Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It seems like it was a long time ago we used to correspond with one another by writing letters. When I went to boarding school in England, writing was the only mode of correspondence available. Being away from home, receiving a letter really cheered me up. I wrote to many people so that I could increase my chance of receiving letters more often. I wrote to my parents and my sister about mundane school stuff. I wrote to my HK school friends about how different life was in my new school. I wrote to my cousin just about everything I could think of. I wrote to my father's old professor's wife. I even found two pen pals in Sri Lanka to write to. I was excited when people included photos and other little gifts in the letter to me.

I was overcame with nostalgia when I dug up a box in the basement full of old letters. These letters started from when I came to Toronto to attend boarding school, and ended in the middle of my university years when I started to correspond by email. Letters from home continued; as did letters from my HK school friends as well as English school friends; and from my cousin. There were letters from new friends I have made and later lost. Letters from somebody whom I cannot for the life of me remember (but apparantly I made a difference in her life at one point). And most interestingly, letters from old boyfriends. My first boyfriend was in his mid-twenties when we went out. But his letters were incredibly childlike. Then there was a letter from another boyfriend begging me to take him back. One boy sent me three letters he had written (14 pages - front and back) all at once and had to put on extra postage to send it. He wasn't even my boyfriend! I dumped all these over-sentimental boyfriends, and ended up marrying a non-letter-writer.

Nowadays I have given up writing letters. Instead I correspond by writing emails and blogs. So I put all these letters back in a box and store the box on a shelf in the basement once more.