Russian Postcards in My Mailbox

By Gerard Sarkozi (56 y.o., Lyon, France).

I am not a WordPress user as my friend Bernard whom I have known for over 20 years. And I am not a good writer too. But a friend of Bernard Alex Markovich asked me to share my thoughts on getting Russian postcards. So here we go.

In 2017 Bernard arranged at the café of our mutual friend Andre an exhibition called “Postcards from Russia”. There were about 40 postcards (pinned to the walls) presented at the exhibition. Those were the photos and watercolor paintings of Alex Markovich.

When I was much younger I used to send greeting cards to my relatives in France, Italy and Greece but with the age of computers physical postcards were replaced by electronic cards. In the beginning of the millennium it was fun to send virtual postcards but with the development of cellular networks it is much easier to make a phone call rather than sending a letter or a card.

I go to Andre’s café almost every weekend for a glass of beer or two. And when it was a regular beer time and I came to the café in the evening I saw an exhibition of the postcards. What really impacted me – those Russian postcards were not the ones what we call “tourist postcards”. Alex’s postcards were the kind of “art postcards” or “landscape postcards”. Each one had a description of the place where the landscape was captured or painted.

I asked Bernard what it was all about and he told me the whole story how he had met Alex and since then had been receiving Russian postcards once or twice a month. Though I did hear of postcrossing (exchanging postcards) it was weird that someone was sending his photos or drawings as a postcard via regular mail. Why not to scan the image and e-mail it?

The next day I came to the café and was looking at those Russian postcards again. There was something peculiar and nostalgic about them. I asked Bernard to give me Alex’s e-mail and asked him to send me a postcard. In two weeks I got it. A postcard from Russia with handwritten message on the back of it and with a real stamp! I told Alex that I would like to get one or two Russian postcards every month and that I would reimburse all the costs.

It is April 30, 2018 and by now I have got in my own collection 11 postcards from Russia. As my wife is fond of art I ask Alex to send me only his watercolor paintings. Maybe this winter we will repeat the exhibition at Andre’s café and it would be my collection of Russian postcards.

Painting: Alex Markovich.
Vladimir, Russia.