Chinese New Year, and spam

It’s almost that time of year again, surrounded by miniature mandarin oranges and kumquats, flowers we never see in any other season, local people wearing parkas in 20C weather, and … China Post’s annual issue of Lunar New Year lottery cards.  We’ve just finished this round of the incredibly tedious task of entering the latest series.  There may be more, but it’s worth the effort as the designs are wonderful.


It works this way:  people buy these cards at the post office, and mail them.  (Or not, we aren’t there to see what they do.)  Then very soon after the actual holiday, always in January or February, the official China Post website announces prizes corresponding to the number on the card.  This announcement should take place in early March, and instructions are on each card.  The odds of winning something are 1 in 100–not bad for a country of such size, but you need to (A) be able to read Chinese, and (B) keep a straight face when you see what the prizes are.  The “1 in 100” means matching the final two digits, and it goes up from there, as in matching the final three, or four, or all the digits.  So if you buy the full pack of 100 cards of each design (at the post office, not from us), you are guaranteed to win something, even if it is only a fork.  Yes, a fork.


But the postcards themselves are great, and often but not always tie into the zodiac animal for that year.


On a separate topic, we are amused and a little upset that as our subscriber list grows, some internet providers are reading our occasional update notices as “spam” and directing those notices to your junk mail folder.  There is nothing we can do about this, sorry, except to ask you to designate our messages as safe, if your system lets you do that.  Just look for, and, and trust us that we have never intended to be spam, and never will.  We’ve gone in to delete all the false addresses left by hackers–yes, it even happens to us, and these are easy to identify–and that should cut back on the problem a little bit.


Bye for now.