A Fun Bunch of Characters Gathered at the Fireplace: Received from All Over

Hanging up some of my favorite postcards received this year, and in years past. Happy New Year!

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A Few of My Favorite Things: Received from China, Japan, & Russia

Three wonderful cards to share this time, representing some of my top favorite categories: toons/toys, food, & animals! One of these arrived months ago, the other two just yesterday, all via Postcrossing Forum tags.

First postcard is this very large one from Yokohama, Japan. I love this old-school Astro Boy artwork.

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The sender’s message on the back is intact in the scan below. As you’ll see, she writes of a toy museum in her town. I would love to visit. It made me think of one I have visited, the MINT Museum of Toys in Singapore. It also makes me think I should organize my own toys. Heck, I should organize my everything.

Some delicious food ahead, from Xi’an, China:

They are one kind Chinese pie on this card. There are many tastes: Chinese leek & egg, blanched garlic leaves & egg, Chinese leek & beef, Chinese sauerkraut & carrot. I like the fried taste.

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Love that squirrel, sent to me from a Postcrosser in Russia! She tells me:

I love animals so much! By the way, squirrels are very common animals in Russia.

Time for a look at stamps and washi tape! Isn’t this an interesting trio of toy stamps on the card from Japan? I just looked them up, and they are from Hungary (the sender posted this card to me inside an envelope).

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Peanuts-Gram! Received from Japan

Wow, take a look at this full envelope I received from a Postcrosser in Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan! She tagged me in a forum “favourites” tag for that fish card, but then stuffed that envelope with Snoopy Museum goodness!

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She knew (from a card I’d sent her) that I love Pig-Pen, so she included him near the return address, and then she drew a picture of the Pig-Pen soap she’d seen at the Snoopy Museum. By the way, I recently visited the less-flashy Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California.  They currently have a tiny Pig-Pen exhibition.  No soap in the gift shop–but there are wee bottles of hand sanitizer!

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Look at the Lucy & Schroeder comic strip below.  My favorite versions of the characters!

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This #1 sheet below was printed with a green background.  Don’t know why it scanned white… maybe I should take my scanner off “professional” setting.

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The Beautiful Postcard I Had to Toss Back in the Post–AND–No Red Ink, Please: Received from Japan, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan

Yes, I’ve had a “catch and release situation.  We’ll get to that momentarily or so, but first:

LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL POSTCARD!  And the beautiful one next to it!

The Tezuka Osamu crew, with Astro Boy in the center, came to me from Nara, Japan, in a Postcrossing Forum trade where senders show the cards they offer, and the recipients make a choice.  The sender wrote that her favorite here is Mitsume ga Tooru, the Three-Eyed One.

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The “Taiwan Snacks” card came to me thanks to another Postcrossing Forum tag, and is from a sender in Taipei.  She wrote:

“I want to share about Chinese snacks.  Steamed bun is a traditional food.  There are various flavours in steamed buns.  At breakfast time, I often eat steamed bun and drink a cup of coffee or soy milk.  Hope you can try it.”

Have a look at the coooool stamp from the Tezuka card!

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Okay, no more delay; it’s time to talk about the card I loved to see in my mailbox–but had to drop back into the system.

I was happy to see this nicely-illustrated map of Sri Lanka–I don’t think I’ve ever exchanged cards with Sri Lanka–but once I turned it over, I was confused.  The message was written in Chinese– and the address was not mine.

It’s long been a problem in this neighborhood: 1) at least a couple of the streets are numbered the same; and 2) a lot of the postal carriers are rather careless.  Apparently the carrier who spirited this into my mailbox saw a postcard & decided I was the postcard address (for it was delivered to me along with all the other cards in this post), nevermind the fact that the street written in the address field is 2 away from my own.  And so back into the system with it.

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I get to drown my sorrow, though, in merienda–Filipino snacks.  It’s a card I get to keep, and it came to me from Quezon City, Phillippines, and it came to me thanks to a swap-bot trade.  Usually around now, I would share at least part of the note written on the card, and this sender shared some interesting info about when merienda is “taken,” but there was a problem: the message was written in red ink on a brown background. Now, her writing is extremely neat, but the contrast issue…I had to pick up a magnifying glass.  I bought one a couple of months ago at a dollar store, so I could better enjoy the stamps coming in on my postcards, and it saved me with this postcard.  Red ink on a white card is difficult enough, but on brown?  And in the evening… the eye strain was great.  I also notice by lack of bar codes at the bottom of the card that it had to be hand-sorted.  I’m saying colored inks are nice for coloring, but for writing?  BLACK INK, PLEASE!  If you say this is never an issue for you, congratulations & consider yourself fortunate.  End of public service message.

Recycled packaging postcard time! “Ouma” came to me from Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa, in a swap-bot exchange of “upcycled cardboard.”  The sender tells me, “we are still in summer and I can’t wait for some cooler weather.” Where I live, we are still in winter, and I can’t wait for some warmer weather!

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That Fullo looks pretty good.  It was sent to me from Singapore, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag.

Time for all of the backsides.  You will see a bit of the red ink on brown, but please know that my scan not only enlarged the card; it also darkened the ink considerably.  I love these fruit & flower stamps from the Philippines & Taiwan!  All the stamps are nice, actually.

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Here is Really No Fun: Received from Canada, Germany, Greece, Japan, & the U.S.

I love this postcard of Astro Boy (AKA Mighty Atom) & friends which came to me from a sender in Tokyo, Japan, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum trade in which the person tagging looks at the recipients favorite cards, and sends one they think would be appreciated.  I do appreciate it, and I love the Doraemon stickers on the back, too!  Scroll to the bottom of the post to see those.  This card’s sender tells me:

“I have a 3-year-old son and a newborn daughter.  I work as a software engineer.  I sent you this card of ATOM!!  Wishing you peace and health from Japan.”

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I love, love, love that Astro postcard.

Then comes the Japanese food–NOT sent to me from Japan.  It’s from Riverside, California, in another Postcrossing Forum “see my favorites” tag, and the sender writes:

“I hope that you are having an especially lovely day today.  This card gives me a serious sushi craving.  I love a good rainbow roll.  Surprisingly, there are some great sushi places here in the desert.”

This Snoopy nengajō is awesome.  It’s another card from Tokyo, in a Postcrossing Forum Peanuts tag, bringing me “best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year.”  Wonderful Doraemon stamp on the back, too!  Nengajō: why, why, why is this not a thing here in the U.S.?  No new years greetings, and not much of an emphasis on the Lunar New Year… which reminds me of an NPR interview I heard this weekend with 97-year-old Chinese cuisine icon Cecilia Chang:

(NPR’S NEDA) ULABY: But as much as Chiang loves the Lunar New Year, she misses being in countries where everyone is celebrating it.

CHIANG: Here is really no fun.

Y U P !

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Then we have–donuts?–from Friedberg, Germany.  Sounds appropriate!  This comes my way thanks to Postcard United.  The sender tells me:

“I live here with my 74 year old mother and I take care of her.  I wish you all the best.”

More food, thanks to a swap-bot trade of recycled cardboard.  It came to me from Greece, where the sender wrote:

“Bye Bye 2016!  This is my last postcard for 2016 and that’s good.  Besides the famous people who died, I lost family & friends.  It’s been a lousy year for death.  On the other hand, we made a profit during ‘the season,’ we aren’t hungry and going further into debt.”

So there’s that.

COFFEE TIME! That came to me from Virginia in a swap-bot trade, and  it got me wondering as to whether Chase & Sanborn Coffee still exists, so I looked it up–and it does! It is now owned by the same Italian company that also bought up Chock full o’Nuts, and the company website taught some stuff about that brand:

“Chock full o’Nuts coffee houses are very widespread, especially in the Northeast of the United States. They serve top quality, 100% Arabica coffee, as well as the well-known date nut bread and a wide range of refreshing drinks.”

I HAD NO IDEA.

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Finally now, a card from another WordPresser! Melissa in Canada sent me a very Canadian card, indeed: flag on the front, hockey player stamps on the back!  You can see them, plus Doraemon, and all the stamps, stickers & postmarks below.

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Holiday Special I: Astro Boy Edition

There have been a couple of years where I was truly inspired to go all-out with the home-crafted holiday greetings, me-style.  Here is the result of one particularly satisfying bout of craftiness:

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I’m not sure if my friends & loved ones really knew what hit them.  While my parents’ generation issued holiday cards by the bushel, it seems the practice is not as appealing any more.  Now, I don’t miss braggy mass-produced newsletters, but it sure would be fun to receive…well, exactly the kind of card shown here!

Coming Up: Holiday Special II

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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Face it, Tiger: You’ve Hit the Mailbox! Sent to China, England, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, & the U.S.

It’s going to be quite the session today.  THERE WILL BE  A RANT!

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For now, though, let’s start with the tigers.  THREE tigers, going out in 3 Postcrossing draws.  The first goes to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and I chose this card for her for no particular reason, save perhaps for the fact that she said she’d like to see anything unique from my country.

The next tiger goes to Singapore, and I feel that rant coming on.  CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS POSTCROSSER IN SINGAPORE?  She has been with the site for more than 8 years.  She has sent nearly 6,500 cards.  And as for her profile?

N   O   T   H   I   N   G   .

SHE HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRITTEN AS A PROFILE.

What is her point in participating in this site?  I mean, to the extend she is even participating; I see the lack of a profile of any kind a complete refusal to participate in the project.  The only reason I chose one of my favorite postcards to send out is that in the absence of any kind of connection between sender & recipient, this card helps me out by having a back story I can write in the message space.  I mean, I hope a message written on the card will not offend this prolific cipher.

/end rant

The tiger heading for Rotenburg, Germany will be going to an interesting home, I think. This Postcrosser had some very specific requests:

PLEASE WRITE ME BABYNAMES WITH LETTER S ON START
-Please write the date, temperature, distance, how much postage you pay for the stamp and tell me where do you keep your postcards to?

I don’t even know what that last part means.  I fulfilled all of the middle stuff, and ignored the “babynames” bit.  She has internet access.

Astro Boy!  He’s off to Mangalore, India in a Postcrossing Forum Anime/Manga tag.  This Postcrosser writes in his profile, “through Postcrossing I can see your side of the world :-)”

The postcard hewn from a package of pani puri went to Falls Church, Virginia in a food package postcard trade.  That product may not have been the perfect solution for pani puri lovers, but it was definitely fun, and it makes for really great postcards, I think!

The rather boring “Fremont” card is off in a Postcrossing Forum “China Meets the World” trade to Hangzhou, China, to an engineer who said he would like postcards depicting the sender’s city.  I told him I didn’t think these are very good representations. I would certainly snap up postcards featuring the Mission Peak photo on Fremont’s Wikipedia page.  It also shows a small corner of the city’s Central Park, which itself would offer several postcard-worthy scenes.

The last two cards are from the boxed set, “The Art of Disney: The Renaissance and Beyond (1989-2014).”  The Beauty & the Beast card–well, let’s just say I need a postcard secretary.  I scanned the front of the card, but have no record of the other side.  Doing some looking around, the scan date seems to coincide with a swap-bot Disney postcard trade, so that makes sense, yeah.  Apparently I mailed this off to Hollywood, England.

Finally, the Lion King card is off to Xi’an, China, in a Postcrossing Forum Cartoon/Comic Strips/Anime tag.  The recipient is an 18-year-old who likes giraffes, and Disney, and many other things.  She asked that people not write in cursive, because she couldn’t read it.  BOY, have I received postcards I could not decipher!  I do print my cards, though perhaps not always as neatly as I ought.

Here you go: some of the stamps, stamps, stickers, & washi tape:

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A Chocolatey Center! Received from China, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, & the U.S.

Quite a few to share this time; let’s move clockwise-ish, beginning at the upper-left, and ending in the center.

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ASTRO!  That cool card came to me from Omiyaku, Saitamshi, Japan, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum USA-Asia tag trade.  The sender tells me, “He becomes a manga artist and is the 70th year this year.  So there is a commemorative event in Japan.”  I don’t know, can’t find anything on this…

TOTORO!  Another Postcrossing Forum tag trade, this one Studio Ghibli-Wishlist.  In this trade, I always enter during the “wishlist” phase, wherein the new tagger needs to send the previous user something from thier wish list.  This would be because: 1) I enjoy receiving Studio Ghibli cards; and b) I do not have any to send out.  The sender of this wonderful card is somewhere in Russia, and she writes, “I like Ghibli anime, too.  Almost all.  🙂  What anime do you like more than others?  What anime are you watched latest?”  I told her I like the cutesy stuff, like Totoro, Ponyo, and Arrietty.  Spirited Away, I love that.  The latest I’ve seen is Miyazaki’s latest (and allegedly final), The Wind Rises.

We have a couple of chunks of reused food packaging here: the pizza box is from a swap-botter in Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa.  She even put a puffy pizza sticker on the back!

The orange bars are another Postcrossing Forum trade, this one of food packaging, of course, and came to me from the Netherlands.  This sender and the previous have more in common than just sending me their recycling; they both also write about the weather!

Speaking of the weather, next up is that rainy shot captioned “A Small Southern Town.”  The sender is in China, and he sent me the card the same way most of this batch’s senders did, through a Postcrossing Forum trade.  He writes, “I went to California this January.  It was really a perfect place!”  I’m very interested in knowing what places he visited!

From a small town to a big city: this card is my only regular Postcrossing card received in the batch shown, and it comes to me from Beijing, China–even though it bears an Australian ID code!  The sender explains: “I’m an international student in Australia and today is the last day of my winter vacation.  Tomorrow I’ll back to school.  I’m now stay in Beijing China which is my hometown.”

Finally, we have a chocolatey center!  It’s a swap-bot “recycled postcard” swap, and it came to me from not-all-that-horribly-(I guess)-far-away Rohnert Park, California.  The sender, as required, slapped a new back on a card she had received in the mail.  Now, when I do this, I take a piece of cardboard & glue it firmly back there, but this sender had some kind of light adhesive on hers, & I was able to peel it back and discover that she had received it in a “touristy postcard” swap-bot trade from a sender in Pennsylvania.  The Hershey Visitors Center seems interesting: they have a “tour ride,” which, as far as I can tell from viewing their website, is more like a Disneyland experience, and NOT an actual view of factory operations.  Speaking of Hershey visitors centers, there used to be one a bit outside the SF Bay Area, in Oakdale, California.  The visitor center got shut down in an overabundance of caution following 9/11, and several years later, the entire factory got moved to Mexco in an overabundance of something else entirely.

Some great stamps & stuff this time!

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