Wednesday, November 28, 2012

pen on paper

Before I left for my year abroad on a student exchange program {you can read about it here}, my aunty Lillian gave me a box of very pretty stationery from Marks & Spencer. I  loved it to bits and I deemed it too precious for me to bring to Australia {that and the fact that my luggage was overweight}. Well, my year in Australia came and went but my love for writing, putting pen to paper, never diminished. Of course these were the days when not everyone had internet connection and there was no such thing as smart phones and wifi. I did get emails, don't get me wrong and I remember fondly the days spent camping out at the high school's computer corner to check my emails everyday but honestly, nothing beats getting and sending out old fashioned handwritten letters ~ true story. 

I remember clearly the days and nights I spent writing letters to my parents, my then boyfriend {who sadly doesn't talk to me any more}, my best friend Catherine and a host of other friends from back home. I remember too the joy of going to the post office {the post offices in Australia rock cos they sell more than just stamps} and queuing up to buy stamps and asking for  stamps that were different from the ones I got before {stamps in Australia rocked - they had a whole variety of different stamps for different seasons and occasions, and one set of stamps was even scented}. I would feel such joy in sending out a handwritten letter complete with a pretty stamp and an airmail sticker on the left hand corner of the envelope ~ yes I get simple thrills like these every so often.

Then there was the anticipation of getting a response. Of going to the post office box and enquiring with the post office folk if I had gotten any mail. They came to know me by name and they would let me know when I got a letter or a parcel. Those were happy days to say the least *smiles* I would go home, shower, have my dinner, chat with my host family and then before bed time, I would snuggle up in my bed, turn on some music and reverently open the envelope or parcel. There were times when I laughed at the contents and there were times when I would cry over it {'cos I missed home and my loved ones} but most times it was just a good feeling to be remembered and to have a piece of home with me *snickers* 

Anyways, I left Australia and I came back to Malaysia and I still wrote to my friends who were overseas but with the evolution and rise of technology, the art of writing faded away. After all, it was easier to just type out the message {like what I am doing now} and clicking send and the person would get it in an instant. Now writing, pen on paper is something that happens so very rarely. Even my journal which I wrote in religiously when I was a teen and young adult is abandoned. I take it out every blue moon or so and just vent my thoughts but mostly I take to blogging or writing obscure poetry that never sees the light of day.

So last week when I received some snail mail from my Swiss friend whom I met in Australia and who now is living in Brazil {talk about globe trotter}, I decided to use the box of stationery and write him and my host family some handwritten letters. It was honestly so good. So good and refreshing to see the words form from the nib of my pen on to the pretty paper. It was good to see  my hands stained black from the smears of the blotted ink. It was good to hold the pen and construct my thoughts. I missed this feeling and never realised it until then.

Putting pen on paper was therapeutic to say the least and along with it I remembered so many things, so many memories, so many little joys. I recall the stacks of letters received over the years, some kept so meticulously, others sadly recycled, lost words now. I know one thing for sure would be that this feeling, this remembrance of putting pen on paper, will not be forgotten but instead would be practised more often... Anyone want to be penpals? Leave me an email at or
Here's to writing, beautiful letter sets and stationery, post offices, stamps and putting pen on paper.

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