The Not So Humble Stamp
Posted by Robert Bryndza
I’ve been blogging about life in Slovakia for a month now, and since the big freeze hit I’d been conjuring up a blog all about life in snowy Nitra. It’s minus fifteen outside, and the powdery three-day old snow refuses to melt, whirling like sifted icing sugar. I’d envisaged writing about sledging, skiing or drinking mulled wine and eating traditional Slovak food.
However, things have gone into overdrive with work and we’ve had to forgo frolicking in the snow. Our book Mrcha Hollywood is published in two weeks and promotion needs to be planned and executed, much of which will be done through social networking. It’s been a lot to take in. I came to Facebook late, joining last summer and Twitter only just before the new year.
Yesterday, on my birthday, I emerged further into the brave new digital world when Ján gave me a Samsung Galaxy Ace smart phone. For the past five years I have bumped along quite merrily with my elderly Nokia enjoying its quirks. Now I’ve discovered at the push of a virtual button on the top of a windswept hill I can get my Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, even this blog which I attempted to compose on the touch screen, but anything longer than a few sentences and your fingers seize up and flail about like useless sausages. Oh, and I can make calls on the phone too.
Yesterday, walking through the town square in Nitra a little pinging sound on my smart phone told me that one of my friends was drinking Moscow Mules (not in Moscow but Suffolk) and that my Slovak niece Veronica, likes Cher Lloyd and One direction ( finalists from the UK X Factor )
I’m sure a lot of you jaded smart phone users are saying ‘so what? This is life now,’ and certainly being this connected will make life a lot easier for selling our books.
Just when I was about to despair that technology had taken over I received a letter, written on paper from my step nanna Heather. It was full of news from home and felt really special. (I got lots of lovely birthday cards, but a letter is different)
The stamp on the letter struck me just as much as the new apps on my smart phone. The fact that a tiny square of paper, beautifully finished, in this case a picture of Roald Dahl‘s James And The Giant Peach, successfully conveyed the letter over miles of sea and land is almost a novelty.
I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t seen a proper stamp in yonks. Even in the last few years I lived in London I printed my own bar code stamps via Royal Mail online.
The same step nanna, when my dear granddad was with us, used to buy myself and all the grandkids a Royal Mail first day cover every time there was a special occasion, and over the years I have kept these. Looking back there are Royal Weddings, birthdays and tributes to famous figures. All beautifully presented and something I can now really treasure – even if at the time I didn’t.
There is something comforting about the fact that stamps and letters are real and permanent. I hope in the future I still get to receive them. And, I should add, send a few myself.
I wonder if any of our precious online communication will be kept for future generations? What will historians be able to glean from our emails tweets and status updates if they are lost?
After all- you can’t hold an app or a tweet in your hand.
About Robert BryndzaRobert Bryndza is a British born writer. His books include The Not So Secret Emails Of Coco Pinchard and Bitch Hollywood. He currently lives in Slovakia with his Slovak partner Ján. They have been lucky enough to go on many adventures. Their year spent living and working in Los Angeles was the inspiration for Bitch Hollywood which was also a bestseller in Slovakia as Mrcha Hollywood. When he's not writing or learning Slovak, Rob enjoys rollerblading, cooking, going to the movies and planning the next adventure. Catch up with his blog; A British Guy In Slovakia at www.teambryndzabooks.com
Posted on February 7, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged Cher Lloyd, Facebook, James And The Giant Peach, life in slovakia, Moscow, Nitra, Nokia, One Direction, Roald Dahl, Royal Mail, Samsung Galaxy Ace, slovak food, Slovakia, smart phone users, social networking, Twitter, virtual button, windswept hill, x factor. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.