Wednesday, July 09, 2014

"I would like to ask you to send me some beer items."

If you own a brewery or work for one, you probably know the drill. E-mails constantly arrive from overseas (oddly, with the exception of Nigeria), asking you to send beer labels, crown caps and the like to become the cherished keepsakes of private collectors who've heard of your beer, even in far-off Vladivostok or the Amazon Basin.

The return mailing's on your dime, of course. The cynical way to view these requests is to imagine that they're just a way for traders to build up swap stocks. I suppose many are. Apart from cynicism, and absent the money for postage, no one's getting a snail mail freebie; sorry. The images can be freely cribbed on-line, anyway.

Fewer Americans seeking labels go fishing on e-mail. They generally will send a stamped, self-addressed envelope via the US Mail. At NABC, we try to oblige them, irrespective of what they plan on doing with whatever items they're given.

But there's something that nags me about the foreign requests, which tend to come from Central/Eastern European locales, these being of longtime interest to me historically and geographically. Lately, I've been pasting the addresses into Google Map and seeing what their houses look like. For some reason, I find it a melancholy exercise, and I'm unsure why.

Transferral, perhaps?

The home of Tomas from Czech Republic is above. Katarzyna lives in Poland (below). Actually, Tomas's request was to publicize a beer app he'd created. 

These look like nice places to live, and I hope no protocols are being violated by my depicting their homes, seeing as there's a drone outside my front door as I type.

I just can't help wondering: What's the rest of the story?

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