quinta-feira, 5 de abril de 2012

Postcards: to send or not to send.

Somehow the way you travel it´s the the way you manage how good or bad you collect items, shitty clubs pub-crawls leaflets, restaurants stickers, junk, collectibles, museum cards, all kinds of random stuff.

The more you travel, the more needless stuff you will carry with you. After a while travelling, i noticed that i should have kept my memorabilia hunger lower. If you go home with your pockets empty, probably means that you had a great trip. Sometimes it happens you want to carry the heaviest thing you will see in Feira da Ladra (Lisbon´s flea market) or in Vandoma (Porto´s flea market).

Forget it, you will never be able to take more from a country by the weight of your souvenir. Postcards are instant souvenirs. So, they´re not exactly a souvenir, they are more than that. They stop being postcards as soon as you put them away in the postbox. But do it.

They are tremendous efficient, more than emails. You will be amazed for the pleasure of having it arrived. Not only because they can be the most beautiful piece of paper ever seen, but also that inner beauty can contain everything you need from your trip. And that´s what you need to tell to someone. Even if you send it to yourself.

Portugal has some curious ones. Since the 80´s, colour postcards came but quickly lost their value suddenly. Looks like they were in a rush to follow the general bad taste of our buildings in the south coast. Bad printing was never so easy, too. The same thing you would see on a beach ball - dolphins - you would see on a postcard from those times. It´s a very sad and kitch memory from my chillhood. You would see some with nude girls with a donkey staring at them in a beach somewhere in Algarve. Or the most drowsy street in Albufeira with 2 red Opel Corsas and two buildings. Nowadays it´s great, they are even doing towels with the same motifs - it´s a very confortable feeling laying down on the sun with a donkey under you.

Of course, those postcards are now valuable stuff for collectors. Postcards from the dictatorship times were often censured, because the image of Portugal to the exterior needed to be cleaned.

But i rather have them in someone´s wall.

Recently, a friend showed to me something that fits perfectly nowadays collecting memories: a software that gathers all your sent and received emails to friends and (boy)girlfriend, and makes something like a photo album for posterity. In fact, it sounds strange loosing the contact with things. My father once showed me his box of photos and postcards sent to my mother, from the time he was in the war in Angola. Not counting the personal value it has to me, it´s obvious that you will never have such things as "digital postcards".

We have now in Porto and Lisbon the 2nd edition of our postcards, made in the Great Tradition of Handmade Postcards. Don´t let them fly with the wind.

Ricardo Castro

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