Shooting off a Blank: Received (Sorta) from the Netherlands

This is self-explanatory (received via Postcard United). When I went to thank her for the card–and to mention that she’d forgotten to write a message–I noticed that she had also left her profile blank.

Insert your own rant here, because I am tired.

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Unwanted, Recycled–and Otherwise: Received from Austria, Belarus, Canada, China, Finland, France, Greece, Hong Kong, & the U.S.

I am SO behind on posting postcards I’ve received.  I grabbed a big handful to scan, and the main theme for most of them seems to be “unwanted cards.”  We’ll soon get to what that’s all about, but I want to be sure to start with two cards I really do like!  Both of them found their way to me in Postcrossing Forum tags.

I just love this sketch of a Hong Kong storefront & apartments; it really takes me there!  The sender asks, “have you tried egg tart before?  It has to be my favorite Hong Kong snacks.  California has always been somewhere I desperately want to visit, and hopefully I can visit there soon!”

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That breathtaking mountain view came to me from Shaanxi, China, and the sender tells me it is called Hua Mountain, and “it’s a little dangerous to climb, but because of the wonderful scenery, lots of people still trying and enjoy it.”

Next up, the kitty classroom, comes to me from Belarus, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum “favorites” tag.  I’m so forgetful, I didn’t even remember having marked it as a favorite.  Good thing to check those once in a while!

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Another cat, this one riding a tortoise, and it comes to me from France as a regular Postcrossing card.  The sender’s writing is quite difficult to decipher, which is a lesson to me, even though I THINK my printing is neat, that I could stand to try harder.  I thought she wrote that she is in the “Louie Valley,” but a consult with Ask Jeeves (or whomever it is running the internet these days) let me know she probably meant Loire Valley.  Also, if I’m reading this correctly, she hopes to open a bed & breakfast next summer.  Or it could be that she just got back from a waterslide with Santa–I just don’t know.  Well, I do know I prefer the latter.

These next 3 cards all came my way via swap-bot.  The big building is the Fine Arts Gallery in San Diego, California–but the card was sent to me from a swapper in the state of Georgia.

I think the Santorini, Greece, card actually came to me from that locale.  The sender wrote:

“You can walk to the top.  To get to the volcano you can get a small local boat to take you straight there.  Otherwise you can take a tour that includes Thirasía.  When you get to the top, the view of Santorini is incredible!  This is must place to visit if you here.  You can jump into the warm springs if you want.”

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The last card of that trio is the boat on the river.  The card was sent by a swapper in Illinois.  She sent it in a “recycled postcard” trade, but if she did indeed but a new backing on a card she previously received, I sure couldn’t tell–and I picked away at 3 of the 4 corners!  When I do these, I always like to leave the original stamps exposed (but on the bottom left of the new backing), as a bonus for the new recipient.  Anyhow, this card’s sender says the scene pictured is the Mississippi River, a sight she’s never seen in person, but that she imagines herself taking “an old time paddle wheel river boat ride down this river, if they still exist.” They do.  No, I’ve not been on the Mississippi, but more than once, I HAVE ridden a riverboat on the Rivers of America.

There’s a tag on Postcrossing Forum called “The Card You Want to Get Rid of,” and if I’d had this next card, I’d have sent it off in this trade, too!  I might just send it out in the next “recycled postcard” trade in which I participate.  The sender is in Tampere, Finland, and she told me, “I find this tag superb; it’s hard to find a suitable recipient to every postcard, but every postcard deserves to travel.”

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Another postcard I’d be happy to get rid of is the “Been there, done that, got the t-shirt” card–that comes from Sheffield, England, in a swap-bot trade.   The sender wrote the card on July 11, telling me: “right now it is nearly 10 a.m. and it’s raining, and probably won’t stop for the rest of the day.  Typical UK!”

Still more cards getting no love: the trio below were sent to me together from Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada, in a swap-bot “I Don’t Want These Postcards” exchange.  I’ll have to post them in my page of cars available for trades!  That one that looks like a b&w “magic eye” game will probably have to go out in another round of these “I don’t want it” tags!

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This next card came my way from Graz, Austria, in the “recycled postcard” tag I’ve been mentioning, and I may just have scanned & posted the other side here before, but I didn’t mark it as such, so either way–here we go.  In this tag, a person is supposed to slap a new backing on a postcard they received from someone else, & then send it to their assigned partner.  Let this serve as a warning that all glue sticks are not created equal; there was no postcard attached to this backing.  When you flip it over, all you see is shiny streaks.  In any case, I thought you might enjoy reading the hand-written recipe.

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Well, it’s just about stamp time, so let me ask you now:  what are your favorite cards this time?  Which ones would you first choose to send off in a trade of recycled or “I don’t want this” cards?  Remember, one good use of a postcard you don’t think anyone else will love, is as a vehicle to send a message to your elected representatives!

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Dogs in & on Water, & a Deer Behind the Wheel: Sent to China, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia, & the U.S.

After being away for some travel time, I got back to the postcards, with a bunch off through Postcrossing Forum trades & swap-bot — and even 2 new sends for Postcard United!  In the interest of finally posting here again–and not wasting too much time–there won’t be a lot of detail this time, but let’s enjoy all of the cool cards, stamps, stickers, & washi tape!

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That beat-up postcard with the beat-up trophy on the beat-up car went off in a swap-bot trade for beat-up postcards.  I was so happy to have the opportunity to send it!

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I’m putting eclipse stamps on most of my mail.  Black circles give way to moons, after a bit of heat is applied (whether by a well-placed thumb, or just hot weather).  In most of these scans, the moon is peeking through some.  By the way, if you live somewhere in or adjoining the eclipse zone, please remember: DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY UP AT THE SUN.  There are many sites full of information on safe viewing; please look those up.

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With All Apologies: Sent to Finland, the U.K., & the U.S.

I’ve recently done some transgressing in my postcard life.

It all started when I signed up for one of the Postcrossing Forum “you choose” threads, in which the person tagging you makes a selection from cards you offer.

And I could not find the card selected by the person who tagged me.

I was SURE I still had the card the person selected.  So I looked for it.

FOR WEEKS, I looked for that card.

It shouldn’t have happened, and it felt bad, but that’s what happened.  I was just so sure it was waiting for me to find it.  In fact, now that I’ve mailed something else to my poor tag-mate, I’m still fairly positive that postcard will jump out and say, “SURPRISE!”

The card she chose was a movie poster, so I sent her both of the movie poster cards I COULD find, plus an otter card since she likes animal cards, a landscape shot since she likes landscape cards, an Elephant & Piggie card since she likes children’s book illustrations, and several stamps, as she–well, you get it.  I crafted an envelope from an old calendar page, & off that went.  Oh, I also included a sticker sheet I had found while attempting to locate the card she actually wanted.

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Then came the swap-bot debacle.

I went on a very nice little vacation recently, and while I was gone, a swap-bot trade for which I’d registered opened up for swapping.  And before I’d returned, the “send-by” date had come and gone–all of this without me realizing it.

At some point, months ago, I had tried to adjust my swap-bot e-mail notifications, so I wouldn’t get trivial emails from them every five minutes (I really don’t want to know, “helpful” mod, every time there is a sale at Joann’s Fabrics.  I DON’T CARE).  It didn’t work; I still get the nonsense emails, but NOT the ones that keep me informed about swap deadlines).

Anyhow, if I had been keeping track of swap-bot, and my own calendar, this would not have happened.  But when I came home to see I had for the first time missed a swap-bot deadline, I got down to business.  I was to have sent each of my two partners a single postcard, but instead I sent them each four, along with extras, using their profile as a guide:

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I also sent each of them a message (and a message to the swap admin, too) to apologize & let them know the actions I was taking.  I got three very kind & understanding messages in return.

Have you ever found yourself on the wrong side of postcarding law?  Feels so bad, am I right?

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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Aren’t Movie Ads Always Better Than their Movies? Sent to Belarus, Chile, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, South Africa, & the U.S.

Starting with a trio of cards going out in a swap-bot trade.  The giraffe goes to an animal lover in Santiago, Chile; and the lighthouse goes to a lighthouse lover in Newnan, Georgia, U.S.A.

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Next up is an image from the book “Furqan’s First Flat Top,” by Robert Liu-Trujillo. That goes to Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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The “California Has Everything” card went out in a Postcrossing Forum tag to Hidaka, Saitama, Japan.  The Postcrosser said she liked map cards, so there she goes.  Not great for navigation, but I don’t think that’s necessarily what most map card lovers have in mind.

This movie poster postcard is going out to Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, in a Postcrossing Forum “last movie I’ve seen” tag.  Nice when the theater has free postcards for their movies!  Sometimes I like the availability of postcards more than I like the movies I see.  Such was the case with this film.

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I have clicked on Postcrossing’s “send a postcard” button 3 more times, and landed on eastern Europe with each click.  The gargoyle head goes to Bad Säckingen, Germany, and though I’d love to know more about it–including where it can be found–this card is from the Disappointassortment, so zero information was forthcoming.

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The scene from Hearst Castle goes to a castle lover in Minsk, Belarus; and the tiger should be landing in Yaroslavl, Russia.

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Time for a look at some of the back sides: Stamps!  Stickers!  Washi tape!

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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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Toons & Travelogues: Sent to China, Malaysia, Spain, & the U.S.

First, a couple of Postcrossing Forum sends!  I saw the Tom & Jerry card in the favorites of a ‘crosser in Madrid, Spain, so off this goes.

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The Giant Pacific Octopus card went off in a Marine Life & Sea Creatures tag, to a recipient in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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Butterflies!  There are a lot of monarch butterfly groves along the California coast, resting places where these guys stop on their winter trip to Mexico.  The one in Pismo Beach is my favorite, because it’s super-concentrated: a lot of butterflies, quite close–and docents there to provide binoculars & telescopes!  Check it out.  This one headed out in a regular Postcrossing draw, and will end up with a high schooler in Quzhou, Zhejiang, China.  She really wanted to know good places to visit, so I told her to seek out butterfly groves.

Speaking of beautiful places to visit in California, we have these two scenes from the northern coast:

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The cards went out to Lacey, Washington & DeFuniak Springs, Florida, for a swap-bot “The Book I’m Reading Right Now” trade.  The book I’m reading right now:

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Saving a Sexier Island, by Neil Humphreys.  It kept me busy on a couple of long flights lately!  Actually, I have since misplaced the book.  One sure way to find it: buy a new copy!  Speaking of losing nice things, in this book, Humphreys–English born & raised, but living in Singapore for many years now–explores some of the overlooked & threatened treasures in his adoptive home, and humorously sings their praises.  I recommend his series of “sexy island” books, I’ve learned a lot & laughed a lot!

Okay, check out those backsides now!

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Switcheroo, or Double Switcheroo? Sent to Estonia

The cool thing about Postcrossing Forums is that you get to choose the tags in which you participate.  Do you want to send & receive cards made from food packages?  There’s a tag for that!  Cards from a postcard book?  They’ve got that!  Animals? Islands? Ugly cards? Yep, yup, and oh, yez!  So when I tagged a Postcrosser in Tartu, Estonia, in the Snoopy/Peanuts tag, I knew my card would find a good home.

Or maybe not so much.

In her U2U (internal Postcrossing Forum email) to me to give me her mailing address, the person I tagged wrote, “I´m very thankful, if you will change your cards and send to me fauna postcards.”

WHAT?!?

I went to look at her profile, and asked “WHAT?!?,” again, as I read this line:

“Sry, but i don’t like drawn postcards and also i don’t like postcards with…cartoons…”

HUH?!?  WHY ON EARTH would you enter a themed tag, if you don’t want cards that fit in with the theme?

Further, she wrote to me, “please, if possible, send a card / cards in an envelope.”  Not only against the spirit of Postcrossing, but, as I say in my auto signature on the Forum, I send my cards as the snail mail gawdz intended: written & stamped.

¡Increíble!

Here’s the card I sent:

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A backside?  Yes, this card has one: and as you’ll see, I was able to give her some fauna.

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