We Begin with Buns & a Dragon: Received from Australia, China, Germany, India, Poland, South Africa, & the U.S.

NINE (count ’em!) cards to share this time around!  They come via Postcrossing, Postcrossing Forum, Postcard United, & swap-bot.  Let’s start with my two very favorite, one of which is this delicious image of char siu bao!  The card is from Shanghai, China, and the sender writes:

You know the picture of the food on the postcard? It’s steamed bun and it’s a little sweet. You can usually eat it in Guangzhou province in China.

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The beautiful seahorse card is from Australia.  Pretty cool how the postage “stamp” is part of the printed image.  The sender tells me:

The weedy seadragon is native to Australia and are a threatened species.  They are found in seaweed beds along the southern parts of Australia.  They can grow up to 45 cm (18 in) in size.  They are slow moving and rely on their leafy body parts as camouflage in the seaweed.  Although I haven’t seen a seadragon in the wild, I have seen them at Seahorse World in Tasmania, which is a working seahorse farm who have guided tours.  I could have stayed there all day watching them and the seahorses!

Otters!  That one is from Lowell, Indiana, and was part of a swap-bot “recycled postcard” swap, which means this sender received the card from someone else, but slapped a new backing on it & sent it my way.  I like this one enough to keep it around!

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I’d regift this nice couple, though!  The card came to me from Poland, from a Postcard Uniter who tells me she is 20 years old, and she loves to travel and cook.

Still more mentions of food on this colorful night view from Nanjing, China.  The sender asks:

Have you tried a special Chinese snack called spicy dry tofu?  It’s a famous snack in China.  It’s spicy, little sweet and salty.  Maybe you will love it!

Maybe I will!  Since she didn’t include the Chinese name in Pinyin, I couldn’t tell if it’s one of the tofu snacks I’ve tried.

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More scenery, this time from India!  So rare that I have postcards traveling to & from there, so it’s a real pleasure.  The image is labeled as being of the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Gangtok, Sikkim, India, and the sender tells me she picked up the postcard there “when on the Darjeeling-Gangtok-Kalimpong circuit!”

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The gazebo came to me from Virgina, and it’s labeled as being at Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin.

These two avid readers were sent to me by a swap-botter in Germany, and she says:

Well, I don’t know about you, but if I have to choose between the 2 newspapers–I definitely go for the comics!!!”

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I took a hard look at the comics section, and was able to discern the strips printed here: Peanuts, Andy Capp, Blondie, and Prince Valiant.

The last card is made from the panel of a waffle box, and it is not as tall as most of the postcards, but much longer than any of them.  Hard to tell, as it was scanned separately!  It came from a swapper in Brakpan, Gauteng, South Africa.

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Okay, it’s finally time for stamps, stickers, and washi tape!  One of my favorites this time around would be the beautiful sun conure from Australia.  See anything YOU like?

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There are some Russian stamps in this card, because while doing the scanning, I overlooked the fact that I’d already logged the corresponding card.  Oops!  The stamps are still interesting though, so enjoy (again)!

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All in One Day! Received from Australia, Finland, Malaysia, Russia, & Taiwan

First mail day of the week, and my box was full of postcards!  Getting five in one day, I suppose perhaps I should brace myself for the idea that this might be it for the entire week.

Let’s start with “Malaysia Traditional Kue,” my favorite card this time.  I must really like it, to call it my favorite when this is probably the 3rd time I’ve received the card over the course of my Postcrossing career.  It came to me via Postcard United.

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That beautiful tea dragon made its way to me from Oulu, Finland, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum food package tag.  The sender writes:

“This is the strangest tag I have ever participated in!  This package shows one of my fave teas to make in ice tea form–I like white teas for it, raspberry & orange in addition to this.  The cute dragon is a bonus!  I don’t use sugar or other sweeteners in it, so black tea tastes too strong IMO.  I do prefer green teas for warm tea.  The stamp shows one of the crazy competitions we have in Finland–boot throwing.  Others in the series include e.g. Air Guitar (the world championships are here in Oulu!), and wife carrying.  I’ve been to the air guitar world championships a few times, but it was years ago.  It’s a fun contest to watch and some performances are really acrobatic.”

Well.

You’ll get to see the stamp she’s talking about down below, but let’s look at that noodle dish, now.  That’s from Taiwan, an the sender tells me:

“I would really like to show you this food.  “Oyster & pork intestine vermicelli with rice noodles (da chang mian xian in Chinese) is my favorite!

Down below, you can see the stamps from her card, and I’ll share her descriptions of the food found on those.

The rather scary Russian scene is from Russia, via Postcrossing.  In registering the card, I learned the sender is a 12-year-old.

Much less scary is the shark card, which I received from Eden, NSW, Australia via Postcard United.  Pretty cool: a first-day issue card from 1998.  I like that cancellation stamp!  The back of the card is quite interesting; the user employs QUITE a few custom & non-custom ink stamped statements & designs, while still squeezing in  little hand-written message.  I’ve left it all mostly intact below, so you can take it in.

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Beautiful stamps on the card from Taiwan.  The sender tells me the fruit on the left is lian wu, or wax apple, and the pastries at the right are her favorite dessert, “dan huang su, egg with mashed red bean and crispy outside.”

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It’s a Business Doing Pleasure with You: Received from Australia

This envelope arrived in today’s mail, completely intriguing me…

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Whom could this be from?  Someone I know?  The return address is Annandale, New South Wales, Australia.  The sender certainly went to a lot of trouble, with all of the stamps.  I really love that rose coneflower, with reminds me of a sea anemone.  I love protea in general.

I open the envelope, and inside there seems to be a postcard & a letter.  I really wonder who sent this to me!

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No trees seem to grow here, but the concrete sure does reach for the sky.

Flipping over the postcard, it seems the sender did not write on it…oh–wait:

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And this is where everything went sideways.

Oh, wait: the sender printed something & glued it to the card.  Why do that?  Why not write?  And then I look closer still.  Oh.  Oh.  He’s advertising something.  This person has a business, selling postcards.

How did he get my address?!? Then I saw the Postcard United i.d.  He’s using his account (and one on Postcrossing) to fish for clients & suppliers of images.  Obviously pumping out these messages as fast as he can get new postcard IDs, and just dropping in names & ID codes into a standard message.  Foulness.  So what’s this piece of paper?

Oh.

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If a person’s email address begins “store@,” chances are they are not here out of friendliness.

Front & back, with his needs.

This reminds me of the time, long, long, ago, when I was job hunting & was called to an interview.  It was in the evening, and a lot of people were there to be interviewed.  We were all called into a room, and–given a pitch for a pyramid scheme, AKA multilevel marketing (like Amway or Mary Kay).  I told off the herders, letting them know it’s crass to deceive people who need real work, and then I left.

It’s so disappointing to have this happen on what’s supposed to be a fun, interactive hobby site. What a horrible thing to happen on Postcard United.

I mean, if I wanted to have a bad time, I’d log onto swap-bot.

 

OH! And swap-bot did give me a bad time today.

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If you liked it, then you should have put a heart on it.

I sent this dog lover a dog postcard, with a dog stamp & dog sticker, among other delights. How much more “extra special” does it get than that? I really do think I need to start taping cash to my swaps.

To be fair, I did get a wonderful postcard today, one I really love, with a beautiful stamp & a nice food-related message…but I’ll save that for another post.  I’m having way too much fun grousing right now to spoil the mood by sharing that card.

 

 

Familiar Folk, in a New Context: Sent to Australia, Japan, Netherlands, & the U.S.

Happy New Year!  Here’s a post that’s been sitting in my draft folder for a few weeks, while I waited for the cards to reach their destinations (to avoid spoilers for the two people who happen to read this blog).  I think it’s safe now…

I like this handful of cards.  Three of them are going out in an interesting swap-bot trade the organizer named “postcard roulette.”  We were assigned one person as a recipient–and then we were to mail a 2nd card to another, unassigned, partner from the trade roster.  As I said, I mailed out 3 cards–one to my assigned partner, one to another participant–and one to the organizer, as a thank-you for hosting the trade.

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My assigned recipient is in Geldrop, Netherlands, and she is a Disney fan, so she gets the Aladdin card.

The swap host lives in San Francisco, California, and enjoys landscape and randomness (my interpretation), and that tiger card fits in both categories, I’d say.

The third card actually went out to a fellow WordPresser!  I was reading the profile of a swapper in Gaven, Queensland, Australia, to help me choose a card she might like (she likes wildlife, so I chose the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas in San Luis Obispo County)–and she mentioned her blog–Under a Canopy of Stars–which I follow!  Had to send a card & say hi.  Hi!

The remaining two cards to regular postcard pals of mine: The World War I Flying Ace went off to Kalaheo, Hawaii, and Pig-Pen (who would have made an awesome President) was bound for Tokyo, Japan.

A sampling of the stamps, stickers, & washi tape:

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They Faded Away by 2009: Sent to Australia, England, Germany, & Poland

In the interest of keeping up, I present this super-fresh post of cards I just prepped to send out this morning.  Warning: today’s post of post marks a return to The Disappointassortment!

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People Suck! That card’s going to Suffolk, England, in a Postcrossing Forum “you choose” tag.  My card was chosen by a retired woman who previously chose another card from this same lovely line.

Twister!  That’s an ad card, with a lot of printing on the back, going out to Munich, Germany, in a swap-bot trade of ad cards.  I remember working in S.F. years & years ago, and seeing racks of free postcards in plenty of cafes & bars.  This is something I don’t see any more, (well, not in my current stomping grounds) so I just looked it up, & found an online article stating that the two big companies distributing “free rack postcard advertising seem to have faded away by 2009.”  Heck, I find it hard to find postcards, in general–never mind just the free ones.

That beautiful dog is going to a dog lover (who lives with a Labrador Retriever) in Limanowa, Poland.  It’s part of a swap-bot “hello stranger” trade in which the whole point is just to send someone a nice message.  So appealing.

That horrible, horrible card is from The Disappointassortment, of course, and it’s off to Pinewood, Victoria, Australia, in a swap-bot trade of “weird/ugly postcards” (actually, they spelled it “wierd,” but never mind). I am so happy to finally be rid of that dungeon.  It’s been quite some time since I sent out a card from The Disappointassortment, and as soon as I flipped it over, I was reminded of yet another downside of this crappy “value” pack I bought online: the laminated writing surface, so ever-ready for an ink-smearing experience.  I slapped a little sticker on the back, in place of the ink-stamping experience I most often employ for random bits of white space.

Can we please move on to something more pleasant?  Here’s a peek a the back side of these cards: stamps, stamps, stickers, & washi tape!

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The German swapper is very interesting in rubber stamping, so I stamped the heck out of her card (in addition to squeezing in plenty of writing).

Hungry Canines & Junk Food at the Beach: Received from Australia, Taiwan, & the U.S.

It’s been a cool, interesting couple of weeks for mail, and this post barely even scratches the surface–but let’s do it, anyhow!

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Whoa, look at Br’er Fox!  I got that due to a Postcrossing Forum trade in which we were to specify which Disney cards we would like to receive.  I provided a very long list, but many items would be obscure.  This Postcrosser in Atlanta, Georgia tagged me before he realized he didn’t have any of the cards–but he is an artist, so he didn’t let that stop him.  He writes:

“Disney’s rendition of the Uncle Remus stories were a big part of my childhood, and Br’er Fox was one of my favorite characters.  Growing up in Yorktown, Virginia, and living in Georgia, I have a big passion for Southern culture!  I hope you’ll enjoy this piece!”

Oh, yes!

The pork is from La Vernia, Texas, thanks to a trade of upcycled cardboard on swap-bot.  The sender doesn’t sing the praise of her product, but she does say she hopes I am well & finding lots of interesting things in my mailbox.  This was certainly one!

Look at that dog, looking at the pork! This cool card is from a Postcrosser in Taiwan, who says:

“I wonder do you have a blog about experiences of travelling & tasting.  I LOVE TO EAT, too!  And I 100% hope we could share with each other.  Do you cook?  I hope you’ll like this card I bought from a road trip to the east part of Taiwan.  Definitely it was a trip about tasting food.”

Taiwan is definitely a food destination on my list.  Yes, I spent 2 hours at a night market once on a layover–a mad taxi dash from the airport and back–but I need to go for real & stuff immerse myself!

Look at that gorgeous view of Hanakāpīʻai Beach, on the island of Kauai, Hawaii.  I’ve not been to Kauai in over 30 years, and that’s a very sad thing.  Cindi sent that to me, and tells me the beach down there is a 2-mile hike from the trailhead–and it looks worth the walk, to me!

That long expanse of beach in Byron Bay, New South Wales comes via a swap-bot “I don’t live here” trade, from a swapper in Australia who tells me:

“I have not been to Byron Bay in well over 20 years, even for a visit.”

Based on this photo, I would like to see Byron Bay, and I hope not to wait 20 years to do it!

Finally, from Falls Church, Virginia, comes the Kool-Aid box.  Yes, another food package postcard tag on Postcrossing Forum!  The best part is the back–full of washi tape & old stamps, and you can see it below.

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This Cow Made My Day: Received from Australia & the U.S.

This cow made my day.

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I received it from a swap-bot member in Phoenix, Arizona, but she created the card, she tells me, from a candy box from her pen pal in Japan.  She continues for about 12 lines about her recent postal habits: Mother’s Day cards, pop-up cards purchased, mail art, and more!  And the stamps!  WOW.  We’ll get back to that in a moment.

Postcrossing brought me that Hahndorf postcard from a sender in Adelaide, Australia.  I received it on her 365th day as a Postcrosser!  Mine is actually, apparently, only the 3rd postcard she’s sent in that time.  She says it’s the 1st to the U.S.A.  The other two were to Germany & Russia, OF COURSE.  Oh, Postcrossing, you need to promote yourself to more countries.  This is my 3rd Postcrossing card from Australia; I joined the site in August 2014, and have received one postcard from Australia in each calendar year.

Anyhow, about Hahndorf: the town’s postcard calls it “historic,” the postcard’s writer calls the town “pretty,” so of course I had to look it up.  The small town, it seems, is Australia’s oldest-surviving German settlement, established in 1939 by Prussian Lutherans. If you go there, I read, you will find several German restaurants.  In my city, there is a long-established German deli, and if you order the pastrami sandwich, the lady puts on jack cheese and sprouts.

Make sure you scroll down & look at all the stamps–what a stamp day this was!  That Australian stamp: even with a scan, enlarged as fully as possible, I wasn’t able to tell what the heck that was supposed to be.  Since I was able to read “Queen’s Birthday Golden Wattle Diamond Brooch,” I looked that up, and was able to find a clear image of the stamp, at a very large size & without the cancellation ink.  The only question left now is, why on earth turn that thing into a stamp?

Now, I’m not saying any of the U.S. stamps down here are winners, either, but just look at the assortment of ancient postal issues!  It’s like a little stamp museum.  Where on earth did she unearth these, and how deep is this trove?  Also, it appears they have not been canceled.  I wonder if I dare attempt to reuse them…

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You know what my favorite thing here is?  The Australia sticker.

I Feel a Rant Coming On: Sent to Australia, Germany, & Romania

I’ve taken a little break from sending postcards, and with only 3 cards currently traveling in Postcrossing (at least one of which I presume lost to the ether), I decided to draw a few numbers.  In doing so, I ran into a couple of my ongoing frustrations with the world of Postcrossers.

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That beautiful octopus card is bound for a Postcrosser in Bolton Point, Australia, and I feel horrible about wasting such a gorgeous card on such a Postcrosser.  Her profile is long, but she only mentions her name & region, before launching off into what kind of cards she wants, what kind of stamps she hopes to see on them, and this:

“I prefer to receive cards written IN ENVELOPE if possible.”

NO.  Simply not possible.  Especially not with this attitude:

…don’t bother to send me just two pieces of paper glued together anyhow or cut-out picture from the magazine – I will not register this kind of rubbish. Sorry.

I can’t stand people who say “sorry” when they are clearly not sorry.  Have you ever noticed that whenever somebody starts a statement, “I’m SORRY, but…” they are about to say something rude?  This Postcrosser’s threat to not register Postcrossing materials simply because they do not meet her expectations–well, it should be reported to the site.  For now, I’m just reporting it to you.

Speaking of turkeys, let’s skip down to that card down at the bottom of the image, which is off to its recipient in Neustadt in Holstein, Germany, ALL she says about herself is a mere, “I live in a small town in the nothern of Germany,” and then she launches off into nearly 30 lines of what kinds of cards she wants, and lists of expired cards by year.  For the 2015 cards, she even lists the Postcrossing tracking numbers & user names.  What a… turkey.  These are the times when I wish we could throw someone back in the pool & have a fresh draw.

Lastly, there is the cat card.  It’s going off to someone much less turkey-like in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, who said she might like a cat card.  She does include an extensive list of possible cards to send to her, including the fact that she’s fond of all kind of postcards, but she also puts some profile into her profile, by telling us a few things about herself.  She’s 34, and she enjoys reading, traveling & watching movies.  She also expresses some interest in learning about the person sending her a card:

“you can write me anything from how you feel at that moment to favorite quotes or things that the postcard makes you think of.I would also like to know what your favorite book or movie is.  I look forward to reading you :)”

Well, that’s much better.

Stamps, washi tape, & stickers:

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Oh, the GAUL! Received from Australia, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain

Mostly Postcrossing here, with a bit of Postcrossing Forum & swap-bot… Oh, who cares about the postcards–let’s skip straight to these stamps!

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Not sure what I think of that ink-stamp impression in the lower-right quadrant: “Thank you Mr. Postman; have a nice day.” First, maybe it’s Ms. Postperson; and second, to be able to notice this enough to read it, s/he is clearly ignoring polite society’s rule about minding one’s own business. How about a version that says, “Hey Mister or Miz Post Person: if you can read this, get your attention back to the address!”

The upper right, the upper right!  What a cool Asterix stamp!  Now, there is another guy with unfortunate facial hair on the bottom row, but I am not so impressed with that one. I think all of the stamps from Australia are wonderful, too.

So, three of these cards are from Russia, two from Germany, and then one each from Australia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.  Not that these even all arrived in the same month, but today is clearly Eastern Europe Day.  And also Spain.  Plus Australia, which isn’t even close to Europe, but does have its certain ties.

Okay, here are the front sides…

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

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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.