How to Get a Postcard Sent to You from Nigeria

Materials

  • Internet
  • Email
  • One (1) U.S. dollar
  • The name of someone going to Nigeria

Time Needed

  • Active construction: Approximately 3.5 minutes
  • Waiting: Two months

Instructions

  1. Find someone who is going to Nigeria and get their email address. This is easier than you think.

  2. Compose an email to your Nigerian or Nigeria-goer. (I have discreetly protected the identity of mine by using the code name Ruomhildi. I understand that is German for “glorious battle maiden,” and that is how I prefer to think of my traveler.)

  3. Always include a Subject heading. Some suggestions:

    1. Impending Departure
    2. Friendly Request
    3. Grow a Penis
    4. Spiro Agnew

    (Bonus project: rearrange the letters of d to spell out c!)

  4. Go to the Nigerian Postal Service website and consult the Products and Services Code governing postcards. (Hint: it’s Section 2Counter Services.)

  5. Copy the appropriate section and paste it into your email. (It looks a lot like this: “Section 2.5 Post Cards: The international postage rate for Post Cards is N50.00 to anywhere in the world. The local rate for post cards is N20.00. Pre-stamped international post cards are available at most post offices.”)

  6. Find the exchange rate for nairas (N) to dollars (USD), and include this in your email. (On 3/7/06 it was 50 nairas = .38 dollars.)

  7. Type your name and address of record. Make sure to include your zip code and country.

  8. Compose a sample message that Ruomhildi can either copy or be inspired by. For example:

    Dear Denise,

    The weather is here (hic!), wish you were beautiful.

    I am having a lovely time. Please enjoy this postcard of a landmark of Nigeria or something traditionally Nigerian or a request for your savings account information, which I know you are far too clever to give me. Still, when in Nigeria…

    I know this will be a particularly noteworthy addition to your postcard collection, and that you will treasure it always, as you have no previous postcards from Nigeria. Incidentally, the first postcard was created for the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, from which we derived serial killers and the Field Museum.

    Keep on truckin’,

    Ruomhildi

    PS. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to entertain you. I’ll make it up to you. I promise.

  9. Check your spelling and grammar and hit the “Send” button.

  10. Physically hand your dollar to your Nigerian or Nigeria-goer to cover postage and express goodwill. Note: it is better to find someone who is going to Nigeria, rather than somebody who is already there. For if you choose a preexisting resident of Nigeria, you will have to mail your dollar to Nigeria, and at that point I will no longer be held responsible for either the Materials list or the Time Needed portions of this project.

If you have completed the project correctly, in four to eight weeks you will end up with a postcard from Nigeria!

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