude.

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Here are some ideas of things you could do:

  • Tape a colourful thank-you note on your mailbox.
  • Leave some sweets or a goodie bag halfway into the mailbox slot, for them to pick up.
  • If you enjoy baking, make some cookies — bonus points if the decorations are mail-themed!
  • Any party is better with balloons and sparklers! :)
  • If you’re at home, meet your mail carrier and say thank you in person, nothing beats voicing a heartfelt thank you.
  • Use your crafty skills to make them a flag or a pin they can carry for the rest of their round!
If we catch ours on the day, we’re planning to give her some flowers… we hope she likes them!

As always, we’re actually quite curious about what you choose to do… Leave a comment with your plans, let’s plot this “conspiracy” together! :)

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