There’s a photo of the cards’ fronts down below, but let’s start with the stamps (or lack thereof), because I think this batch of postcards has a couple of interesting stories to tell. First, look at the section of card at the very top, a card I received from a Postcrosser in Poznań, Poland:
Did you see what you didn’t see? I didn’t even notice what I didn’t notice at first, and then I noticed it: there was no stamp! There’s space where a stamp might’ve been, but all of my holding up to a light & staring showed no signs of stamp glue, and then I realized there was no postmark, either. I couldn’t figure it out, so in my registration message, I let the sender know:
“Hi…, thank you for the beautiful mooncake postcard! I only just noticed that there is no stamp–or postmark! Very interesting, & puzzling–but I’m sure glad it made it to me. Thanks again!”
Soon enough, I received this response from her:
“Hi! Sorry that there wasn’t any stamp on the card. I didn’t send it via Poczta Polska – the national Polish post office but a website (napiszkartke.pl) which sends all the postcards from Germany. As they send a lot of them, they don’t get stamps – I think it would take a lot of time to put them on every postcard. I hadn’t known it before I sent the cards – it’s the first time I’ve ever used the website. Sorry once more, I hope you understand.”
Well, she didn’t need to apologize. Anyhow, I just visited that site, and from what I can tell, trying to decipher Google’s poor autotranslation, is that you may type in a message to be written by someone at the company on one of their cards, or you can send your cards to them, to be remailed to the recipients. I think my correspondent did the latter. What do you think of all of this? Received a card from a mailing service? Used a service to send a card? In any case, here was her message to me on the card:
“…I’m 20 years old. I live in Poland where I study Danish and English at university. I wanted to send you a card with a beach as you love them but unfortunately I’d run out of them. So I decided to choose a card showing Chinese food. I hope you like it!”
Okay, one more stamp story, a very, very sad one. Look back up to the image, right below the missing stamp & to the right is a colorful shred of a stamp. The card (which shows London’s Tower Bridge on the front) came via a swap-bot “I’ve been here” trade, from a sender in La Sirena, Chile. I was very excited, because 1) I think this is my first card from Chile; and 2) I could see a Condorito stamp peeking out from behind a postal service sticker that had been slapped on the card. In taking Spanish courses & trying to improve my language skills, I’ve purchased several copies of this comic book. I was excited to be about to get to see this character again! I carefully peeled at the postal sticker, and–it absolutely took the stamp along with it. Dagnab! Why does a country’s postal service go to the effort to design & sell special stamps, if the people receiving the mail will never get to enjoy those stamps? Depressing. Well, here’s what I should have seen.
Oof, I nearly forgot to read the back of the card to you! The sender writes:
“Last year…I did an Eurotrip. My cousin took me to eat crepes, and it was so cool to see how they prepared them. I took so many pictures that a guy was making fun of me, because I was ‘so tourist.'”
I am “so tourist,” myself!
Okay, those were my stamp stories. Moving on, the card with a cartoon cat on the back as well as the front came from a Postcrosser in Tosno, Russia, by way of a “USA to Any Country” tag trade in the forums. It actually does have a big, colorful, delicious food stamp. The sender tells me:
“…I watched a film in which the main character moved to a coastal city. I always wonder how people live in coastal cities…what is their life like? I mean cities with warm climates like in California…”
Since her climate, a couple hours away from the Baltic Sea, is, as she puts it, “rather cold,” she’d probably want to slap me if I told her I am cold here in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Finally, from Groningen, Netherlands, via Postcrossing, comes the card that says, “Retro lekker hip.” The sender’s message:
“Happy Postcrossing from Groningen! A stunning (as I say it myself) city in the north of the Netherlands. The text on the card says something like: ‘Retro: delicious/fantastic etc. hot/hip/modern.”
I have no idea what is going on.