The Stamp that was Torn, & the Stamp that Never Existed: Received from Chile, Netherlands, Poland, & Russia

There’s a photo of the cards’ fronts down below, but let’s start with the stamps (or lack thereof), because I think this batch of postcards has a couple of interesting stories to tell.  First, look at the section of card at the very top, a card I received from a Postcrosser in Poznań, Poland:


Did you see what you didn’t see?  I didn’t even notice what I didn’t notice at first, and then I noticed it: there was no stamp!  There’s space where a stamp might’ve been, but all of my holding up to a light & staring showed no signs of stamp glue, and then I realized there was no postmark, either.  I couldn’t figure it out, so in my registration message, I let the sender know:

“Hi…, thank you for the beautiful mooncake postcard! I only just noticed that there is no stamp–or postmark! Very interesting, & puzzling–but I’m sure glad it made it to me. Thanks again!”

Soon enough, I received this response from her:

“Hi! Sorry that there wasn’t any stamp on the card. I didn’t send it via Poczta Polska – the national Polish post office but a website ( which sends all the postcards from Germany. As they send a lot of them, they don’t get stamps – I think it would take a lot of time to put them on every postcard. I hadn’t known it before I sent the cards – it’s the first time I’ve ever used the website. Sorry once more, I hope you understand.”

Well, she didn’t need to apologize.  Anyhow, I just visited that site, and from what I can tell, trying to decipher Google’s poor autotranslation, is that you may type in a message to be written by someone at the company on one of their cards, or you can send your cards to them, to be remailed to the recipients.  I think my correspondent did the latter.  What do you think of all of this?  Received a card from a mailing service?  Used a service to send a card?  In any case, here was her message to me on the card:

“…I’m 20 years old.  I live in Poland where I study Danish and English at university.  I wanted to send you a card with a beach as you love them but unfortunately I’d run out of them.  So I decided to choose a card showing Chinese food.  I hope you like it!”

I do.

Okay, one more stamp story, a very, very sad one.  Look back up to the image, right below the missing stamp & to the right is a colorful shred of a stamp.  The card (which shows London’s Tower Bridge on the front) came via a swap-bot “I’ve been here” trade, from a sender in La Sirena, Chile.  I was very excited, because 1) I think this is my first card from Chile; and 2) I could see a Condorito stamp peeking out from behind a postal service sticker that had been slapped on the card. In taking Spanish courses & trying to improve my language skills, I’ve purchased several copies of this comic book.  I was excited to be about to get to see this character again!  I carefully peeled at the postal sticker, and–it absolutely took the stamp along with it.  Dagnab!  Why does a country’s postal service go to the effort to design & sell special stamps, if the people receiving the mail will never get to enjoy those stamps?  Depressing.  Well, here’s what I should have seen.

Oof, I nearly forgot to read the back of the card to you!  The sender writes:

“Last year…I did an Eurotrip.  My cousin took me to eat crepes, and it was so cool to see how they prepared them.  I took so many pictures that a guy was making fun of me, because I was ‘so tourist.'”

I am “so tourist,” myself!

Okay, those were my stamp stories.  Moving on, the card with a cartoon cat on the back as well as the front came from a Postcrosser in Tosno, Russia, by way of a “USA to Any Country” tag trade in the forums.  It actually does have a big, colorful, delicious food stamp.  The sender tells me:

“…I watched a film in which the main character moved to a coastal city.  I always wonder how people live in coastal cities…what is their life like?  I mean cities with warm climates like in California…”

Since her climate, a couple hours away from the Baltic Sea, is, as she puts it, “rather cold,” she’d probably want to slap me if I told her I am cold here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Finally, from Groningen, Netherlands, via Postcrossing, comes the card that says, “Retro lekker hip.”  The sender’s message:

“Happy Postcrossing from Groningen!  A stunning (as I say it myself) city in the north of the Netherlands.  The text on the card says something like: ‘Retro: delicious/fantastic etc. hot/hip/modern.”

I have no idea what is going on.