Writing letters

Does anybody still write letters? The other day I received some letters from another one of my friends in China. She lives in 临海 Linhai, but has now moved to 杭州Hangzhou for the purpose of education. The envelope was very impressive! -It’s the most colorful envelope that I’ve ever seen (it’s not as sad as it seems). What do you think of it?


On top of that, there were loads of stamps! When I was in Beijing last year one of the things on my shopping list was stamps, but I couldn’t get hold of any and my teacher didn’t know where I could purchase some of the standard type (but I did look through a booklet of Olympic stamps). Nonetheless, the collection of stamps stuck on the envelope was most impressive. Here are most of them, but I couldn’t get the rest into the frame of my photo without including my address so I couldn’t show them 对不起.


The back of the envelope was quite cute as well;


My friend had told me that she purchased some elegant style paper and stationary from online and that she was going to send me some but I had forgotten about it after a week or so, plus I didn’t expect her to send letters along with it. To my surprise the envelope was filled with letters that she told me that she took the time to write despite being busy with her new school, and also a few keepsakes. She gave me a very finely detailed thin metal bookmark, as well as a map that she brought from the Imperial Palace at Beijing (I usually send my international friends a map of London and they send me one back if its available). The map was really big when I unfolded it, so I leaned it against our TV for me to take a picture:


This is what the front design of the bookmark looks like:


I recognize that this post is 70% pictures (although you shouldn’t quote me on the figure), but I thought it necessary to share with you the contents of the letter. These are two of the ‘stationary’ things that she sent;

P1030489Antique coloured paper with ancient Chinese style writing,

P1030491and an A5 size opaque envelope embossed with pink flowers.

I couldn’t take photos of the actual letters because the messages she had written would have been included, but here’s something she illustrated on top of a letter she managed to write on her birthday:P1030490

I’ve been sending letters to my ‘penpals’ for a while now and I have a lot that I need to reply to. Also the first time I sent letters to people in China I was certainly stumped with the format of the address! Just like many other Chinese concepts, the address format is very dissimilar to that of England (the American format wasn’t too bad). I’ll take the opportunity to include a photo of one of the packages sent to me by another friend:

2014-02-11 17.55.40(This was to compensate for the fact that I can’t locate the picture of the package that I last sent to one of my friends).

If you ever need to send letters to people abroad then good luck 世界 :s


2 thoughts on “Writing letters

  1. First, thanks for writing a comment on my blog about Living in Japan.

    Second, the MOST striking thing for me, being a European-minded person, about the envelope is that there is French written on the envelope in a country where the French, as far as I know, have no historical impact at all. Actually the words should be separated meaning par avion which means in English by airplane. I can read the second kanji which is “sky” and I will assume the first kanji is delivery? I can also read Shanghai’s kanji too. I know, being an English teacher in Japan, that English is taught in Chinese schools, so I have to question; Why not use By Air instead?

    When I send my New Year’s Cards to my friends and family in Canada, they are so plain and simple and even though the envelopes originate in Japan; I still write By Air on the envelope and it is accepted at the post office.

    Anyways, a very interesting letter and envelope indeed.


    • No problem it was interesting to read 🙂 and welcome to my blog~
      I will admit that I hadn’t noticed the French stamp until you pointed it out! I guess its true that we tend to ignore the things that are laid in front of our eyes. It is indeed an interesting notion to point out that French has no major impact in China therefore the French writing is particularly unusual. What I can say is that when I send letters back to my friends in China (and i ought to send something to my friend in Boston soon as well), the parcels get sent by air ‘par avion’ as you said. Also, one of my closest Chinese friends actually lives in France so I am familiar with seeing French on the envelopes that she send to me.
      Hope to see you back here soon and good luck with writing (I seem to wish good luck a lot haha!).


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