I am very glad that my family in China is going to support me in collecting postcards! Mom and Dad are going to Shanghai Expo next month, so I asked Mom for a postcard. Mom showed her interest in my newly regained hobby and provided "indirect verbal evidence" to show I have been postcard enthusiast for many years: they have many cards I sent from the places I had been to. (Ha, when talking about my family, I am always sarcastic as the only one who does nothing to do with law.) My brother will take his family to Hongkong and Macao during the National Day long weekend. He asked me about my goals in collecting postcards, and hence he would know what cards to send.
Hmm, goals... I really don't want to set serious goals for this pleasant hobby, which is supposed to be a gateway to freshness and relaxation out of stress at work or study. However, I do know what are NOT my goals. I definitely don't aim to set Guinness World Record on receiving postcards from the most countries. I never expect unrealistically to collect a full set of postcards out of the ever-increasing list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I only want to broaden my horizons on the world (or even the outer space, :)), to be able to learn from the card, and to feel or connect with the person who writes on the card.
Here is an example on what I can learn extensively from a postcard.
This lovely lighthouse card was from L. in the Philippines. I'll have a lighthouse blog entry in the future. What I would like to incluse here is the geography I have learned from this card.
Basco is the second largest island among Batanes Islands. Neither geographic name yet sounds familiar to me.Then a little search on the position of the islands on google map shows that Batanes, which is the northernmost of the Philippines, lie in Luzon Strait between the major islands of Taiwan and Luzon. This zoom-out gives me a clear image of the waters that connect South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. What really amazes me is the names of the channels that constitute Luzon Strait: Bashi Channel and Balintang Channel! They remind me of the weather forecast on cyclone/typhoon warnings that I heard so often when I was in China: with the background music of the Weather Forecast on TV, the meteorologist says that the tropical cyclone has traveled to Bashi Channel and Balintang Channel and that it is predicted to land on ... So familiar, so familiar! I know I sound very geeky. But who doesn't have some memory that long lives, especially when it relates to the dream job you wanted when you were a kid? Now my two-year old nephew's favorite TV channel is Weather, too!
(Notes to myself: There are two islands in Luzon Strait: the Batanes and the Babuyan, from north to south, respectively. There are three channels that constitute Luzon Strait: Bashi, Balintang and Babuyan, which are divided in Luzon Strait by the Batanes Islands and the Babuyan Islands between the major islands of Taiwan and Luzon, from north to south, respectively. Bashi Channel is of the most importance in military and communication in that the water is deep enough for shipping (no wonder there are lighthouses in Basco!) and many underwater cables pass through.)