Sent to Belarus, China, and Japan

Three more going out via Postcrossing.

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My shot of Dale & Daisy posing in Lilu’okalani Gardens in Hilo, Hawaii, goes to Sendai, Japan, to a Postcrosser who says she loves Disney.  Funny, because the garden pictured here is said to be the biggest Edo-style garden outside of Japan.

Sendai is the origin of several foods, including gyūtan (cow tongue, usually grilled), hiyashi chūka (cold Chinese noodles), and robatayaki (Japanese-style barbecue). However, robatayaki was later introduced to Kushiro, which developed and popularized the dish. As a result, many people believe Kushiro is the origin of Robatayaki. Zundamochi (ずんだ餅, mochi balls with sweet, bright green edamame paste), and sasakamaboko (笹かまぼこ, kamaboko shaped like bamboo leaves) are also considered to be Sendai specialties. Sendai is also known for good sashimi, sushi, and sake. This is because Sendai is near several major fishing ports, such as Kesennuma, Ishinomaki, and Shiogama, and the fact that Miyagi Prefecture is a major producer of rice. There are many ramen restaurants in Sendai, and the area is known for a particular spicy miso ramen. Also, Sendai station offers the most types of ekiben of any station in Japan. In autumn, many people organize Imonikai, a sort of picnic by the river which involves making a potato stew called Imoni. –Wikipedia

The views of San Jose, California (which I have never seen so empty as in these images) goes to Minsk, Belarus, where the recipient asked for postcards that show buildings where we live.  I told him that right now, that park view has been transformed into San Jose’s annual Christmas in the Park, which is quite a thing to behold.

Minsk is in the area of mixed forests typical of most of Belarus. Pinewood and mixed forests border the edge of the city, especially in the north and east. Some of the forests were preserved as parks as the city grew.  The city was initially built on the hills, which allowed for defensive fortifications, and the western parts of the city are the most hilly. Minsk has a warm summer hemiboreal humid continental climate, owing to its location between the strong influence of the moist air of the Atlantic Ocean and the dry air of the Eurasian landmass. Its weather is unstable and tends to change often.  During 2003–2008 the overall weight of contaminants increased from 186,000 to 247,400 tons. The change of gas as industrial fuel to mazut for financial reasons has worsened the ecological situation. However, the majority of overall air pollution is produced by cars.  –Wikipedia

Jiangsu, China, is the destination of the remaining card.  The Postcrosser there is living in town as a student (she is actually from “…an island in the view of the sea from here is beautiful”), and she listed map cards as a thing she would like to receive.  I wrote about the places up & down the coast I like to visit & view the nature.

Jiangsu is home to many of the world’s leading exporters of electronic equipment, chemicals and textiles. It has also been China’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment since 2006. Its 2013 nominal GDP was almost 1 trillion US dollars, which is the 6th highest of all country subdivisions and more than half the size of India’s. — Wikipedia

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Received from Canada, Germany, Taiwan, & the United States

A new handful of cards, received through both Postcrossing & swap-bot:

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The two on the left are both from the U.S., and both part of a swap-bot postcard trade.  The top image, of Idaho Springs, Colorado, comes to me from Denver, where the sender tells me she remembers going to an old abandoned gold mine in Idaho Springs as a child with her family.  She also says Idaho Springs is about 35 miles west of Denver, and a stop for skiers on the way back from the slopes, many of whom take advantage of the town’s hot springs.

The bottom image, “Wacky Big-Hair Lady” (or as the painting’s artist, Lilian Westcott Hale, called it, “The Reading Woman II”), comes my way from Birmingham, Alabama, where the sender tells me that like Wacky, and like me, she is “a big reader.”

The rest of the cards come my way through Postcrossing.  That beautiful nature shot comes to me from Bielefeld, Germany, but I have no idea where the photo was taken; Bielefeld, the sender tells me, is “far away from the sea…so far away…haven’t any water around…”  Sounds absolutely miserable!

I love that card from Taiwan!  The photo in the corner is an embedded slide, making this a fun card to hold up to a light. You can probably notice that though that photo, the shadow of the underlying card is showing.  The card’s sender tells me, “I know you love to eat.  So if you have any chance, you must visit my country.  There are may delicious food in my country.”  YES!  Taiwan is on my list of top food destinations, and as it happens, I may be getting a few hours of layover time to go there & EAT before too long!

Finally come the fun herd of moose, all the way from Montreal, Canada.  The sender tells me she loves Montreal, but hates the cold winter.  She dreams of moving to San Diego.  Yeah, I am no snow bunny.

Stamps!

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Sent to Canada, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine

Five new cards going out through Postcrossing, and actually, I should say, sent to Canada, Germany, Russia, Russia, and Ukraine!  I have learned that although a Postcrossing participant can opt to have only one card going to a particular country at a time (as I have), there is no guarantee that request can always be fulfilled.  When I received Russian addresses twice in this draw of five, I wrote Postcrossing to let them know, and to ask if their ‘bot may be broken.  They responded pretty quickly:

Not exactly… We don’t promise that you’ll always send just one postcard to a country if you have the option deactivated… only that we’ll do our best to try to give you as many addresses in different countries as we can.  Sometimes this isn’t possible, and repetitions will occur. It’s the only way to have to ensure that the system remains fair to everyone involved and that members that send postcards also receive their due cards back. Right now, we have a lot more members in Germany and Russia, and so we need more postcards to go there.

Yes, I always seem to have cards out to Germany & Russia, as well as Ukraine & Netherlands.  Can’t recall EVER having had any out to South America, not too many to Asia or Australia, and the only ones to Africa have been to the country of South Africa.  The moral?  LET’S GET MORE MEMBERS IN THOSE UNDER-REPRESENTED AREAS!  If you know people there, please let them know about Postcrossing.  The more places represented, the more fun the experience!

On to the cards!

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The Hearst Castle card goes to Berlin, Germany, where the recipient says he likes postcards with beautiful landscapes.  This one has a bunch of concrete & stucco stuck right in the middle, but I thought he might like it, anyhow.

The two pandas–and one of the tigers–are going to Moscow, Russia, to two separate recipients.

The other tiger is on its way to one very lucky Canadian in Burlington, Ontario!  In her list of postcard likes, she said she enjoys coastlines, “and you can never go wrong with a cute or funny cat.”  Done, and done!

The retro card of Children’s Fairyland goes to Khersons’ka, Ukraine, to a Postcrosser who is a big Disney fan.  I thought she’d like a peek at a park that Disney visited to get some theme park inspiration.

Now that I see them all assembled, it looks like the cards seem to share a theme…

Sent–ALL OVER–Via Snail Mail My Email

Last year, I spotted something interesting in a local independent book store: Snail Mail My Email: Handwritten Letters in a Digital World. From the book description provided:

Feeling nostalgic for the almost forgotten written letter, author and former ad man Ivan Cash fell upon a simple idea: he invited anyone in the world to send him an email, and he’d write it out in a letter and mail it, for free. Participants could even request a doodle or to seal it with a kiss.

What started out as a personal art project exploded into a worldwide event. As requests poured in, Cash enlisted an international army of volunteers who helped create more than 10,000 letters sent all over the globe.

I bought the book, and read it, and was intrigued.  I decided I’d like to take part if the project took place again.  And so, when the annual Snail Mail My Email event happened earlier this month, I was a part of it!

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–and boy, am I tired!

In short, people who want an email message sent as a physical letter send it to the Snail Mail My Email project, which distributes the emails to its volunteers, who write the messages out, stuff them in envelopes, stamp them, & send them off to the intended recipients.

I received 20 e-messages to turn physical & mail along, and you see the results in the images above. My letters went to Canada, Estonia, and the United Kingdom, as well as several destinations here in the U.S.: California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, West Virginia–and even Puerto Rico. The forwarded emails came in one at a time, throughout the day, throughout the week.  I tried to do a few at a time, so they would not stack up on me; this was a very time-consuming activity!  Some people have interesting requests, some easily created a spark in my mind as to how to put them on paper, and some notes made me think a lot about what to do to make them interesting to the recipient.

There was one person who was clearly NOT Santa Claus, but was impersonating the old guy in order to try to control their children.  Lots of uses of the words “be good” and “obey.”  I passed that one by the real Santa, who rewrote the message in his own words, and gave it back to me to send along.  Yes, I know Santa.  Some time ago, I helped Santa Claus answer his mail–and it’s something you can do, too.

I don’t know that I would take part in Snail Mail My Email again, but it is a very interesting project, and at many times, a fun one.  I am happy that I was a part of it this time around.  The question that intensified in my mind over the course of the project week–and in the weeks since–is: why don’t these people write the letters to their friends, children & lovers themselves?  Why pass what are in some cases very private & intimate words through multiple strangers?  Honestly, I think that in some cases, the recipients of these handwritten letters are going to be angry over the filtering through third parties.

I hope that this project inspires the email writers, and the letter recipients, to create their own snail mail, no matter how complicated or simple.  The less people use paper, pens, stamps and letter carriers, the more it means.

Sent to the Orphaned Postcard Project

I recently discovered the Orphaned Postcard Project at postmuse.com, and decided right away I wanted to take part.  The site will be appearing here again later to document that, but first this: I won a book through the site!  Sent in this postcard as an entry…

And visited the site today to see I’ve got a book coming my way!  She also nicely gave links back to both this blog and to my little photography project.

Check out the Orphaned Postcard Project, & watch back here, as I document my experience taking part.  Maybe you’ll be inspired to play, too.

Received from Germany, Israel, Russia, & the United States

Four more in, a mixture of cards from both Postcrossing & swap-bot:

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Some crepes & roe from Russia, a frenetic wall scene from Jerusalem, some sporty-looking clones from Germany, and a Beatrix Potter scene from Maryland.

What cool stamps, all around!

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Sent to Latvia, Malaysia, Netherlands, and South Africa

Just sent out several through Postcrossing…

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Working clockwise from upper left:

The Coplu art goes to Somerset West, South Africa, where the Postcrosser mentioned liking Coca-Cola advertising.

Astro and his beach-combing dogs (captured at Duxbury Reef Reserve in Bolinas, California) go to Johor, Malaysia, where the card’s recipient says he likes comics.

Bleiswijk, Netherlands is the destination of the book cover card.  The Postcrosser was a bit of a cipher in her profile, and I decided, thus exactly the type of person who might like that card.

The beautiful Doraemon card is awarded to a user in Riga, Latvia who, I think, said something about liking landscapes.  The landscape on this card, by the way, is at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Received from Belarus, Netherlands, & United States

A new trio of cards in today:

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The beautiful bird card (White-tailed Tropicbird, by John Audubon) came to me from Minnesota, U.S.A., in a swap-bot “art postcard” swap.  The sender tells me she loves my toy photos, confirming her good taste.  The back of the card is covered with an amazing collection of stamps:

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Yes, all of the above on ONE postcard!  Incredible.  I’ve never seen most of those.  Cool whale tape, too, though I am not really showing you most of it here!

The Girl with the Citrus Eyes comes to me from Netherlands via Postcrossing (5,516 miles, 7 days).  The sender tells me the words on the front are a Shakespeare quote: “Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”  I fear I may be both.  The stamp:

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Finally, the food card comes from Belarus (also Postcrossing: 13 days; 5,863 miles). The sender writes only, “Many greetings from Belarus!” The rest of the card is covered with pre-printed text, in what I assume is the recipe for this mystery meal.  Sadly, the Belarussian language has a different alphabet from my own, so I am at a loss to translate! I really like the stamp, though:

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Sent to Belarus & Hong Kong

Two more of my Postcrossing cards have reached their destinations:

My card to Kiev, Ukraine made the 6,134-mile trip in 10 days; and

The card I sent to A Coruña, Spain arrived after traveling 5,473 miles in 16 days.

Now, I’ll send off two more.

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The kitty on the beach goes to Hong Kong’s Western District (Sai Wan), and the art by Coplu goes to Vitebsk, Belarus. The man in HK says he likes to travel the world, and the woman in Belarus says she likes to swim in the beautiful blue lakes in her area.  It all sounds good to me!