Show That Colorful Backside: Sent to China, England, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Spain, & Taiwan

ELEVEN cards this time, including decorations from ALL of the backsides!  Yes, I’m serious: if you don’t believe me, go on down to the bottom of the post right now & look!

On second thought, you know what? Let’s ONLY do the backs this time–there are so many, and so much going on, it’s really just–enough.  I’ll show the fronts, and trade details, next time.  I mean, unless another post gets in the way.

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You may notice that in the days I was preparing all of these cards, I was experimenting with how to work out the new stamp values to equal the international stamp rate.  My initial attempts put me over as much as four cents per postcard.  More exact addition led to precious little room to address the cards.

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I finally landed on the information that one Forever stamp, plus two postcard rate stamps, equal the value of one international stamp.  The previous math was 2 Forevers + 1 Additional Ounce = 1 International.

Old stamps require new math:

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Peanuts & Curry: Sent to Hong Kong

Usually, I wait until I’ve sent out a few things, before I try to recapture the whole lot of them to share here.  This morning, though, I put something together for a Postcrossing Forum tag trade to Hong Kong, and I just couldn’t wait to share.

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This envelope I made first entered my life earlier this week–through my mail slot–as the cover of a magazine.  As soon as I finished reading the mag, I started sizing up the cover for its possibilities as an envelope.  It turns out the possibilities were quite good!

The Postcrosser in Hong Kong did state a preference for envelopes.  I don’t normally pay any attention to that.  Having seen that she likes Peanuts postcards, I was going to just write, address, & stamp this one, and drop it in the mail “naked,” as the postal deities intended…

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…until I saw this line in her profile, where she suggested what people might talk about in writing to her:

“You could try to tell me…your favorite pizza topping.”

This is exactly the point at which I decided I would make an envelope, and stick my postcard in there–along with a menu from my favorite pizza place.

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I can recommend anything from section 2 of this menu, two of my faves being the Paneer Tikka and the Tandoori Potato.  And as I told this mailing’s recipient, Pizza & Curry is just (I think) the first of many places now in the area that serve up pizzas with Indian flavors.  So good!

I think I’ll order one on Monday.

Received from Hong Kong, Spain, and the United States

After a week of just about nothing, I received three postcards in one day!

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That cute one on the left came from a Postcrosser in Hong Kong–and in all the months I’ve been on Postcrossing (coming up on 7, I think), this is only the second Doraemon card I’ve received!  The first one, which was from Taiwan, is here.  The new card traveled 10 days & 6,925 miles to get to me from HK, from a young sender who tells me she loves “reading, drawing and eating delicacies like chocolates…”

The sunset view came to me from Madrid, Spain (in a trip of 5,786 miles over 24 days), from a beach-loving Postcrosser who has a dog named Janis, because she & her family love Janis Joplin music.

The card with the cartoon nuns comes from Switzerland, but not directly.  It is part of a swap-bot “not my country” trade, and the sender of the card (who acquired it from a pen-pal), actually lives in Colorado, U.S.A.  She notes that, like me, she loves listening to Public Radio.  Speaking of which, as I started to log all of this, I was attempting to drink coffee while also listening to Dame Edna being interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition.  A very dangerous thing to attempt!

Stamps and stuff:

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I love that Year of the Ram stamp from HK.

Sent–ALL OVER–Via Snail Mail My Email

Last year, I spotted something interesting in a local independent book store: Snail Mail My Email: Handwritten Letters in a Digital World. From the book description provided:

Feeling nostalgic for the almost forgotten written letter, author and former ad man Ivan Cash fell upon a simple idea: he invited anyone in the world to send him an email, and he’d write it out in a letter and mail it, for free. Participants could even request a doodle or to seal it with a kiss.

What started out as a personal art project exploded into a worldwide event. As requests poured in, Cash enlisted an international army of volunteers who helped create more than 10,000 letters sent all over the globe.

I bought the book, and read it, and was intrigued.  I decided I’d like to take part if the project took place again.  And so, when the annual Snail Mail My Email event happened earlier this month, I was a part of it!

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–and boy, am I tired!

In short, people who want an email message sent as a physical letter send it to the Snail Mail My Email project, which distributes the emails to its volunteers, who write the messages out, stuff them in envelopes, stamp them, & send them off to the intended recipients.

I received 20 e-messages to turn physical & mail along, and you see the results in the images above. My letters went to Canada, Estonia, and the United Kingdom, as well as several destinations here in the U.S.: California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, West Virginia–and even Puerto Rico. The forwarded emails came in one at a time, throughout the day, throughout the week.  I tried to do a few at a time, so they would not stack up on me; this was a very time-consuming activity!  Some people have interesting requests, some easily created a spark in my mind as to how to put them on paper, and some notes made me think a lot about what to do to make them interesting to the recipient.

There was one person who was clearly NOT Santa Claus, but was impersonating the old guy in order to try to control their children.  Lots of uses of the words “be good” and “obey.”  I passed that one by the real Santa, who rewrote the message in his own words, and gave it back to me to send along.  Yes, I know Santa.  Some time ago, I helped Santa Claus answer his mail–and it’s something you can do, too.

I don’t know that I would take part in Snail Mail My Email again, but it is a very interesting project, and at many times, a fun one.  I am happy that I was a part of it this time around.  The question that intensified in my mind over the course of the project week–and in the weeks since–is: why don’t these people write the letters to their friends, children & lovers themselves?  Why pass what are in some cases very private & intimate words through multiple strangers?  Honestly, I think that in some cases, the recipients of these handwritten letters are going to be angry over the filtering through third parties.

I hope that this project inspires the email writers, and the letter recipients, to create their own snail mail, no matter how complicated or simple.  The less people use paper, pens, stamps and letter carriers, the more it means.

Received from Prague, Czech Republic

This just in via Postcrossing, having traveled 5,828 miles and 30 days to get to me from Prague, Czech Republic:

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I do have to admit, I was disappointed with the basic lack of a message:

I’m sending you a postcard from my hometown, which is located in the middle of Europe.  Hope you’ll like it. Take care,

I’d attribute it to a lack of familiarity with English (the official language of Postcrossing), though in actuality, it is clear this person has a firmer grasp on the language than, say, the average American Facebook poster. I think, in reality, it’s just that she is a newbie, having sent out only about 4 cards so far.  It is to be hoped her “what do I write” skills get better; not everyone’s do, as I’ve learned in my experiences so far on swap-bot!