The Problem with Food Tourism: Received from Poland, Taiwan, & the U.S.

Three awesome cards up top this time, starting in Hawaii with another cooool Peanuts card from the Suntan Snoopy collection!  Thanks, Cindi! And the special stamp, which you’ll see at the end of the post.

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That beautiful image of a tea house at night is from Taipei, Taiwan, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum trade.  The sender writes:

“I really like America.  It is so beautiful!  I have there this year for work and travel in Big Sky.  I really had a good time there, hope can go again.”

And so it happened that I, the American, went online to look up “Big Sky.”  Now, I’ve been once or twice to a Big Sky Cafe in San Luis Obispo, California, but I assumed that’s not what she was talking about.  After my search, I asked her if she meant Big Sky, Montana, not far from Yellowstone National Park.  Indeed, she did:

yeah! the town in Montana 🙂
and I worked in Big Sky Resort, the largest ski resort in the United States

The wonderful–delicious–illustrated card is from a Postcrosser in Tainan, Taiwan.  He writes:

“I’m an university freshman majoring in education.  If you have a chance to travel, welcome to Taiwan.  We have a lot of special, cheap and delicious foods.  Maybe you will love it.”

Do you know what the problem with food travel is?  Not enough stomach space.  VERY frustrating.

The 3 cards at the bottom all came in an envelope from a Postcard United member in Wysokie, Poland.  Not for the first time in my very young Postcard United career, I have been assigned to a user that had previously been assigned to me.  This fella wrote on the nicest of the cards–the owl:

“I collect postcard and magnets from different countries.  Please send me a postcard from your region.”

Those other 2 cards, I suppose intended to be gifts in trade, couldn’t interest me less.  I’d feel guilty even sending them out in a Postcard United or Postcrossing assignment.  I ended up scanning them and adding them to my Photobucket of “offers” for when I enter such reverse tags in the Postcrossing Forum.  If this sender had looked at my favorited cards, maybe he would have seen something in his collection that woulda been a more motivating bribe for me, but, nah.  In truth, thanks to the way Postcard United apparently works, I have indeed ALREADY sent him a card from my region!

Nice stamps!  Check out the atemoya — AND THE DUMBO!

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Peanuts & Curry: Sent to Hong Kong

Usually, I wait until I’ve sent out a few things, before I try to recapture the whole lot of them to share here.  This morning, though, I put something together for a Postcrossing Forum tag trade to Hong Kong, and I just couldn’t wait to share.

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This envelope I made first entered my life earlier this week–through my mail slot–as the cover of a magazine.  As soon as I finished reading the mag, I started sizing up the cover for its possibilities as an envelope.  It turns out the possibilities were quite good!

The Postcrosser in Hong Kong did state a preference for envelopes.  I don’t normally pay any attention to that.  Having seen that she likes Peanuts postcards, I was going to just write, address, & stamp this one, and drop it in the mail “naked,” as the postal deities intended…

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…until I saw this line in her profile, where she suggested what people might talk about in writing to her:

“You could try to tell me…your favorite pizza topping.”

This is exactly the point at which I decided I would make an envelope, and stick my postcard in there–along with a menu from my favorite pizza place.

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I can recommend anything from section 2 of this menu, two of my faves being the Paneer Tikka and the Tandoori Potato.  And as I told this mailing’s recipient, Pizza & Curry is just (I think) the first of many places now in the area that serve up pizzas with Indian flavors.  So good!

I think I’ll order one on Monday.

Jeez, Morning People Are the Worst! Sent to Germany, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Russia, & Ukraine

“I’m addicted to weird things. So, if you have some unusual cards I’d be glad to have one.”

That’s what the Postcrosser in Barnaul, Russia wrote, so she gets Retro Dining Family.

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That card, and the one right next to it, are both from The World’s Tackiest Postcards, a book I found at a library bookstore.  The charming highway scene will go to a friend of mine in Hong Kong, and I can’t wait to see what he has to say about this little surprise in his mailbox.

As for the rest of this batch:

Worm: Chennai, India (Postcard United)–This guy, who said he’d like funny cards, has been at this hobby about a year.  He writes, “I am a graduate student in India, and in between studies, postcards give me time to relax and think about friends around the world.”

California’s Natural Wonders: Luedenscheid, Germany (Postcrossing)–This recipient likes map cards, and I am sending her my favorite of the various California map cards I’ve come across, having written about a couple of my favorite points she’ll notice in the image.

Tiger: Mariupol, Donetsk, Ukraine (Postcard United)–sad to say, but this “Uniter” said nothing about herself, just providing a “want” list instead.  Fortunately, that included nature, cute little animals, and kawaii things, so this is sure to be a hit.  The card also is good for cipher-crossers, because it has a back story I can explain in lieu of actually making a connection based on her profile.

Empire State Building: Changkat Jering, Perak, Malaysia (Postcard United)–This man, who likes b&w cards (and many others) was a big outdoorsman, until suffering a stroke, and since then he has picked up stamp collecting & postcard exchange.  He writes, “I like to have friends all around the globe even though my English is not very good but try to do better everyday.”

Take a look at some of the stamps & washi tape:

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A Great Batch, with a “Bad” Ending: Received from China, Japan, Taiwan, & the U.S.

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Those very busy, porcelain-making pandas came to me from Harbin, China, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum tag trade.  Did you hear the news stories about the U.S.-born pandas who were sent to China, and are having a rough time with the language & food?

Cindi in Hawaii tells me Honi Kaua translates as “kiss me.” You know Hawaii is a special place when, for once, a kiss from Snoopy doesn’t leave Lucy calling out for iodine!  This very cool, very special Hawaii card is such an exclusive that I, in many trips to Hawaii throughout my life, have never seen it in any stores there.  Of course, most of the stores that draw me in happen to be ABC Stores!

The two busy Peanuts postcards in the middle are from a postcard pal in Tokyo, Japan.  Even more than the cards she sent, I love the envelope she made for them–out of an entire Snoopy-themed Mister Donut bag!

 

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The Taiwan card is from Taiwan–Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to be exact.  The sender writes:

“I’m a college student.  I live in Kaohsiung, a south city of Taiwan.  Kaohsiung used to have an important harbour, so there were lots of old warehouses.  Now the area of these warehouses become a famous art center.”

I love the beautiful flower stamp on her envelope (scanned below), which is labeled as Calliandra emarginata, but it looks like lehua to me!

Finally, from Kansas City (and no, I don’t know which one), thanks to a swap-bot trade of movie/TV postcards, comes that “Breaking Bad” card.  The sender writes:

“Did you ever watch Breaking Bad?  If not, I highly recommend it.  It is a masterpiece.”

No, I have never watched that.  You know what show I highly recommend?  Luke Cage.

I mentioned one of the stamps before, but look below & you will see that this was a wonderful batch for stamps!  In fact, the only two I do not love are the buildings.  I’ve scanned just one of the two Snoopy-with-hibiscus stickers (each of them different) on Cindi’s card.  I’m a fool for tropical flowers.

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Big Hero 6 & the Unmanageable 8: Sent to China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Poland, Singapore, & Taiwan

I thought I’d wait to share my outgoing postcards until I had sent out a handful or so–and before I knew it, it’d become an unmanageable 8!

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The “Southside with You” movie poster card went to Singapore for a swap-bot “movie/TV” postcard swap.  I picked up that card at a movie theater, and was not just pleased to have a movie postcard to share–I was also excited to see the movie!  When it came out, I did indeed go see it, and really enjoyed the entire thing.  I was happy to be able to write about the movie on this card, as this swapper, though she provides a long, long, profile, it’s not about her–but about what she wants, wants, wants.  Sigh.  Well, one thing she wanted was “vintage tickets,” and though the vintage is probably late 1990’s or later, I glued a few arcade tickets onto the card as a divider.  You can see that down below.

Another movie represented in the next card: “Big Hero 6.”  That went out to Mumbai, India, in a Postcrossing Forum Disney tag trade.

Hearst Castle is next.  It went to a castle lover in Hong Kong, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum USA-Asia tag.

By the way, I’ve started sending out more cards via Postcard United!  Astro & the Dogs are headed for Shanghai, China, to a recipient who wrote, “I prefer like: Marvel, Harry potter, Game of Thrones.”  Since I had none of that, I sent her Astro Boy, UglyDoll, Battlestar Galactica.  I’m sure she’ll like it.

The Jetoy cat is also headed out via Postcard United; it’s going to a cat lover in Bergheim-Fliesteden, Germany.  She says she doesn’t like any animals except cats & butterflies.  Oof!

She also doesn’t like to receive religious themes–the exact opposite of the Postcard Uniter I drew in Łódź, Poland, who prefers them.  Since I have none of that, I combed his profile for other possibilities.  Good News: he writes,

“JAPAN and USA: please send me card from your country (landscapes, buildings, culture etc) – I am fascinated by this.”

–I can help with that!  I pulled out the Oakland card, and told him a little bit about that city.

Matisse’s “Woman Before An Aquarium” is for a regular Postcrossing draw, and it went out to an art lover in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Finally, the tiger went to New Taipei City, Taiwan, in a Postcrossing Forum tag trade.  The recipient is a new Postcrosser, an 18-year-old high-school student, and though she provides a list of possibilities for people who really need guidance, she prefaces it with, “no special request for the postcards, they are all surprising gifts to me.”

I just love that.

Okay, have a look at some of the stamps & stuff!

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Talk of Food, with a Bunch of Other Stuff In & Around: Received from Canada, China, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, & Ukraine

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Of course, my favorite card this time around is the one at top left, loaded down with dim sum.  Arriving the day after I had been out for a huge dim sum feast…

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…this made me smile even wider!  It came to me from Fuzhou, China in a Postcrossing Forum tag trade, and the sender had seen the card in my favorites.

“This card shows some popular dishes.  I like them too.  🙂  I’m glad to send this card to you.  My summer holiday was finish.  I began to work.  The mid-autumn festival will be coming. We eat mooncakes on the day.  I like mooncakes.”

I made mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival this year:

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The colorful card at top right, full of figs & stuff is a Postcrossing arrival from Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine.  The sender tells me:

“This postcard depicts (Crimea’s) sights and culture…and FOOD.  We have a lot of fruits, fish and vegetables and our cuisine is based on this ingredients.  It’s very tasty as the Russian cuisine and I strongly recommend you to visit my country, my city, my region at least because of its food.  If you’re interested, I’ll give you some recipes.”

The cartoon kid came to me from Mannheim, Germany, and the sender writes:

“I’m working as a librarian at the university.  My 15 years old nephew is a fan of Naruto and he gave me this card for you.  OK, it’s an ad card…but we thought you might like it.  My hometown is Mannheim where Carl Benz invented the automobile in the years 1885/1886.  The stamp is a fairy tale stamp of the story about Hansel and Gretel.  Have a nice mail day!”

You can see Hansel & Gretel down at the bottom of this post.

The ship on a postcard is from a Postcrosser in St. Petersburg, Russia, who tells me:

“I love reading and my favorite book is ‘The Master and Margarita.’ And also for cuisine, I prefer Georgia’s.  It’s really amazing!  I like spicy meat and I’m fond of their sweets, too!”

Then we come to two fish postcards, joined into a single notecard with washi tape.  The envelope crafted for this is remarkable–you can also see it down below (complete with the bite taken out of it somewhere along the snail mail pipeline).  This came to me from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada as the result of a result of a swap-bot swap: the swap I shared that was so special I felt the need to mail something off in return. This time, she writes (in part):

“Thanks very much for responding to the swap I had sent you.  It was an even happier snail mail day because it involved a Smurfette envie, cool stamps, a retro postcard, and you left very little white space on the postcards–these are my favorite kinds to receive! 🙂

The sea creature rubber stamps you asked about–they are a set from a company called DJECO.  My memory is kind of dismal these days, but I think I got them in the kids’ section at the Vancouver Art Gallery giftshop.  I did check Amazon, but they didn’t have this particular set.  I found them a few years ago, so don’t know how available they are.

You know of ROBOCON!!! It was not until I looked him up as an adult, that I realized he was an actual character!  I though he was just/or could have been a figment of my childhood imagination.  I can’t tell you why I so loved this robot when I was a kid.  Still do, I guess!  

I’m off to Befordshire and will start the new Springsteen book.  Hope I don’t fall asleep b/c it’s heavy and it’ll hurt when it falls on my face.  :I  “

Boy, can I relate to that last bit, about falling asleep while reading in bed(‘fordshire’).

Finally, from a Postcrosser in Groningen, Netherlands, I received that postcard of tapas.  The sender had put this in an envelope, and she wrote:

“If you ‘love’ food, I ‘have’ to send this card to you.  Sorry for the envelope, the sorthing machines mark black stripes on the front of the card.”

I do need to say at this point that if someone were to invite me out for tapas, I would be hoping to go to the tapas place not far from my home.

Okay, this was a rather long meeting.  Let’s end it all now, with a look at the stamps, postmarks, envelope & stuff.

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Common Courtesy, Gratitude & Kindness–and the Utter Lack Thereof. Yeah, it’s Another Swap-Bot Post.

As I begin writing this post, it’s International Kindness Day.  That’s got me thinking about the rating I received 3 days back on a swap-bot “upcycled cardboard” postcard swap I shared in this space not long ago.  The card in question went off to Brown Mills, New Jersey, and here is the rating received:

The blank space next to the “5,” it would have been nice to see a heart there.  As I’ve discussed before, I try to really throw myself into my trades–I always shoot for the 5 and the heart.  But that is not why I am posting today.postcard794bf

The big empty space above the word “Respond” is the space where the recipient had a chance to say something to me: a thanks, etcetera.  Nada.  Zilch.  Zero.

Let me show you what I sent her:

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Let’s see: variety of stamps, ink stamps, washi tape, and a friendly & descriptive note.  SHOULD I HAVE TAPED CASH TO THIS?  IS THAT HOW I MISSTEPPED?

Just in case you think you might not have enough information, here is the swap outline:

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Do you know what, though?  It doesn’t matter.  I mean, it doesn’t matter that I tried to create a fun card–front & back–and go above & beyond the requirements of the swap.  Even if I had not…

…the recipient should have at the very least written “thank you.”

Anything less is rude.

I Dispute Nearly Every Single Thing She Wrote: Received from England, Finland, Japan, Netherlands, & the U.S.

Let’s get right to it!

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I LOVE THAT SEAL CARD.

“Hello!”  That card, and the one below it, are both mine thanks to another swap-bot “upcycled postcard” trade.  This piece of art was created by a swapper somplace in the U.K., who tells me:

“I have used part of the box from my dog’s dry food!  Her name is Daisy & she is a Border Collie.  We rescued her 2 years ago from a puppy farm.  She is an absolute beauty!”

The fig image is from Hartford, Connecticut, and the sender writes:

“If you can’t tell, this is a picture of pomegranates.  I love pomegranates, but they are too much work!  This cardboard is from a Graze box.  Graze is a company that sends you little boxes of snacks.  Healthy snacks.  They are delicious.”

I dispute nearly every single thing she wrote, except for the part about the cardboard being from a Graze box. Figs are distinctly different from pomegranates–and those are figs.  I tried Graze sometime back–perhaps on a recommendation on a similar panel from this same user–and, yuck.  Dried junk easily found at local stores, and their mockery of international flavors in their soups?  Oof!  I do not know why they would show a photo of fresh fruit on their packaging, when what they offers is the farthest thing from fresh.

My favorite postcard in this batch is certainly that seal, which came to me from a Postcrosser in Dordrecht, Netherlands.  She tells me that like me, she loves the sea, but she doesn’t get to go much, due to the fact her husband has a leg wound.  She is hopeful that next year they will be able to start enjoying vacations “with our little caravan.”

That swingin’ Brighton card is from a friend of a friend in Peacehaven, East Sussex, England, who wanted to trade cards with me.  She tells me that hers is a small town, 7 miles outside of Brighton, and:

“Most people here dress like the dudes in the picture and drive the same cars–well, our friends do anyway!”

Those poor elephants make me sad.  The card is from a Postcrosser in Fukuoka, Japan, and she tells me:

“My hobby is walking, drawing, reading, eating and travel. I traveled to Thailand 10 years ago.  Thai-Food was very spicy.  I like curry. 🙂 And you?”

Yes, very much.

Finally, we get to the card at the bottom right.  It’s from Valkeakoski, Finland, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum “last trip” tag.  The sender writes:

“We visited TALLINN, Estonian on June.  It’s an old characteristic town.  From Finland it is rather cheap to buy a cruise to Tallinn or to Stockholm, Sweden.  I have visited both towns several times. On the card you will see the oldest part of town and the castle on the right corner up.  It is on the hill.”

Stamps, sticker, & postmarks:

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Stupid & Cats Like High Places: Received from Japan & Taiwan

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Astrooooo!  That beautiful Astro Boy card came to me from Saitama, Japan, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum tag trade.

The Snoopy Tokyo Station cards at top & bottom right are both from a postcard pal in Tokyo, Japan, and they act as sheet 1 & 2 of a little letter she wrote me.  She had recently visited the Tokyo Skytree, and tells me:

“I saw a crowded city from a height of 450 m.  This city has a lot of buildings & houses.  Cars are like a miniature of a car like ‘TOMICA.’ A part of the floor is made of glass.  I couldn’t stand on it, I was too scared! My mom told me I was stupid, and I had to stand on it.  Of course, she was right, but ‘stupid and cats like high places’ is a Japanese proverb.  Do you like high places?”

I was lucky enough to get TWO Kiki’s Delivery Service postcards, both I think from Studio Ghibli/wish list tag trades on Postcrossing Forum (I send to people providing their non-Ghibli wish list, since I have no Ghibli cards to send).  Both from Japan: Fukuoka and Tokyo.

One more card, one more PF tag trade: that’s the Great Pumpkin card, and it came to me from Fengyuan District, Taichung, Taiwan.

Here come the stamps, stamps, and washi tape.  I love the Doraemon stamps, and the animal stamps, and the dragonfruit, and the Kiki stamp–and that l’il mail ninja!

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An Assortment to Go: Sent to Brazil, China, Japan, Taiwan, & the U.S.

Let’s get a bunch of outgoings out of the way at once, here.

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The two food package postcards are for a swap-bot trade.  Have you ever tried pani puri?  Mmmm… that card is going to Porto Seguro, Bahia, Brazil, and the Saladitas saltines panel went to Browns Mills, New Jersey.

The Rapunzel/Tangled card is headed for Beijing, China in a Postcrossing Forum tag trade to someone who in addition to liking Disney characters, enjoys Marvel characters including Sam Alexander’s Nova.  I told her I’m a big fan of the newer Marvel characters, too–perhaps especially Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel.

The coast & castle scene from The Little Mermaid went off to a lover of that movie in Taoyuan City, Taiwan; that’s a regular Postcrossing draw.

How ’bout that wacky retro tennis scene?  It’s another card from my ma’s stash, off to Ōtsu, Japan, in another Postcrossing Forum tag trade. Take a lot at the caption from the other side:

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Tiger went out in yet another Postcrossing Forum tag trade to New Taipei City, Taiwan.

Finally, the California card.  That was a regular Postcrossing draw, and it went out to Oberschefflenz, Germany–arriving there in about 7 days!  It’s just incredible to me sometimes, the time differentials; I have a Postcrossing card out to France, for instance (not all that far from Germany) that’s been traveling for 17 days as I write this.
OH!  INSTANT UPDATE!  As I was writing this, I got the “Hurray” message that the card arrived!  Here’s the message:

Thank you a lot for your amazing postcard of California. I love the illustration on the postcard. A lot of colours, that’s really beautiful!! I’d love to visit California. But this summer, I maybe will go to my bestfriend’s home : Wisconsin, Milwaukee! Should be beautiful too.

Okay, time to show a little backside:

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