Every two or three days I become the postman. It’s not a new part time job but merely a duty as hostel worker. And I like it! Among many other duties in the hostel, it´s one of my favorite because it gives me a reason to walk into the city center, and you know how I love to walk.
On the other hand, I can also read guest´s impressions about Lisbon: where they had a great dinner; who they met; what happened in a certain night… It’s like a trip’s testimony of my hometown. It´s easier when it’s written in portuguese, spanish, english or french. However, all other languages allow me to imagine, which is also interesting right? Did you ever thought that a specific chinese character can remind of an eagle and makes you fly?
Nevertheless, I always liked letters and postcards, the so-called ‘snail mail’. In the last years, thanks to new technologies, there are less and less letters sent by traditional mail. I don´t have numbers to show but I have my experience: even the invoice from the electricity company seems a love letter (after the three first seconds becomes a nightmare, but that’s a different story).
an example of a stamp collector who stayed in my hostel: two envelopes full of different stamps. Total value was enough for a pack of 10 postcards
The truth is, nowadays, except the companies, there are only four types of ‘snails’: stamp collectors, who send letters just for the pleasure to save the stamps later; tourists, who send postcards from the most varied destinations of the world to their family, friends, pets, team workers, etc.; penpals, who exchange letters as breathe; and lovers, who write to surprise their soul mate.
After this impressive introduction, let me tell about when I was pleasantly surprised! First, the oddity: among some Lisbon postcards there was an extra group of 7 postcards from other european cities. Lisbon, known as the city of 7 hills, proved this day why is also known as the city of tolerance: glued with portuguese stamps there were postcards showing the highlights of Berlin, Geneva and Venice.
At the moment I was wondering: are portuguese international stamps so cheap that travelers choose Lisbon to send postcards from other european cities? (all this event reminded me when I bought this Coimbra postcard to an university student in Aveiro’s downtown ahah I bought it because he told me he didn´t have money to return to the oldest and most important portuguese university city.)
In the end, I didn´t get any answers for my doubts! I just understood I was being part of a love story about to happen: this boy came in a trip to Europe and was collecting postcards from the most romantic cities (according to him, of course) where he wanted to bring this girl (called Melissa, such a beautiful name!). This boy was not signing his name, he wanted to make Melissa think about who could he be… but just until his return.
In the moment which he will be back in Riade (where the two lovers live), and according to his promess in the postcards (so I hope he would fulfill it), he would identify himself and, even more important, would declare his love. So, despite all my questions, I ended up with a certainty: next time I get a booking under the name of ‘Melissa’, I´ll be praying she has been in Berlin, Geneva and Venice before.
* all postcards shown in this chronicle were posted in the official mail box after photographed.
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