Sending snail mail to friends is one of my favorite things, but since I don't speak French, I wasn't sure I wanted to go through the trouble of figuring out how to send mail from Paris. But as soon as I saw this hot pink mailbox, I felt inspired and knew I had to. Thank goodness for Google explaining everything to me and now I can share it with you.
This mailbox is in the 10th arrondissement and a local came out of his shop to tell me that 25-30 tourists come by everyday to take a photo, so I'm glad I could contribute. I had to ask a friend where it was that we had seen the pink mailbox so I could find my way back; anytime I would see something unique in Paris that I wanted to revisit, I would try to drop a pin on my map to remind myself to go back, or else it was almost impossible to find the exact place I had been wandering earlier.
I grabbed a few postcards, which are available in every souvenir shop, aka every 10 steps on every street in the 1st arrondissement, my neighborhood. Most of the postcards I saw were 1 euro each, but I happened to find a shop selling them for only .20 cents each! The day that I decided to send postcards was a Saturday, so I set out to visit the post office, but then realized that they are closed on the weekend. Stamps are also available at most "Tabac" shops, so I was able to purchase stamps there without going to the post office.
Be sure to buy the stamps that say "monde" on them, which means it's a "world" stamp, not just for use within Europe. After I purchased a few stamps, I sat down at a cafe to enjoy a Cafe Viennois and write my postcards before dropping them in the mailbox. Cafe Viennois is coffee with whipped cream on top; Frenchies don't really do cream in their coffee, so this was a good substitute and something different from my daily cappuccino. This cafe added marshmallows, which was a fun bonus.
The mailboxes in Paris are normally yellow (with some assortment of graffiti), and can be found attached to buildings or free standing on sidewalks. I especially liked this mailbox below that was near my apartment because of the cute window box next to it! The mail from Paris to the US really is "snail mail" so I think I flew back to the US before any friends received their postcards, but at least I learned how to mail them!