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The failed experiment called penpals....

Zenbone

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Hello,

has anyone tried to start and maintain a penpal relationship via email? I wanted to learn about Japanese culture first hand (not trusting what I read in the news) so I found a site that has a penpal service (NOT a dating service one). Each day I would write a few people and each day I would receive some replies. But even when I would write back and forth eventually the correspondence would drop of and eventually cease. I am just trying to figure out if this is a normal thing or if I am not considered interesting (or a very poor communicator)? Anyone else here have pen pals and if so how do they (or have they) progressed over time?
 

ghettocities

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Originally posted by Zenbone
hello,
Has anyone tried to start and maintain a penpal relationship via email? I wanted to learn about Japanese culture first hand (not trusting what I read in the news) so I found a site that has a penpal service (NOT a dating service one). Each day I would write a few people and each day I would receive some replys. But even when I would write back and forth eventually the correspondance would drop of and eventually cease. I am just trying to figure out if this is a normal thing or if I am not considered interesting (or a very poor communicator)? Anyone else here have pen pals and if so how do they (or have they) progressed over time?

When I was younger like 14 I went to Ohio for skateboarding and while I was at the hotel pool I met the hottest girl, she was soooooooo attractive and had the cutest accent, so I gave her my address and everything and told her to send me a letter or something and that we would be penpals, well at that time in my life I had been J-Crazy so I had posted my info on keypal sites and such and started to get responses via email and mail, well the girl from Ohio had sent me an entire letter but since she was Japanese I thought she was just some white girl who got my address of online, well I was looking in a box of old stuff when I was 17 and found it, opened it and realized she had writen this whole letter about how she was in love with me (yeah and she knew me a total of 3-4 days,) and at that point I kind of felt bad, I guess some people are just flakey and/or lazy so don't anticipate everyone to put all this time and effort into being a penpal, best thing to do is send them some kind of gift from your area, like I can buy some Oregon hazlenut chocolates for like 6.00 and they think it's the greatest thing, that's just my advice, good luck.

Josh
 

mdchachi

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I think your experience is pretty normal. Especially since writing in a foreign language takes a lot more effort and you can't just "dash off" a quick email. But if you keep trying you should be able to find people that will stick with it.
 

lineartube

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I had a few penpals friends but right now I haven't talked with them much. Most of them have a 3-4 e-mails duration but from time to time you get someone who despite the language barriers, are stubborn or curious enough to start a penpal relationship.
For instance, there is this girl that is finishing her university degree this year and I have been exchanging e-mails with her for the past 6 months. The singularity about it is that we write pages and pages to each other about the most trivial matters, like flowers, pastry or kimonos. I guess that's what penpal is about.

Your experience is normal. Some people will be more interesting and others, less. And they will have the same experiences about you.
 

ghettocities

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Originally posted by lineartube
I had a few penpals friends but right now I haven't talked with them much. Most of them have a 3-4 e-mails duration but from time to time you get someone who despite the language barriers, are stubborn or curious enough to start a penpal relationship.
For instance, there is this girl that is finishing her university degree this year and I have been exchanging e-mails with her for the past 6 months. The singularity about it is that we write pages and pages to each other about the most trivial matters, like flowers, pastry or kimonos. I guess that's what penpal is about.

Your experience is normal. Some people will be more interesting and others, less. And they will have the same experiences about you.

If you go on Topsites Japanref and find click this the penpalnet link which is Wayback Machine then you'll have a real easy chance to meet Japanese and Korean people who are really interested and I mean really, click on the female photo section too, thats always fun. One other thing I'd recommend is during the time your having a Japanese penpal you should think about studying Japanese (if you aren't already) , it's really easy and then once you start learning more and more you can write to your penpal in romanized japanese (if you have an american computer,) which is in roman-letters and your Japanese penpal can write to you in English, that way your both learning something during the penpal experience and it makes it easier for the other person to read and respond to.

Ghettocities
 

Chipi

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I've had a few penpals now, from Japan. A couple of them sort of "dropped out", don’t know why, but then again, I have left two excellent friends!
We’re changing e-mails and good old fashioned snail mail letters. One is from Sapporo and the other one is from Osaka..
a lot of greetings to them if they recognize themselves 🙂: !
At least for now everything is going out just fine, I'm thrilled to have letters and small gifts from Japan, and I'm happy to tell them about my own country and about my life..

But then again, I do have some bad experiences too. I was in an exchange programme to Italy a few years ago, and I really had some good friends from there. We used to write letters (1 girl, 2 boys), and I would've liked to continue it- I mean, I really thought they were my friends. We had spent time together and so on... But about 1,5 years ago things started to "calm" down, and now I haven't heard nothing from them. I sent a Christmas card to everyone las christmas, but since I got nothing back, I stopped trying. I don't know why people do that, just stop corresponding. The polite thing to do would be at least say if something was bugging them 🙂:
 
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