Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Of Postcards As Souvenirs

When I was studying, my friends and I each chose a theme of our souvenir collections. Y chose to collect spoon, M collects snow globes and fridge magnet while I chose to collect postcards and pins. Our reasons behind the theme was to be focused (and not mesmerized by everything in the souvenir shops - which of course we were, just not to buy everything that looks nice). 

The second reason is the price. For instance, Y chose spoon because generally the spoon costs her $3 - $4 each all over the country. Fridge magnets and snow globes are relatively cheap (around $2-$4) while postcards are super cheap (50cent - $1.50 according to sizes). Can you see I'm being thrifty here? With the same $3, my friend gets one spoon while I can get six 50cent postcards. 

The third reason is weight. While travelling, the luggage weight, especially our sling bag/handbag's weight is a big concern. Souvenirs should not be heavy to carry around. And fragile is a big NO to me. So, when I was considering collecting small glasses as souvenir, I always thought that it would be bulky, heavy and fragile in my luggage. Whereas, postcards are super thin and lightweight. When I had extra dollars in my purse, I sent myself a postcard from the place I traveled because I wanted to have the stamp and date-stamp. That too, sometimes solved I-don't-want-to-carry-these-around-in-my-bag-so-how problem. 

My other reason is its visual memoir of places I went. Generally, souvenirs would have something carved, written or stamped about the place, usually being the name of the town or city. To me, postcards show things I am unable to capture. For instance - during sunrise, celebration or past history. 

So, while looking around Central Market, I was stopped by the collection of postcards in Dan's Village. I bought this Traditional Malay Costume notecard (for RM1.50) because I am now obsessed with traditional Malay women. Don't you think it's a sweet coincidence because we went to KL to find myself a traditional Malay costume? 

And these small Glimpes of The Past postcards (RM0.30 each). I love this mixed media postcards for their colors and details. It is quite hard for me to continue my postcard collection during my local trips because not many places sell postcards of small hometown. So to find something less than a ringgit each made me overjoyed.  

Therefore, by being focused, I hope that my collection then can carry out a same display theme. Yes, I chose postcards because I want to do this. 

Postcard gallery in hue. Photo by Ali in A Bubble

Postcard nook. Photo from From The Right Bank

However, my five-year postcard collection up to June 2010 were only up to this, and I'd say it's not growing any larger than this. Can you see this hobby takes time - and money because to be able to collect postcard, I have to travel.

I have to start back my collection. Because I am not an avid traveler now, maybe I have to resort to an alternative option, which is either to join a postcard community, or buy bulk from e-bay and such. Hmmm

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