Friday, September 10, 2010

Thing 149 Get a Penpal

Thing 149 on the Project, but it's Day 4 of being stuck inside my house, too unwell to leave, which means Day 4 of seriously struggling for inspiration and Day 4 of trying to find something new that doesn't involve me having to move far...

So I was thinking, I'm not well, the mail is piling up. And none of it is good mail. It's all terrible. Bills. More bills. A threatening letter. Nice. Why doesn't anyone send me any nice mail any more? I don't get letters from my buddies telling me what they're up to. No one writes to say hey, what's up?

I want a pen-pal.

So... I used a random letter generator to give me a first letter for a first name, and a second letter for a second name. And then I found an address in a phone book. In New Zealand... And I wrote a letter.

Dear New Friend,

Greetings from not so sunny Ireland. This letter has been sent to you specifically, because your name was chosen, entirely at random. It has no point, save maybe to bring half a smile to your face. This is not a letter asking for money. It is not a letter asking for help. It’s not even a letter asking what way the water flushes in the Southern hemisphere.

It’s a letter to say hello. How are you? How’s life? What’s the weather like in New Zealand? I picked your name from a New Zealand telephone directory that I found online, because I’ve always wanted a pen pal, and I think New Zealand as a country is pretty awesome. You guys have the All Blacks and Maori culture. Breathtaking scenery (if the Lord of the Rings can be believed) and apparently a pretty industrious people. So I think it would be cool to have a Kiwi friend.

In Ireland we have the following: Rain. Bad politicians running the country. A handful of good ones, not running the country. Bad bankers. Bad builders. We have excellent Guinness and our national sports are pretty awesome too. I think New Zealanders would appreciate hurling and Gaelic football. I don’t know why I think that.

Also, I’ve been thinking about the shape of the world? It’s got a North Pole and South pole, but since there’s no North in the universe, and no South anywhere in the cosmos, the placing Europe and North America on the top of most globes seems pretty arbitrary. Do you guys do globes where your country is on the top? The so-called Northern hemisphere would then be on the bottom. Do you have any thoughts on this? It just seems arbitrary and there’s no reason not to switch it around.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope it reaches you in good health. Feel free to mail me back.

Your new friend.


I think I've raised a couple of interesting points... What's the betting they think I'm a weirdo and never write back?


  1. They do indeed have atlases and globes and maps with the South Pole on top. Odd folks them

  2. gotta let us know if they get back to you, it could be someone game for a laugh, who knows you may just have mailed your new love or for that matter a serial killer, keep us posted and get better soon

  3. I have a penpal in Tennessee. It's great getting letters!

  4. i really hope you didnt pick someone from cristchurch and ask them how the weather was, that would be an epic fail

  5. let us know if you get a response!!