“It’s a Disaster:” Received from Belarus, Lithuania, & the United States

A pair each of Postcrossing & swap-bot incomings this time–from Minsk, Belarus; Zarasai, Lithuania; and Alabama & Connecticut, U.S.A.:

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Since I’m rushing through this, I’ll just write about the top left card, which was sent to me by a Postcrosser in Minsk, Belarus.  She tells me:

“Here’s a card which shows you some items of household with their names in Belarusian… Could you believe that these cards were issued to motivate people to talk their native Belarusian language? The problem is that we mostly speak Russian.  It’s a disaster.”

Stamps & postmarks!

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Snow, and water, & things close-by: Sent to China, England, Poland, & Russia

A lot going out, all in one day…


Do you have a favorite?

Olaf x 3 is on his way to Derby, England, for a swap-bot Disney postcard trade.  This is the first card I’ve pulled out of a newly-acquired boxed set “Art of Disney” cards.  We were to write a Disney-related message on the card, & I kept mine Olaf related: how for me he is the best part of “Frozen,” and how I saw him inside Disneyland, resting atop a building & greeting people standing in line to meet the princesses.

That concludes today’s swap-bot segment; the rest of the cards are Postcrossing draws.  The card at top right, depicting California’s Marine Mammal Center, is on its way to Vladivostok, Russia, where I assume it will be handed off to this Postcrosser’s wife, as he says she is the one who likes “cute animals.”  Unless she doesn’t find pinnipeds cute, in which case I have no use for her.

The tiger card is on its way to Chongqing, China.  This is actually a resend, replacing a (different) card I sent over 60 days ago, and which is therefore now “expired.” The intended recipient accepted my offer of a resend, but also told me this:

“The postcard is usual travelling for one and half month in China. But sometimes it takes longer. I had received a card travelled for 123 days. Amazing!”

So, perhaps she will receive this new card, and also the original!  She tells me she is sending me a card to thank me for the resend.

The lighthouse, I hope, will find its way to Szczecin, Poland.  The recipient expresses interest in all sorts of water-based athletics & sport, but the closest thing I have to offer is water.

The beautiful harbor seals are supposed to end up in Zhejiang, China, with a Postcrosser who describes herself as “a 25 years Chinese girl,” and says almost nothing else about herself, but does go on at some length about what type of cards she hopes to receive. Mine fits under the “animals live in the ocean” category.  I was, of course, careful to steer clear of her NO list:

“NO Handmade cards/ad cards/wierd cards…and no postcards in envelope.”

I don’t have a clue what she meant by wierd/weird cards, but I think mine is in the clear.

Wax Coating nearly spoils the day: Sent to Australia, Ireland, & Malaysia


The frozen food packaging is headed for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in a Postcrossing Forum tag for postcards made of food packaging.  I’d tagged this user before, & sent her a panel of a Chex cereal knock-off, so I reached for something a little different this time.  Are you a samosa lover?  They are actually pretty easy to make from scratch, dough & all, but this product can be good, too–also a quick way to achieve the Burmese salad samusa thote. I learned, as I started to write on the card, that there was a bit of a wax coating on the inside of the box.  Fortunately, I was able to scrounge up a felt-tipped pen to save the day (and the postcard, onto which I’d already affixed six stamps)!

The other two cards are regular Postcrossing draws.  Kitty is waving goodbye as it heads off for Canberra, Australia, to a Postcrosser who says she has a house full of teenagers & cats.

The ship has left for Dublin, Ireland, to someone who says he would like a postcard with a ship.  That’s the one I have!  Uh, had!  I purchased it a month or two ago in case of just such an emergency.

Something Fishy: Sent to Alabama, U.S.A.

A swap-bot trade instructed participants to make a fish tank postcard:

“I don’t mind how you do it, but make one fishtank-postcard for one partner. Use your illusion 🙂 All techniques allowed…stickers are fine as long as you use them tasteful.”

I love fish, sea creatures, the ocean, and aquariums–so how could I resist?  I couldn’t, that’s how.

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Here we have some gift wrap, layered with black plastic from a mailer, green plastic from a newspaper wrapper, brown paper coffee filter, stickers, and colored ink-stamp impressions.

Since I was hauling all of this stuff out, putting in all of this time & effort, I got the most I could out of it by making six postcards, rather than just one.  This means you will be seeing various other versions here as time goes by!

Water-related fun: sent to Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, & the United States

Apropos of nothing, let me share that I am re-watching “Spider-Man 3” as I log this, and it may actually be far worse than I remember it–and I remember it as being an awful mess.


The first card is my one regular Postcrossing draw this time around.  It’s the view of Morro Bay, California, and it goes to Berlin, Germany. The recipient says she loves “…to be outside and roam in nature whenever the weather allows it.”  While some people have very specific lists of cards they want & do not want, this user writes:

“…I don’t have special wishes. I’m glad to share a piece of your life, so just pick a motif you would also like to receive and write whatever you would like to tell me.  I’m always happy to get an insight on people’s lives around the world, and I’ll be glad to hear from you!”

I told her about how I enjoy the beautiful nature in & around Morro Bay, and some of the things she might be able to see, were she to visit.

The flying fish are going to Decatur, Alabama, for a swap-bot “what are you reading?” trade.  Since I am still making my way through the last book I wrote about here, I won’t mention it again!

The next two cards are going out on tag trades via Postcrossing Forum.  The first card–a boy & his dogs at the beach–is headed for Kasukabe, Japan, as part of a “USA-Asia” tag.  There is a bit of this Postcrosser’s profile that made me feel she might enjoy this card:

“I like to see the beautiful scenery. But, there is no experience of traveling abroad. So, I want to see the beautiful scenery of the country in which you live. I love manga! “

The last card goes to Hong Kong, in an “anime/manga” tag. The person I tagged had written a list of anime/manga likes that included Crayon Shin-chan 蠟筆小新–and there he is, in all of his (very typical) glory.

Sent to Austria, Canada, and China

Looks like a fun day of sending!


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.

Ephemeral Tragedies: Received from Lithuania, Russia, and the United States

Half of this haul actually went well, but a dramatic title always spices things up!

That poor dead bird, though…


The cat was not responsible for what happened to that bird. At least, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t…

The poor eviscerated bird somehow made its way through my mail slot via Postcrossing, from Lithuania.  It was a die-cut card, which I’m sure is what sealed its fate.  The poor thing’s legs & chest have been torn away. All remaining on the back is (most of) my address, the stamp, Postcrossing ID, and “Hi John! Greetings …m Lithuania!” In the tattered edges, I can see there was originally more. I somehow remember the post office used to deliver such tragedies in little plastic bags with apologetic notes…

Things aren’t going so well with that cat card, either.  Sure it’s in one piece–but its backside is barren!

It came to me from Alabama, part of a swap-bot “creatures great & small” trade, in which we were to exchange animal cards.  The directions included, “write a message, quote, or something something, you know.”  As you can see from the image below the cat, there is a whole lotta nothing on the back of that postcard: simply the swap title, user name, date, a couple of tiny (though lovely) stickers, and “Have a great day!”  And oh, I’m sure I would have, if only the sender had bothered to put just a wee bit of time & effort into writing something on the postcard.  Write what, you ask?  Who cares what!  A message, quote, or something something, you know.  Why sign up for a postcard exchange if you don’t want to use the postcard for its intended purpose?  Swap-bot, Postcrossing–internet searches–they all have plenty of advice for what to write if you can’t think of something by yourself.  I’ve explained several times here that I am not into any of this for the postcards, but rather what I will call cultural exchange.  If I wanted to collect postcards, I would buy them myself.  It would be a whole lot cheaper that way.

I would rather have ten eviscerated birds than one cat with an under-tended backside.

The other two cards are just fine: the one full of colorful siphonophores came to me from Idaho, part of a Postcrossing Forum marine life tag.  The sender fills out a card like I do, with neat writing filling up the space at about 13 lines or so of text.  She writes, in part, of looking up these creatures & learning “…they’re in the same family as Portugese Man ‘o Wars, which I used to see littered on the beach when I lived in Florida.”  Here we have my favorite card of the day.

The final card came to me via Postcrossing from Moscow, Russia.  It depicts the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, which Wikipedia tells me is “a few blocks southwest of the Kremlin. With an overall height of 103 metres, it is the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world.”  The sender tells me that she and her daughter were having a short vacation.

The stamps are just great.  I love the tiger, and also the birds–which I think look like grackles.


Received from the United States

Both of these are from swap-bot trades…


The stamps are for a homemade “stampcard” trade (mine is here), and this comes to me from Oregon.  My very favorite is the guava!  The sender tells me, “I’ve never been outside of the United States, but I get a little thrill with each international letter I get.”

The bookshelves came my way from Alabama, part of a “book read in March” swap.  The sender recommends Submerged by Dani Pettrey: “This is the 1st in the Alaskan Courage series & is a nice balance of inspiration, fiction, & romantic suspense also including some historical info re: Russia & Alaska.  I will read more in this series.”

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

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


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.


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