Here’s a bit of a tragic story for you: when I was in primary school, aged perhaps 6 or 7, I remember once sending a Christmas card to myself just in case I didn’t get any from anybody else. True story that.
Now, you’ll be relieved to know that as well as my own (very well written) Christmas card, I received lots more from my friends. This story has a happy ending, and in the event I’m not sure I even opened my own Christmas card. But the reason I’m telling you this story is because, today, I was reminded of this slightly sad story when I once again wrote myself a post card.
…Only, this post card isn’t going to arrive for two years, until September 2015.
Its a growing tradition in China that, upon graduation, or marriage, or any other significant life event, a young person will write themselves a short message and leave it at the post office for mailing at some date far off in the future. The idea is that the post card acts as a sort of time capsule, an enveloped message to be forgotten about and then opened, in effect becoming a message from the past.
Today we found the shop in Beijing which performs this venerable service. There I purchased an (exceedingly arty) post card, and spent ten minutes jotting a message to my future self. I closed the envelope, and on the front I wrote ‘8 September 2015’ – two years from today, leaving my message with the cashier having paid for the postage.
…Of course, this means now that Mum and Dad can’t move house for another two years. The only fixed address I had to send the post card too was my parental home in Maghull. So, sorry Mum and Dad, but you’d better do some decorating, because you’re stuck until 2015 minimum! But I do hope that, actually, I forget all about the card, and that one day in the future it turns up, a message from me, here, today, to me, then, in the future.
As for what I wrote – well, as with all good letters, that is strictly confidential between me and the recipient…