Stampy! Received from Lithuania

WOW–just look at all of this–and it isn’t even all of this!
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I entered another swap-bot exchange of used postage stamps, even though (though I do use postage stamps) I do not collect postage stamps.  Of course, I do not collect postcards, either.  Now, I do accumulate a whole lot of stuff…

This was sent to me by a trader in Kaunas, Lithuania, and I sure do like those postcards!  I think I will send that Tofu Boy card to a toy-loving friend in Singapore.  Some great stamps here, too: I put my favorites near the top.  I love the Quentin Blake illustrations, and the flowers & fish are great, too.  My scanner bed was not big enough for everything I received, but if you are a stamp lover, you can see most of the omitted stamps on cards I have posted here previously.

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Postcard from a Pole-Dance Enthusiast: Received from Belarus, England, and Germany

Three more in from Postcrossing:

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I love that huge, close-up seal photo!  It was sent to me from Munich, Germany, and apparently traversed 5,865 miles in 80 days to be with me.  The sender’s translation of the postcard caption is one that may amuse you: “here is said, that the hair of the beard for the grey seal is an important grope organ. :)”

The balloon soldier came to me from Birmingham, England, after a journey of 5,253 miles and 52 days.  Well, that timing is the Postcrossing stat; the date written on the card indicates a travel time of about 8 days.  The sender writes, “please accept my apologies in the delay in sending this card.  I’ve had pneumonia.  Fun times!”  Yikes!  She has a lot more to say, in about 18 lines of tight, neat text, including the fact she is working on cross-stitching a Halo UNSC symbol: “I love all things geeky, especially if I can immortalise my favourite things in crafts.”

The masked cat & mouse are from Grodno, Belarus, and they traveled 5,811 miles and 14 days to be with me.  The sender tells me she is a heating & ventilation engineer whose hobbies are sports and pole-dance.

Stamps & postmarks:

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Cards-by-the-Sea: Received from Austria, Germany, Hong Kong, and Russia

All four from Postcrossing!  I have a question, if you are a knowledgeable Postcrosser: How does someone end up receiving more cards than they have sent?  A card number is not issued to be sent to you until one of your sent cards has been received (and “traveling” is the designation given to cards you have sent, but have not yet been received).  As of right now, I have received three more cards than I have sent!

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That gorgeous, panoramic, very-recognizable view of Hong Kong caught my eye & my breath before I’d even turned away from my mail box.  It came to me from, if you can believe this, Hong Kong (it traveled 6,925 miles, and, according to Postcrossing, 116 days–but the card is dated April 5, indicating a journey closer to 2 weeks.  I am thinking that either the sender was replacing a card that she noticed had apparently gone missing–as I have needed to do once in my time there–or she was just really tardy in sending).  In her message to me, she writes,

“I read your profile and I know that you have been to Hong Kong!  Wow!  How do you feel about the food in Hong Kong?  I love to eat fish balls, egg puff, grid cake, and three stuffed treasures.  They are the local street-side snack that every tourist must eat in Hong Kong.  I hope that you have tried them”

I told her I have tried many of those things, and many of them are available in the area where I live, as there are many HK-style cafes & snack shops.  The primary food on my mind when I visited her city was dim sum, and yes, I got some!

She continues:

“I learnt California from Geography textbook.  It is a place with great sunshine, right?  Hong Kong is also a coastal region.  It is well known for its glamorous night view of Victoria Harbour.  Quite beautiful, isn’t it?  But for me, I prefer the natural scene to the city view.  In the summer time, I usually go to beach with my friends.  Though I can’t swim, I enjoy the time of listening to the tide and building sand castle.  It is wonderful for us to breathe in some fresh air and escape from the busy time in the city.”

The zebra & the whale are from Nizhnevartovsk, Siberia, Russia, and they traveled 5,552 miles & 22 days to be with me.  The sender is a journalist for a local paper, and she takes in stray cats  She says right now she has three that are looking for good homes.

Two chickens on a beach.  They see a roast chicken on a blanket, and one chicken says to the other chicken, “I told you so: put sun screen on!” That came to me from Austria, having traveled 5,965 miles in 9 days. The sender, like my correspondent in Hong Kong, has a lot to say:

“Austria is the direct opposite to California (Oops!  I forgot Arni Schwarzenegger!), but here some things you have to try, if you come here once (“Once!” I love this movie!).  Go to a “Heuriger” and taste “Grüner Veltliner” (white wine) and black pudding–yummy!  And Palatschinken with marillen jam for dessert!  Forget Mozartkugeln, only tourists buy them.  Try Manner-Schnitten (wafers).  

Okay, so I have been to Austria–many, many moons ago on a h.s. student tour, one very much more about get-on-a-hired-bus-get-off-the-hired-bus-tour-the-old-palace-get-back-on-the-hired-bus variety, so I have no memories of experiencing cultures through special foods.  I do remember hotel meals with overcooked, gray vegetables.  I do know & despise Mozartkugeln, though: marzipan and I are bitter rivals.  And I do know & love Manner-Schnitten wafers, which are only a Cost Plus away.

Lastly, that gorgeous sea lion & bird scene came to me from Dresden, Germany in a voyage spanning 5,753 miles and 9 days. The sender writes,

“I love to walk along the coastline, too–every summer I go to the Baltic Sea or North Sea here in Germany to forget everything around myself and just relax.  Unfortunately I’ve never been to America and so I can only dream of your coastlines and the sea far far away.”

Stamps, stickers, postmarks…

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Finally! Received from India

About 8 months into my Post-botting adventure, and not a whisper to or from India–and now this week, TWO cards!

Both postcards came in through Postcrossing, and both are from Pune, India (a journey of 8,428 miles from me):

Pune is the seventh-most populous city in India and the second largest in the state of Maharashtra.Wikipedia


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The first card I received depicts a Muslim wedding, and it reached my mailbox in a mere 13 days.  The card’s sender has been Postcrossing for about 11 months, and on her profile, she lists her favorite musical artists as Santana, Pat Boone, Englebert, ABBA, Green Day, and Shakira.  She tells me:

“Our country has many followers of different religion.  It is a secular country like yours.  This card has the stamp of J.R.D. (Jamsetji Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was a French-born Indian aviator and business tycoon. He was the Chairman of Tata Sons. He became India’s first licensed pilot in 1929 —Wikipedia)…my sister used to work for him…”

She also tells me she would like to come to the U.S., and visit Niagara Falls and San Diego.

The second card took just 12 days to get to me.  It depicts an item from the collection of Pune’s Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum; the caption reads, “Sher-Bachha (Blunder Burst) – Wood & Steel – Silver Inlay & Gold Damascene – 18th Century A.D., Sindh.

The sender has been Postcrossing for over 3 years.  He is an avid stamp collector, and he tells readers of his profile that his city of Pune “…is known to be the educational hub as well as the fastest growing IT city in India.”

Here come the stamps.  My favorite is that colorful one, “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (Save girl child, educate girl child).

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Received from Germany, Russia, and the United States

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That milkshake-monster lookalike comes from Moscow, Russia, thanks to a “last movie I watched” tag on Postcrossing Forum. The sender tells me she saw…

“…a movie directed by Fernando Meirelles, ‘360.’  Several contemporary stories about characters from different cities and countries, united in a bright love story.  Starting in Vienna, this movie takes viewers to Paris, London, Bratislava, Rio, Denver and Phoenix. I liked this film.”

I didn’t remember hearing about “360,” so I looked it up online.  21% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The beautiful seal is from somewhere between Hannover and Hamelin, Germany, via official Postcrossing.  The sender asks me whether I’ve heard of the “Pied Piper of Hamelin.”  I have, of course!  I wonder if there’s a business in that town called “Pied Piper Daycare.”

I’ve also heard of Fargo North, Decoder.  You know that guy? The last of the postcards comes to me from West Fargo, North Dakota, in a swap-pot “squeeze it in” trade, and the words are pouring every where, in every direction, on the back of this card–full points, for sure.  One thing the sender tells me is that “I bought each & every ND state map card I found because at one time I couldn’t find any!”

Stamps!  The stamps are stampy, but that lion sticker is coooool!

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Received from China & Singapore

These snack boxes make coooool postcards.

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Pepero came to me from Singapore, in a swap-bot “food package postcard” trade.  The sender writes,

“After I joined the swap I realized most of my fav snacks are in plastic/foil packaging instead of paper!  I found this in the supermarket by chance and found it interesting!  As you might know, it’s terribly hot and humid in Singapore (and so) chocolate melts easily.  Thus this seemed like an ingenious design.  Unfortunately the chocolate wasn’t very yummy.  Pocky from Japan is still the champion for me!  Have you tried Pocky or Pepero?”

I told her I can’t remember if I’ve tried Pepero (I think I have), but I am a Pocky fan.  The construction of Pepero (choco-filled) is similar to Hello Panda, a product of Singapore that I tend to keep on stock–and use the packaging for postcards!

Pretz came my way from Shanghai, China, in a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag.  This sender tells me her 5-year-old daughter likes to eat this product.

Beautiful stamps, I love that tiger.

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Received from Australia, Malaysia, and the United States

TONS of cards coming in lately.

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The painting is Peasant Wedding by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (known to his confidantes as “Marblez”). The card was sent to me by a Postcrosser in , in a trip that took 7,877 miles and 26 days.  The sender writes:

“It is the beginning of Autumn here now.  I love the cooler evenings, and the myriad colours of the leaves on the trees.  I love to read too, mostly historical novels, such as Ken Follett’s ‘The Pillars of the Earth‘ and ‘A Tale of Two Cities‘ by Charles Dickens”

The agricultural scene depicts, as the back of that card states, “hand-clipping the tea bushes at Cameron Bharat plantation.”  This postcard was sent to me from Ipoh, Malaysia, and the sender drew a little sun with “34C” next to it, which my metric-to-U.S. translator tells me equals 93.2 degrees Fahrenheit!  It’s no surprise, then, when this swap-bot member tells me, “we occasionally drive up to Cameron Highlands for a cool retreat.”  Lonely Planet tells me that in Cameron Highlands, “the temperature rarely drops below 10°C (50F) or climbs above 21°C (69.8F); practically cool enough to make you forget you’re in Malaysia.”  Brrr!

The last card comes to me from Maryland, in a swap-bot trade called “squeeze it in,” and this guy was able to manage about 18 lines of text.  I’ll share the fact he is reading Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic’s First-Class Passengers and Their World, by Hugh Brewster (known by his lacrosse buddies as “Brew Hughster”).

Stamps!  Uh-oh, be careful: I spy, with my little eye, that O.D.B. James Cook!  The flowers & birds are nice, though.

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Received from Canada and the United States

Three different swap-bot trades:

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The dolphin card was sent to me from someone in North Carolina in a “read in March” exchange, and she tells me her best recent read was The Martian by Andy Weir:

“I knew nothing else about the book going into it, other than it’s very popular.  It was so good, I ended up staying up all night listening to it because I couldn’t turn it off.  It was fantastic!”

Makes me want to check it out!

The scene from Finding Nemo was sent from a swapper in Ontario, Canada. It was part of a book lovers’ swap, but I cannot share her list of favorite books with you, as the washi tape affixing it to the postcard tore off the text.  It did spare the message underneath telling me in part that she lives near the Great Lakes, a beautiful area but with long winters–but she loves winter.

Those frogs, with their disgusting habits, made their way to me from someplace in the United States, from a retired nurse!  I see on her profile that her favorite-ever author is Dr. Seuss, but this was a “creatures great and small trade” rather than one focused on reading.  In lieu of a message, she leaves me with this unattributed quote:

“Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Sent to Austria, Canada, and China

Looks like a fun day of sending!

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Working counter-clockwise from the frog:

Keroppi is on his way to a Postcrosser in Radstadt, Salzburg, Austria, who helpfully lists the postcard likes of her grandchildren as well as herself.  I mail this knowing I can make someone in the household happy, despite the fact I don’t have a Charles & Diana card for the addressee!

Popeye goes to a Postcrosser in Guanghan, Sichuan, China.  Wikipedia tells me that the city’s main industries are tourism, pharmaceuticals and the supply of building material.  Quite the mix!  Anyhow, my card’s recipient listed “sea and beach” among her postcard likes, also adding, “whatever ,I’m pleased to receive any postcard you’d like to send me.”  Well, this card is a bit “sea and beach,” and a bit “whatever!”

Lastly, we come to the top right image, a little bit of mail art.  This is an envelope I created from a worn-out, discarded library book called The Adventures of Jo, Zette and Jocko: The Valley of the Cobras.  It is by Tintin’s creator, Hergé (“Chuck” to his friends).  Looking up this comic series (which was initially published from 1935 to 1958), I learned that Hergé’s biographer stated that the characters were “so colorless that we can hardly bring ourselves to care what befalls them,” and that “Chuck” himself admitted that they “bored me terribly.”

The envelope is full of stamps…postcard209bca

…and is going to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, thanks to a swap-bot trade of used postage stamps.  As I may have mentioned the last time I sent out stamps, I am not even a stamp collector.  It’s quite possible I just entered this trade so I could use my hand-made envelope! Fascinating fact: I created the template for making this envelope by deconstructing the envelope I received in the last swap-bot stamp trade. Also, if you look at the stamps I received last time, you might notice that many of them got reenlisted to head out for this trade!  I was careful, though, not to bore my partner with any Canadian stamps.