Mail Boxes, Accordioned: Sent to Germany, Finland, Japan, Malaysia, & the U.S.

This is a very cool postcard that somehow ended up in my hands. If it looks as if it might be printed on a grocery bag, well, that’s not far off: in fact, the stock is so lightweight, the card got accordioned more than just a bit, just standing along with other postcards. It’s good, then, that some brilliant swap-botter thought of creating a “mishap” trade, in which we could all mail each other banged-up, stained, and mutilated cards. This one, in fact, goes to the trade’s creator, who is in Denver, Colorado.

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Isn’t the card otherwise very cool, though? It’s a giveaway from a stationary store in Canada that hosts a monthly letter-writing club.

The rest of the cards this time are heading off in Postcrossing Forum tags. Snoopy & his typewriter are on their way to Diamond Bar, California.

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Elephant & Piggie are going to Helsinki, Finland.

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California Natural Wonders heads off to Marl, Germany.

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Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado) goes to a national park lover in Osaka, Japan, and “California: A Photographer’s Paradise” is destined for a map card lover in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

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Time for stamps, stamps, stickers, & washi tape! I hope you’ll agree that there’s some good stuff down here.

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Animal Edition: Received from Canada, Germany, Japan, Philippines, Russia, & the U.S.

Still lots of catching up to do around here! I have enough previously-unlogged cards with animals on them to make that the theme of this post. Here we go.

I’ve got a life-long love of maneki-neko! I actually have a small collection of them, though not all in my collection are small.  This came to me from Japan in a Postcrossing Forum tag, and you can read the message on the back (about maneki-neko) in the scan at the bottom of the post.

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This wonderful humpback whale card is from the Philippines, another Postcrossing Forum tag, and its scanned message is also shared down below.

This next card was NOT received via Postcrossing, Postcard United, swap-bot, or any of that; it’s a thank-you card for donating to Muttville senior dog rescue in San Francisco. Senior dogs are very special, and I donate to more than one organization that specializes in helping them. In fact, right now I am expecting a 2018 calendar I ordered from Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Tennessee.

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This beautiful seal came to me via Postcard United, from Kaluga, Russia. The sender tells me that it’s not far from Moscow, and:

We proud of Cosmonautics State Museum. I love art, music, puzzle, psychology, and to make photos.

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The Elasmosaurus, like the humpback whale we saw earlier,  came my way thanks to a Postcrossing Forum marine life & sea creature tag, this time from a sender in Texas, and she tells me:

Living in delightfully dry North Texas means I don’t get to see the ocean a lot. But I love reading about life millions and millions of years ago, when Texas was nothing but swamps and seas. Did you know they found plesiosaur bones when they started tearing up land to make DFW airport? Awesome!

Then we have this meerkat! As I type this, I think of the meerkats at the Santa Barbara Zoo, which I am POSITIVE get handouts from scofflaw zoo-goers. Every time I visit this beautiful zoo, and come around the corner toward the meerkat enclosure, these little guys become very attentive, especially if I have a bag from the gift shop. People who like to feed wild animals & zoo animals don’t give a damn about health concerns & dietary needs.

Anyhoo, this very tall card is from Biberach, Germany, via Postcard United.

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He seems to be keeping his eye on that hawk, and for good reason. The card is from Canada, received in a swap-bot “currently reading” trade, and the sender tells me:

I am reading H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. Please remember to rate me.

I would have rather heard about the book than had that prompt. I kinda hate swap-bot.

Time for stamps, etc.! I really like that pair of raptors from Canada, so well-paired with the card to which they are attached!
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I think I like this rooster from the Philippines even more! I’m also a big fan of the whale & fish stickers. And what a great shore bird sticker from Japan!

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Peanuts & Thai Food: Sent to Germany & the U.S.

Okay, I’m down to one saved post waiting to be published, and this is it. This does not mean I don’t have more catching up to do; I’ve got a whole lot of sent & received postcards that never even made it this far! Well, I’ve added the bits that were missing from this post, and now here it is.

To Kranzberg, Germany, via Postcrossing Forum:postcard toon Peanuts strip

Sent to Oceanside, California, for a swap-bot trade of restaurant ad cards, this free card from a great Thai restaurant in San Francisco:

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Time for stamps, stickers, & washi tape!

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Goop in the Cereal: Received from England, Germany & the US

Wow, I love this Snoopy card so much.

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It’s from England, from a Snoopy-infatuated post-pal who usually has a hard time finding Snoop-cards to send, but she tells me, “it was actually in my collection of cards and I had 2!”

I also really love this “aloha” card, which came to me from Düsseldorf, Germany via Postcard United.

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The sender tells me:

I am a 30-year-old highschool teacher… at the moment, I am enjoying my holidays. Mainly by reading a lot because the weather is not very good and I do not have the opportunity to travel this time.

Here, from Sunnyvale, California via a Postcrossing Forum “food and drinks” tag trade, comes a fascinating fact about coffee, which is either true, or not so much:

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The sender tells me:

This “fun fact” really grosses me out, yet here I am, drinking my morning cup of coffee!!

I was on my second cup as I read that.

I’m more grossed out by this cereal box panel, sent to me from Bad Meinberg, Germany, in a food package postcard tag

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The sender writes about the cereal:

It’s a new edition because it is baked with popcorn. It tastes good but not as good as I expect it. Do you have similar cereal combinations in the USA?

No–or at least not that I know of. What is grossing me out is that once I read the cereal brand is “Vitalis,” it sparked some basic relic of information in my brain (which I confirmed with an internet search): “Vitalis” was a gross hair product men used to use in the 1970s. Now I know why the cereal isn’t as good as that guy expected.

Stamps! Some really special ones this time, don’t you think?

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Foodie Edition! Received from China, Hong Kong, Russia, & the U.S.

I’ve got some catching up to do, in posting my received postcards, and as I was sorting through the stack looking for a unifying thread, I sure found one: FOOD!  Those are the cards I’ll share this time, starting with my very favorite:

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I’d love to spend some time in that amazing scene.  It came to me in a Postcrossing Forum “Hong Kong to the world” tag, and the sender writes:

“This is the traditional wet market in Hong Kong.  Instead of supermarket, my mother still goes to these traditional market.  People know each other in the market and the owner sometimes gives us ‘gift’ too.”

Now, look at this amazing biang biang noodle poster, sent to me from China in another forum tag:

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The sender tells me:

“Biang biang noodle is the most famous food in Shanxi Province.  The character ‘biang’ features the most strokes in all Chinese characters.”

Yes, go back & look at that!  The character is like a big box full of smaller characters!

Next up, also from China:

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“This card is about the stinky tofu in Changsha, it’s very delicious!”

Have you ever encountered stinky tofu?  It is STINKY!  You always know if you are in a restaurant that serves stinky tofu.  Nevertheless, I did try it once, from a food truck here in the south San Francisco Bay Area.  It didn’t work for me, but do you know who LOVED it, and wished I had bought more?

My dog.

But yes, I do suppose I will try it again at some point.  Grownups aren’t afraid to try new things, and to realize that one taste doesn’t represent the entire food, and also that tastes change.  Speaking of changing tastes, do you know something I liked as a kid, that I absolutely can’t stand now?

Ketchup.  YUCK.

Okay, moving on.  Time for some more deliciousness, this time from Nanjing, China:

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You can read the sender’s brief commentary on the diversity of Chinese food below, in the scan of the flip side of her postcard.

Now we have a bowl of soba, sent to me from Lompoc, California.  This person was assigned my info from Postcard United, which I, until quite recently, thought only assigned international partners.

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The chili peppers are from Russia, and the sender writes:

“You say you like Asian cuisine, so you should like hot chili pepper.  I prefer European food mostly but sometimes I like something hot also.”

That person should also scroll down & read about the diversity of Chinese (never mind Asian as a whole) cuisines.  “Spicy” is by no means a word that unifies Asian cuisines.

Finally–and also from Russia–we have this food package postcard.

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The sender tells me he recently went to a Natalie Imbruglia concert.  I felt like I was stepping into a time machine!

Stamp time!  There are indeed some food stamps down here.  My original idea was to only scan & share the food-related stamps, but I also enjoyed the story-based stamps from China, so I ended up deciding to scan & share everything.  I like the round fruit stamps from Russia, how about you?

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Traveling, Recycling–and Whittling Down the Dissapointassortment: Sent to Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, & the U.S.

I’ve got cards going out to seven different countries, all but one being signees of the Paris Agreement.

Hey, I got rid of one of my Disappointassortment cards!  That heart locket card goes out in a Postcrossing draw to Brasschaat, Flanders, Belgium, to a recipient who said she likes cards with hearts on them.

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The mail-a-sea-lion card goes to a sea-lion-loving family member.  I love sea lions, too!  Scroll down, and you’ll be able to see the other side of this very functional card.

It’s the Grinch!  He and a lot of other offspring of Dr. Seuss’s imagination reside in Springfield, Massachusetts, in the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden.  I visited this site in May, just missing by a couple of weeks or so the grand opening of the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum!  But I did get some postcards, & sent this one to Cindi in Hawaii.postcard128

I also visited the PEZ factory in Orange, Connecticut! What a fun experience.  I bought a lot of stuff–and I also picked up some free postcards they had, promoting their party room.  This one went to North Hollywood, California, for a very specific swap-bot trade: “Free/Ad Card: I picked this up on vacation.”  I just knew these would come in handy.

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The fox went off toward Tokyo, Japan, for a Postcrossing Forum USA/Asia tag.  The recipient said she liked foxes!

There’s a second Disappointment card going away!  These ballet folklórico dancers are not the problem; it’s that the card manufacturers failed to give context for the card, and…oh, just refer to the original post.  The card went off to Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, in a Postcrossing Forum “China Meets the World” tag.  The recipient said he liked cards featuring cultural celebrations for our area, and, well, here in the San Francisco Bay Area, this counts!  I grew up enjoying ballet folklórico in schools, museums, and other settings.

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Something not so easily found in the Bay Area is great Thai food.  Oh, there are Thai restaurants absolutely EVERYWHERE… but just try finding a Southeast Asian person who would want to eat in any of them.  I have finally found two restaurants that break that sad mold, and one is San Francisco’s Kin Khao.  You, I assume, being someone who is interested in postcards, you may love to walk into this restaurant to find a wall decorated with a huge postcard rack, full of food cards yours for the taking!  I’ve mentioned this before; you can see the rack in that post, here.  This one goes to Stetten, Germany for another specific swap-bot trade: “Free Postcard–Restaurant/Coffee Shop.”

Next we have a couple of cards I created from boxes of frozen food, for another swap-bot trade of “up-cycled cardboard.”  I don’t usually buy frozen prepared food, but these two items from my local Indian supermarkets reeled me in.  The Kati sandwiches (card going to Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) seemed like an improvement on Hot Pockets (a low bar; Hot Pockets are nasty), and they were.  As for the other package (going to South Elgin, Illinois), I really like good sambhar.  This was not really good sambhar.  Better stick with home or restaurant-made.  THEY MAKE FOR NICE POSTCARDS, THOUGH!

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This Mickey Mouse card went to Longquan Station, Taiwan, via a Postcrossing Forum Disney card tag.

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Okay, let’s move on to the stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff.  I think there may be some stamps here you haven’t seen before.  Please share your thoughts!

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A Successful Hunt: Postcard Shopping Along the Interstate

Okay, neither of the roads I’m talking about–officially California State Route 1 and U.S. Route 101–are part of the Interstate system, but let’s not facts get in the way of a decent title.

I written a few times here about my complete failure to find any California map cards to replenish my depleted stock.  I see in people’s profiles & tag requests that map cards are often what they want, but recent trips to areas such as Monterey and the state’s northern coast have netted me absolutely nothing.  Well, a whirlwind day trip to San Luis Obispo County after a short morning work shift earlier this week put me in the pink again, state card-wise!

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I think I ended up with over 80 cards, buying multiples of these and a couple of others that bear photos.  I bought them at three places where I usually buy postcards in the area: a tiny “super” market, a Rite Aid, and–the primary source, as always–a gas station!

The best news, considering the quantity I’ve purchased, is the price: I bought more than 60 at the gas station, and those were 35 cents each.  Expensive!  I mean, at the Rite Aid, where I bought fewer than 30 (I think), they were only 25 cents!

So what I’m saying is, I’m stocked up on state map cards again.

 

 

Driving Off the Map: a Postcard Shopping Update

Last time I posted, I was lamenting the difficulty I’m having in trying to find California map postcards for sale (map cards being very popular among Postcrossers), and taking odds on whether I’d ever see such cards for sale out in the wild again.  I mentioned I’d be taking a trip up the California coast, and looking to buy some postcards along the way.

Here’s what I found:

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These shots are extremely representative of the views I took in over the weekend.

Every single one of these, to me, is far more beautiful than a map card, but map cards are what people seem to want.  Fortunately, people often want lighthouses, as well, and I was able to find a couple of cards sporting those (though the lighthouse is obscured on one card in my group scan shown here.  What was I supposed to cover, the seagulls?  NOPE!).

The task was not made any easier by the fact that this area–the confluence of coastal Sonoma & Mendocino counties–is so outrageously remote that even the postcard rack I managed to find in one gas station was covered in a light veneer of dust. Never mind looking for a CVS–the only chain anything out there were the two gas stations in the town where I stayed.

Anyhow, I loved the views & the beach time & the wildlife I saw.  I’m just saying that I’ll never see another map card again.  But I’ll still look again on my next road trip, whenever that happens.

My Quarters for a Map Card! Sent to England, Germany, Japan, Macau, Scotland, Switzerland, Taiwan, & the U.S.

A dozen outgoing cards to share this time, and lots of variety.  Make sure to check out all of the stamps, stamps, stickers, washi tape, & weather doodles at the end!

But before we end, we begin.  And we begin with some food recently detailed in another post.  This portion went out to Alamo, Texas, in a swap-bot trade of ad/food postcards.

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California’s Grapevine–a very yawny route–went to Macau, in a Postcard United draw.  I don’t remember sending to or receiving from Macau before, but that’s all changed now.  A day after I drew this user’s name, I RECEIVED a postcard from her!  This is not the 1st time that this has happened to me on Postcard United.  Do you use the site, and has this happened to you?

The California state map with the gigantic surfer went to Schiffdorf, Germany in a Postcrossing trade in which we were to send the person we tagged a card from among those they had marked as favorites.  This was my very last state map postcard!  It’s a crying shame, because for some reason, a whole lot of postcarders seem to love & collect map cards.  I even took a day trip to touristy Monterey, California, last week, in part to restock on California map cards.  I popped into SO many stores selling cards–one of them had a huge wall of cards–and I encountered ZERO map cards.  I’ll be taking an overnight trip up the coast this weekend, & see what I find.

Next set of 3!  The “Keep Surfing, Dummies” shark swam off to Lynnfield, Massachusetts, in a Postcrossing Forum trade where partners choose the card they would like from those in an album the previous tagger has posted.  Scroll down & I’m sure you’ll be able to identify the card’s backside, seriously themed with oceany stamps, stickers, washi tape–and even a lurking shark!

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The very bored-looking reader went to Glasgow, Scotland in another favorites tag.  This Postcrosser’s profile mustn’t have given me too much to work with, because I behaved like a scoundrel & wrote about the weather.  To be fair, California weather has been extraordinary lately: 101, a major state highway, was completely closed down in southern San Jose due to flooding.  Heck, animals at the city’s zoo had to be moved.

Peanuts!  That’s off to Dongshan County, Yilan, Taiwan in another Postcrossing Forum trade.  That one was all about cards going to & from that country, so I’m happy to say another Taiwanese Postcrosser will soon be sending me a card.

Next set of 3, and aren’t those otters beautiful?  Every once in a while–and a couple of times recently–a wild otter will hop up to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s great tide pool exhibit, give birth, and hang out for a day or two before hauling back out with her new pup.  This card, and several other otter cards purchased at the aquarium, ended up being the only postcards I purchased during my day trip I mentioned earlier in the post.  This card went to my post pal in Hawaii!

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Kitty in pearls went to Tokyo, Japan in yet another Postcrossing Forum tag.  Yes, I love those trades.  You should check them out, if you never have.

Another beautiful kitty, the tiger, went to Poughkeepsie, New York, for a swap-bot trade of “beachy” postcards.

The last trio of postcards here go out in a pair of Disney-related swap-bot trades.

Beauty & the Beast are on their way to to a trader in Metairie, Lousiana, who might have the most beefed-up swap-bot profile (or any profile, for that matter) that I have ever seen.  Music, books, movies, TV, plus her Hogwarts house AND plenty of writing prompts for would-be correspondents–these are just for starters!  I enjoyed her list of dislikes, perhaps most of all this section:

“misspelling (stationery includes envelopes; stationary means affixed 🙂 and poor grammar (should have; a lot; lack of commas in direct address; don’t even get me started on it’s and its or they’re, there, and their :(“

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Rapunzel’s prison should end up in Sion, Valais, Switzerland; and Snow White & friends went to Brighton, Sussex, England.

Okay, time to look at all of those backsides!  If you look closely, you will see a few changes in weather in the time I was preparing these cards.

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Okay, here comes the back of that shark card I shared…

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Oh, it was really windy when I prepared the Disney cards.  I created a new weather doodle!  Also, a few days before writing these cards, I had been to San Jose’s Japantown, where I bought a sheet of silly sushi stickers, which I used on all 3 of these cards.

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DONE!  What do you think?  What are your favorite cards/stickers/whatever this time around?  And how much do you want to bet I will never see another California map card out in the wild again?

 

 

We Begin & End with Fish: Sent to Japan, Netherlands, Taiwan, & the U.S.

It’s a good time to try to think of pleasant things.

I have some catching up to do!  Let’s start with these cool new postcards I bought, two of which have long-since gone out to post pals in Japan & Hawaii.

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This mermaid smells like a wet dog.  And fish.

Later, I made envelopes to send more stuff to the same two people.  This one I made from a photocopy of an old comic book cover, & sent off to–can you guess?

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Yes, Hawaii!  And here’s the back-side of the envelope.

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Inside went some stickers, a note on a postcard, and an old brochure I unearthed.

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That piece of advertising has to be 35 years old, at minimum.  When I unearthed it, I had to do some online research to see if the place still exists.  It does!  Here’s the rest of the brochure:

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I asked my friend if she’d been there.  She has, to the restaurant–it’s a cheap place to eat!  I’ll have to remember that, the next time I’m in the neighborhood.

Here comes the other envelope I made, this one for my friend in Tokyo:

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I enclosed another sheet of those Peanuts stickers, plus a note on this postcard:

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Here are more postcards that went out, these for Postcrossing Forum & swap-bot exchanges.  Off they went to Hoofddorp, Netherlands; Goleta, California; Taichung City, Taiwan; and Tsukuba, Japan.

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Finally, have a look at the stamps, stickers, and washi tape!  I think it might be time for me to restock my stash of fish stickers!

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