Things that annoy me in Penpalling 2016 edition – and my return to blogging

Hello all,

it has been 3 years or so since my last blog post and the reason is simple – the blog was created for a blogging course in my university which I took just to get a couple of easy credits. However, with the realization that my personal blog on blogger was coming to the end of its road, I figured I could return to the purely snail mail related blog I had created AND share the annoyances in snail mail that I have come across during this year and changed a bit since the last time I posted about the subject.

I hope the list isn’t and doesn’t sound like I am complaining too much but there’s a limit to everything and some of these subject make me see red. πŸ™‚

1) Our postal service in Finland, Posti, screws us (penpallers and postcrossers) up daily.

Since 2012 there have been a decline of postal workers as they have been fired due to the lack and declining numbers of sent letters (meaning any sort of mail piece not a bill or a package). This has meant price rises – currently Finnish domestic Christmas stamp costs 0.9€, domestic letter is 1,2€ and foreign letter 1,3€. However the price change and the fact that our stamps changed this November, I’m sure the prices will rise soon.

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Our stamps used to be like this back in 2015 (and until Feb 26th 2016 the 1lk/1kl stamp was okay for both domestic and foreign mailing). 0,55€ is a Christmas stamp set from 2010 (joint issue with Japan) so we used to have a price showing on the Christmas stamps, 2lk/kl class was for domestic economy mailing and 1lk/kl was for priority mailing in general.

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In Feb 2016 we got a separate “World” stamp set, priced at 1,3€ up until 20g and our envelope thickness was lowered to 2cm abroad. Luckily in 2017 it is raised back to 3cm! πŸ™‚ Anyhow, this is a special World stamp available only in Santa’s village/Santa’s Post Office in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland. πŸ™‚

 

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And starting November 2016, officially Jan 1st 2017, these will be our new stamp markings, classes and prices have been removed and instead the new markings/codes are following: Snowflake – Christmas postage (mainly for Christmas cards), map of Finland – domestic mail up to 50g and 3cm thickness and Earth/World – Foreign mail up to 20g. These will be forever stamps so maybe I should hoard some of those Christmas stamps.. :S

The mail delivery is also gone down the drain. Mail is supposed to be delivered 5 times a week but we hardly get it 3 times a week as the delivery has been outsourced starting this Spring – and yet Posti announces that it delivers mail perfectly 99% of the time.. Based on their Facebook page that surely isn’t the case. Mail is also delivered to wrong addresses OFTEN. The formerly okay Posti is almost a curse word nowadays – they even reduced the number of real post offices to 17 or 19 – all the other posts are inside stores and kiosks where you need to often wait for the cashier to do her primary work before helping you with mail (in most cases you know more about how mail and mailing works than the workers, unfortunately). And don’t get me even started on the number of lost letters.. At least 10,000 letters is lost every year and I am sure that the number they have posted is not nearly as high as it is in reality.

2) Lack of personality in letters (and short letters)

Strangely I have come across this problem when exchanging letters with fellow Finns during this year. I got to know a couple of girls around my age and I am frustrated with the letters and have no energy or interest to reply. My questions are replied with “yes/no” or “I just don’t really care” without referring to the question at all. And the times they tell about their days or travels is all compressed to a couple of sentences – and as we are all Finns and have Finnish as our 1st language, there is no such thing as a language barrier.

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Gorgeous 12 papers/24 pages long letter from Finland

I would understand that if I were to write with people with not so fluent English skills but the thing is – I am looking and focusing on penpals who can write and understand English fluently.

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2 papers “long” letter from Germany with huge handwriting.. :/

Short letters also make me see red as I try to keep my shortest letters at 3-4 papers written on both sides with my usually tiny handwriting and my longest can fill a notebook or even more. So getting a 1 paper reply to a 8 papers long first letter is a big let down.

I do give 2nd and 3rd chances easily but if nothing changes afterwards I usually end up feeling fooled.

3) Not knowing how to drop a pal

This is my most current problem. I am moving to my very first own apartment soon (after living in a student apartment I shared with two Vietnamese girls, I went to do my internship in Thailand, then went to work for my aunt in JyvΓ€skylΓ€ and finish my thesis, moved back home to finish my studies (missed a couple of credits), then moved up north to Rovaniemi (the official hometown of Santa Claus, check if you don’t believe me ;)) where I worked for 8 months while living as a roommate to my dear friend and NOW, less than one month before I get to move to my own apt, I have been bunking at my brother’s apartment floor) – I want to make sure I only keep the people I feel close and connected to as my penpals. I work full time and don’t always have a lot of time or energy to write, especially thanks to my current insomnia mixed with 8h shifts starting at 5am/6am, so I want to focus all my energy on the people I know will appreciate it and take their time to spread some written love on the papers.

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Notebook letter being written as a reply to another notebook letter. πŸ™‚ And yes, I still love tea more than anything. That tea was from a swap I did with a Hong Kongese girl for Moomin tea. πŸ™‚

I actually dropped one pal this summer and as it went badly, I’m not sure what to do now. I exchanged only a couple of letters with this girl and right away stated that I do NOT swap gifts with letters, only postcards and teas with the letters, if anything. She kept sending me short 1 page letters in which she didn’t refer to my letters in any way nor replied to my questions, but added things like lipbalms to the envelopes. After a while I sent her a letter that I do not want to continue exchanging letters with her and she straight up verbally attacked me online – it went to such lengths that I had to block her everywhere.. All because there was no connection and I felt like my letters had no meaning to her.

4) Text language/LOL

This has stayed with me. The lol’s and how r u’s and such still annoy me to no end.

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These are my 4 pet peeves right now related to penpalling, but I could add Christmas time to the list as the mail gets more often lost during this exact one month we are living right now. :/ I have informed most of my pals that due to the Christmas time and Posti screwing us harder than ever (my brother is still waiting for his domestic package since almost 2 weeks ago as in normally those arrive in 1-2 days) I am only mailing things again in January after Christmas rush is over and my move on the 1st of January is done. I will FINALLY get my own room for crafts and such, now only to wait until I can get my dream desk from IKEA.

What are your current pet peeves/annoyances in penpalling?
Do you have your own hobby room/space and do you have a dream desk? πŸ™‚

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Happy 99th Independence day of Finland and Happy Mailing to everyone! πŸ™‚
~Kristiina

ps. I would love some post ideas and if anyone is interested I could write about my mailing/post office experiences from Thailand, though the info would be nearly 2 years old. πŸ™‚

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7 thoughts on “Things that annoy me in Penpalling 2016 edition – and my return to blogging

  1. Though I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling with so many pen pal pet peeves as of late, I’m glad to see you blogging again! If after the holidays you’d like to resume being pen pals, I’d really like that, too πŸ™‚

    • I’ve mostly been struggling with time and changing jobs so often that I haven’t been penpalling much, latest letter was probably sent in October.. X__x And when mail has been sent my way or I’ve sent something out it has taken ages or not arrived at all.. 😦 Just today we got the mail we were supposed to get on Monday. Way to go, only 2 days late and no sight of the mail that should arrive today.. :< Even my brother is going crazy with the mail services and for once I have someone to curse the Posti services with πŸ™‚
      Would love to resume penpalling with you! πŸ˜€ I still owe you a letter and after I'm done with the move and actually have my own huge apt, I'd be more than happy to send you a HUUUUGE update on everything! πŸ™‚ I just wish Christmas time and move was over already! πŸ˜€ I need and want some more time off and I can't wait to enjoy my first tea cup or the first received letter in my new address. πŸ™‚

      • I think I’d be going pretty nutty if mail only came a couple times a week. Maybe if they had more structure, fewer things would get lost because nothing would be set aside until the Posti got their butts in gear.

      • I am going crazy because of Posti. But as they did start focusing on profit over everything since 2012/2013, things have just gone down hill.. 😦 I almost feel like the Thai post that lost MULTIPLE postcards and letters of mine, is more trustworthy than Posti. 😦

  2. In Germany the service has become better, since the moved the service desks to stores: better opening hours and less queuing. I adore the Finnish stamps; there are so many cute ones, indeed.

    My dream desk would just be a desk placed before a window with a lovely view of nature – the forest, a lake, the mountains or a valley – something where you can let your mind wander while you write a letter.

    By the way, ‘A World of Snail Mail’ is a great forum to find penpals.
    http://s-mail.proboards.com/

    • WISH it was the same in Finland but as the moves were kinda forced, many of the current “postal workers” don’t know or really care – it’s just extra work for them, on top of everything else. 😦 And as I lived most of last year in a city with still two real and proper post offices, moving back to my hometown with only these kiosk and store posts sucks – the quality of service is clearly different. 😦 And the queues are actually worse now, especially in my closest “post” now, even though the opening hours are “better” – I had no problems with 9-17/18 opening hours so.. :/
      I think that Germany has some awesome stamps as well! I have loads of penpals from Germany for some reason and I absolutely love the nature and animal stamps and I am always waiting to see what your Christmas stamps will be like! I REALLY liked the 2016 one! πŸ™‚
      Aww. I have a relaxing place like that (however there’s only fields and forests to see) at my parents’ place. REALLY love it! πŸ™‚ Especially since I now live in the middle of a city and all my windows point to other buildings or the street. πŸ™‚
      Thanks for the link! However, I’m not right now looking for new penpals, instead I am dropping some due to lack of time and money. πŸ™‚ Grabbed way too many new pals in 2016 when I had loads of freetime and it backfired now. 😦 But when I have time for new pals I’ll take a look on that forum! πŸ™‚

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