February 26, 2012

Turkish Postage


I got a letter from Turkey! I've never seen Turkish mail before, so I must ask you, dear readers, about the placement of the postage. Is it normal to place the stamps at the end of the envelope like the above letter? It seems like it would be standard, given the placement of the cancellation mark. Can anyone confirm this is standard placement for Turkish post, or offer an explanation for the reason behind this curious formatting?

It may be that there is no compelling reason behind the placement, other than "That's how Turkey does it." And that would be fascinating. I love it when I encounter countries and cultures which do things differently for reasons other than necessity.

UPDATE: An anonymous commenter has provided us with an answer. On a side note, Turkey is definitely in my top five countries to visit. 

February 9, 2012

Hotel Stationery: Hotel Monaco


I often judge a hotel on its stationery. It's one of those items whose presence - like a bowl full of brown-less M&Ms - indicates a particular attention to detail. And, the better the stationery, the more props I'm inclined to throw a particular hotel's way. But, every once in a while, it's not about good or bad, but "huh?" 

A summer or so ago, I checked into the Hotel Monaco in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, D.C. And, as I always do when settling into a hotel room, I immediately went to the desk in search of hotel stationery. What I found perplexed me. There were several 8.5" x 11" sheets of fair quality stationery, printed with the hotel's logo and bearing the hotel's address and contact information. And in place of number 10 sized envelopes were a set of fine quality A6 envelopes, printed with the appropriate hotel information. For the uninitiated, A6 envelopes measure 4.75" x 6.5".


I'm not sure why the Hotel Monaco decided to offer me incompatible stationery and envelopes, but not to be a beggar and a chooser, I took them both. And, when I finally decided to use some of the hotel stationery, it gave me the opportunity to craft my own brightly colored envelope.

This stationery was sent off as my first letter to a new pen pal from Australia. I really wanted it to stand out in her stack of afternoon mail. So, in addition to using attention-grabbing paper for the envelope, I used a sticker type seal from Papyrus (they include a pack of these seals with every set of envelopes) for glint. And, as a goodwill gesture, I bound the pages of the letter with a fountain pen nib paper clip/bookmark/neat thing from Levenger.

The letter should have arrived in Queensland a week or so ago, I can't wait to hear back from my new Aussie pen pal.