Saturday, September 28, 2013

Guest Post No. 28 Small Couture and Postcard Giveaway

Hi ! I'm Marine and I live in Paris, France. I've been a snail mail lover for ever. When I was a kid, I wrote so many letters to my summer friends to keep in touch in between holidays. I really believe that it's the little things that matter in life, this is why I named my Etsy shop Small Couture. I sew zipper pouches and cushions inspired by my travels. I'm really fond of Instagram too; it's where I discovered Margaret's work in the first place. So when she asked for guest bloggers, I wanted to share my journey in Mozambique in November 2012.
 On the plane between Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Maputo, Mozambique, I was the only European person. Not the only French. The only European! To be honest, when my friend Marion told me she was going to work in Mozambique for two years, I wasn't able to pinpoint the country on a world map. Geography is not my strongest skill. I learned that Mozambique is a beautiful East African country with a 2000 kilometers of coastline along the Indian Ocean. And that it is pretty difficult to find… postcards. Well, after a little hunting, I did find some and I had to lower my expectations about the picture on the postcard. 
Now I just needed postage stamps. At that point, my friend warned me. "I don't think your postcards are going to make it to France, the postal service here is very bad. You should mail them when you arrive at Paris Charles-de-Gaulle Airport." But I can't do that. I want my postcards to make the same journey I did. I prefer them to be lost, rather than sending them from my country.
I am now at Maputo airport two hours before my flight home, I have 10 postcards… and no stamps. Maputo airport is tiny but I decide to go on a stamp search anyway. A man says there is a post office but after having checked every booth twice, I still can't find it. I finally find someone with the answer.

“ - You see that counter ?

- The one that is CLOSED ?

- Yes ! You just go behind and there it is!”
The booth is actually closed from the front, but he's right, a woman is there to sell stamps behind it. The few stamps are in a brown envelope in an empty drawer. I think I understand why it was so hard to find postcards.
 Unfortunately, after all that, I had change for only 4 postcards. I left them with the post lady and go to my flight to Addis Ababa, a bit sad that I couldn't send them all. When landing in Ethiopia, my only goal was to eat local food, and have some of their great coffee… then I spotted a mailbox! I thought, 
I can mail the rest from here! It's still Africa, after all. $6 later, all my postcards have stamps, mission accomplished, I can go have my Ethiopian meal, stop bothering my friend with my crazy quest, and go back to Paris. 
 The funny thing is, the postcards from Mozambique arrived two weeks later. As for the Ethiopian batch, I thought it would never get to Europe. Until 4 months later, when a friend sent me a thank you text. My guess is the Addis Ababa Airport mailbox is emptied only when full. 
My goal was fulfilled when my mom said to me “Thank you for the card, but, God, I received it in such a condition! I can see it has made a long journey”. Yes, about 9000 kilometers!   
I took some instagram photos while I was there and just got them printed into postcards. like to give away two of my travel postcards to Paper Pastries readers.
To enter, just leave a comment saying where you hope to travel to next. This giveaway is open worldwide. Last day to enter is October 12th. 


  1. Having two kids under the ages of 4, travelling can be tough. When my daughter was 10 months, we went to Cambodia. I maybe from Asia, but going there was eye opening and kinda miserable yet at the same time, you can see that they live a more filling life.

    I am hoping to visit Vietnam with my family but logistic made is difficult. So hopefully, this October I may encourage my husband to go to Singapore instead with me and our two children. He needs a break from all the business travelling and just enjoy life.

  2. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful post and pictures! I feel like I've taken a little trip just reading your account. I admire your perseverance in getting your mail posted and that you wanted them to make the same journey you did.

    I traveled to Italy this summer to the Amalfi Coast, and it was magical. I would love to go there again. But I would probably like my next trip to be to Australia to see the friends we met in Italy! New Zealand, South Africa, and Germany are also high on my list. I do not know anyone from France, so it's a pleasure to "meet" you! Happy traveling!

  3. Wow what a beautiful trip! How nice to travel the world. I am going to travel up to New York next summer with my family (we live in Florida). We will be gone for 16 days in a motorhome and we will pass through 13 states! I have four children, so it should be...interesting! ;-) I'm really looking forward to It...I can't wait! Thank you for the chance to win...I am a snail mail junkie! :-D

  4. I can totally understand that you wanted your postcards to do the same journey you did! I love to hear when postcards finally arrive after the holidays!
    I haven't booked anything yet, but I hope to travel to Latin America once again - even though for a change I might just go someplace else. I haven't been back to Colombia in two years and I miss my friends, so I might look at that.
    Thanks for the opportunity and safe travels as well as fast mail!

  5. holala ! Marine, tu me fais réviser mon bad english, c'est pas nice, ça.... ;) mais je veux gagner tes jolies cartes, même si elles ont fait le tour du monde !

  6. I love the colors on the second picture : pastel for the building, and bright for the lady's skirt :)
    That's a very nice post, Marine from France !
    I don't know where I would like to travel next...I just came back from Indonesia, so I am thinking maybe Iceland...or some US National Parks...Who knows ?

  7. I really enjoyed your story about sending the postcards and that they made it to their final destination. As for a future trip...I know my husband would like to take me to London. We'll see! Thank you for sharing your photos!

  8. Beautiful story! I hope I can have postcard send from Mozambique and Ethiopia (and arrives in my home) someday :D I would like to travel to Japan next time, I really love Japanese culture and love its animes :D I want to go to Gundam Cafe or see the 1/1 Gundam (It's a Japanese 'Robot', you can google to see it) :D
    Ah ya, thank you for doing such a great giveaway! :D

  9. you are an amazing guest!! thank u for sharing so nicely. i wanna go to Peru and take a picture of the beautiful people there and their lamas!

  10. I'm really excited to return to Europe this summer and visit my family in Germany!


  11. I hope to travel to Spain and Italy next! I want to go to the museums in Madrid and sit in the park and eat a "churros y chocolate" at an al fresco cafe and jump off a boat in the middle of the Mediterranean. In Italy I just want to go to every museum possible, maybe even stop at the "Nutelleria" and eat my weight in Nutella!




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