Day: May 16, 2008

Apology Project

A friend wrote me today describing her plan to select a dozen names at random from the Paris phone book and send each of them a postcard:

“Greetings from the USA. You don’t know me, but I selected your name and address at random from the internet white pages. I send you this note to apologize. The president of my country is an idiot. I did not vote for him. The majority of us are deeply ashamed of this man and his law-breaking regime. Let us hope for a return to sanity and intelligence in the upcoming year.

Best regards,”

She was inspired by this://' cannot be displayed]

I, in turn, am inspired to commit similar acts. We are both curious to see if anyone responds, and how. Care to join us? If so, spread the word.

Addendum: She wrote further:

“Someone replied and wanted to do this mailing of postcards to random recipients. In my previous email I failed to outline clearly how I did it. It is a bit more complicated than I let on, but actually very easy!

First, you use real postcards, not ecards: wire display-stand postcards made of paper with glossy photo on front (see attachment in previous email) They run about 50 cents new or always aplenty in thrift shops or at home. I’m afraid I wasn’t accurate in my explanation of how I ‘found’ names. For individuals’ addresses I went to this site:

I clicked on ‘France’ and up came a search page with little browser windows for ‘name’s and ‘city’. (Note: you can’t just search name-filled pages.) Then I made up first and last names, typed them in the little browser windows along with my chosen city, ‘Paris’ until, voila! a real person’s name appeared with an address. Sometimes I had to think of several first and last name combos before I got a real person. It felt like more of a personal,prophetic connection doing it that way. Also,it might help to know a bit of whatever language so you can read the labels for the search windows.

With business addresses, you don’t use the phone book at all. It’s easier to google for example, “Pet Groomer, Paris, France” whereupon several businesses along with their addresses pop up, from which you can choose.

This method ended up working for me, anyway. Like I said, it sounds complicated, but isn’t.”