Wednesday, July 14, 1999

Engagement email 

Here is the email that Rich and I sent out after he proposed to me in San Sebastian, Spain!

From: Richard Chen
Subject: Hola!
Date: Tuesday, July 15, 1997 9:38AM

(Sent 15 July, 1997, around Noon local time.)

Greetings from San Sebastian, Spain!

(Insert beach picture here.)

Lucy and I originally thought to distribute a handful of elegantly-
crafted, cleverly-phrased postcards from here (My idea was to send a
bunch out with a simple "!" inscription), but we found--of all things
in this beach town--an Internet Cafe (about USD $5 per hour—this is
cheaper than sending postcards!)and thought it irresistible to place
a group distribution instead:

Lucy and I are *** ENGAGED *** as of last night!

(Please take a moment to re-seat yourself.)

As if this announcement doesn´t reek of the late 1990´s techno-
geekiness already, all of the *guys* on this distribution will be
keen to note that the engagement ring was also purchased via the net.
Information to follow upon our return.

(Note from Lucy to her other friends: This message was only sent to
people on Rich´s d-list, and those whose e-mail address I remembered.
Please don´t be offended if I didn´t remember your e-mail address!
Please feel free to forward this message on as needed. See, e-mail is
already *way* better than postcards!)

We may follow with other travel notes if we find more of these things
along the way, and if not, on conventional postcards. Our route thus
far: Paris-Tours-Bordeaux-Pamplona-San Sebastian. Next stop: Burgos
and a bunch of Rioja vineyards!

-- Rich and Lucy, now faced with a threat of being mugged for the

Here is a follow-up email that we sent friends

From: Richard Chen
Date: Thursday, July 24, 1997 1:30PM

Hi campers from Madrid! (written 22:00 ish local time, on Thursday

(Insert pickpocketing picture here.)

Well, after that first e-mail bomb of an announcement, we´ve made it
through Tanger, Morocco (Reza, I *must* talk to you about your
brothers in that part of the world and see if we can do something
about the constant harassment of tourists there) and onto Seville and
Madrid. No one thus far has attempted to cut off Lucy´s finger for
the ring, although we did have a hair-raising experience or two in
Morocco concerning the stone, with street urchins.

Just a little note to say hi again, and to attach a message from Josh
concerning these and other Internet postcards, which I thought bears
repeating here. (The access from the Internet cafe we found in Madrid
is gratis! What´s not to like? We got to check out the Yosemite pics
on Josh´s homepage from here. (BTW, hahaha, Josh on the ring comments—
sez Lucy) Maybe I´ll just sit here all day tomorrow while Lucy goes
off to the museums.)

And now, off to dinner!

XOXO, Rich.

Also, thanks to everyone for their sweet congratulatory messages! We
were both also saying "Awww..." when we read them. Full details on
the proposal and all that will follow in person, but for those that
are curious, we were on a beach in San Sebastian after tapa bar
hopping, and yes, Rich got down on both knees!!!!

Love always, Lucy

(Rich sez: I know, not very dignified-looking. Wasn´t sure what the
hell the official protocol was for this sort of a thing. Must´ve
looked like shameless grovelling to the passers-by...)

...and of course, leave it to Josh to take our email and analyze it!

------------ from Josh
>This whole internet postcard concept is interesting...

Relevant issues:

- it's a pain in the ass to write dozens of postcards
- it's esp. a pain if you want to add a little detail to make it
worthwhile, instead of 2 short sentences
- you write the same thing to everybody!


- it's not the same without the picture
- it's nice to receive something in the mail
- it's less meaningful when it's totally obvious that 50 other
got the same message

- internet software that puts a pretty picture with the note
- bcc style addressing where it's not clear who else got it,
with some easy personalization
- easy way to pre-set the dlist before you hit the road
- information available ahead of time on where in the city you
internet access
- when you set up your dlist in advance, you can include people
without email accounts, and the service will print an actual
and send it.. cost may be almost a wash since you'll have
postage (not as nice as a real postcard, but this will keep you
non-net friends included)

- real fancy: dig. camera pix of you in that city -- this is a
actually improve the postcard experience, as I would find it much
satisfying to get a postcard that showed you on vacation, instead
just the city
- easy duplication means better content, because the cost of a
message is lower (in terms of time)
- timing: no more receiving a postcard after they return