Food & Travel Edition: Received from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, & Taiwan

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15 cards to share this time! Food & travel–but really mostly food you might encounter while you travel! I love this. These cards date back as far as 2017–still decluttering–and mostly came my way through Postcrossing Forum, but also from regular Postcrossing and Postcard United (do you use that service, too?).

The xiao long bao basket came, as you can see, from Taiwan. The sender wrote:

“Mini steamed dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) is one of the most famous food in Taiwan.
DIN TAI FUNG is the most famous chain stores and I think it has also some stores
in California! Have you ever tried it before?”

Yes. I have tried the Din Tai Fung XLB in San Jose, California; Bangkok, Thailand; and Taipei, Taiwan. I also stopped by the DTF in Los Angeles–but only to buy a mug with their cool dumpling folks on it!

There’s more xlb on these cards, so let’s serve it up now:

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The card came from China, and the sender will have us know that this one is “…not xiao long bao. It calls guan tang bao. It’s a famous snack in Jiang province. Although I don’t know the difference between them yet. Lol.”

The card next to that is also from China, and I’m told the food is Xiazhi noodle, a dish traditionally eaten to celebrate the coming of summer, because “it can bring you cool feelings!”

Back to Taiwan for two cards showing a whole lot of food (including one last look at soup dumps for this time around:

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I really like this night market snack card. My trip to Taiwan was quite recent, and I can tell you: the night markets were not crowded. Now, this is nice in that I really don’t enjoy crowds (I’ve been in crowded, touristy night markets, where I’ve had to put my arms down at my sides and just scootch along, tightly in the slow wave of humanity); but it was very much not nice, because most of the food was not freshly-prepared, as it would have to be were there a constant line.

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A lovely produce market painting, also from Taiwan…

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…and a delicious map of China. The sender writes, “do you know where in China you can eat food from all over the country? You can find food from every corner of China in universities. Because students may go far away to attend a university, so the restaurants should meet everyone’s taste on the campus.”

That’s funny; I think all of the colleges here in the U.S. have Pizza Hut.

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And from Indonesia, a delicious, simple, Indonesian recipe! Indonesian restaurants are a rare find where I live. Now, here are a couple of great food photos from China:

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Also from China, what seems to be a visual lesson in how to make jianbing:

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The Hong Kong egg tart postcard came from Hong Kong.

Two cards to go! The card on the left is fron Singapore, and the sender wrote nothing at all about all of this food, choosing to tell me all about her 3 recent, expensive, trips to the dentist.

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The card on the right is from Hong Kong, printed from a photo taken by the sender, who writes “noodle soup is a Asian staple food.”

…and, here are all of the stamps. Lots of nice ones, and one of my favorites is on the very bottom row, right in the middle. It’s a “Kitchenware Street” card from HK, and it was on the back of the card I ended with. Do you have any favorite cards or stamps this time?

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Amazing Eats, and Also Some Pancakes: Received from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, & Ukraine

We have another themed post, as I catch up with the mountain of previously-undocumented postcards I’ve received recently and not-so recently. Most came to me via Postcrossing Forum trades, unless otherwise noted. Check out these amazing foods!

First up: Khanom khrok. YUM. These delicious little coconut custard cakes can be had, cheaply, throughout Bangkok at breakfast time. And late-night snack time. And all in-between. Try them with green onion, and without… it’s all good.

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The card actually came to me from Ukraine, where the sender writes about different types of food:

Baking is my big passion.  I like to spend my free time with doing some cakes, pies, buns, or anything else! I love American recipes! I especially adore brownies, chocolate chip cookies, different cupcakes, and others. I’ve never seen the ocean, it’s my big dream! I hope one day I can take a long walk through the California beach!

This lovely, thick, messy coffee, with a little dan tat peeking in from the side, came to me from Malaysia via Postcard United. The card’s caption labels this as Ipoh White Coffee, and the sender writes:

It has been a while since I sat for a thick sludgy cup o f coffee. They often make it too sweet for me but what the heck, you can indulge once in a while, right? I like my coffee black and it pairs well with banana or sweet potato fritters. Egg tarts are okay too, but I prefer cheese tarts. Yummy!!

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Time for some dim sum! Har gau & siu mai. The first of these came to me from Hong Kong, where the sender tells me that he also loves to eat Singaporean food: “I once flew there for a day trip just to eat!” Love it.

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The siu mai also came to me from HK, and the sender tells me:

This card is about Hong Kong dim sum.  It was pork sui mai here. Some Chinese restaurant may include shrimp or abalone! But I like shrimp much. If you visit Hong Kong please go Chinese restaurant. You will discover some delicious cuisine.

Where I live, in Silicon Valley, there is a wonderful large immigrant population, with a lot of foods that are delicious (and otherwise) and authentic (and otherwise). I really enjoy vegetarian foods, and this week, when I was at a to-go dim sum place in the city of Sunnyvale, I noticed they had a new offering: vegetarian siu mai. I ordered it:

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Okay, it turns out the dish was ill-conceived. The sticky rice filling was actually quite loose, meaning the dumplings could not even begin to hold themselves together as they were eaten. I’ll have to try creating my own version.

Still more tasty foods: on the left, from Limbang, Sarawak, Malaysia, is a “chicken chop.”

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The card on the right is from China, and the sender tells me about the food–after she tells me about the last movie she’s seen (that was, after all, the thread in which she’d tagged me):

“The Conjuring” is the last movie I’ve seen. It’s a horror movie, and the director is James Wan. Do you know that director? I like his another classical, bloody movie–“Saw” very much! This postcard shows “Braised Pork with Vermicelli,” which is a popular Chinese dish from Liaoling Province. I hope you like it!

Last postcard, another from Hong Kong: pancakes. I think the leaf is beautiful.

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Time for the stamps, which bring us more food. Malaysian stamps are always so great, with beautiful foods, flowers, & animals. Do you have any favorite dishes, or stamps, this time around?

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Hong Kong stamps are great, too! This Kitchenware Street stamp makes me want to seek out the real place. Also, lots of beautiful natural settings.

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Oh, and I love those puffy little animal stamps.  Also, the super panda below.

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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:


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:


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:


“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:


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.


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.


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?




Fine Food & “Free” Postcards

When I went to try a well-hyped Thai restaurant in San Francisco this week, I didn’t just end up with a full belly & an empty wallet–I ended up with postcards!  Imagine my surprise when I looked up from my seat to see this wall decor:


Needless to say, I was impressed & excited.  I never, ever see free postcard racks anymore–and these are really cool.  I asked the server whether the cards were for purchase.  Nope, free.  Let’s call it not free, but “free,” as a rather modest meal for two ran us around $75.  What can I say–even in the SF Bay Area, good & authentic Thai food is as hard to find as a horcrux. Harder, even.

Restraining myself, and knowing that in mailing these out I will actually be doing the restaurant the service they intended, I took a mere nine: just two or three each of these, the four cards I liked.


Tasty postcards.

Looking forward to sending them about!

Talk of Food, with a Bunch of Other Stuff In & Around: Received from Canada, China, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, & Ukraine


Of course, my favorite card this time around is the one at top left, loaded down with dim sum.  Arriving the day after I had been out for a huge dim sum feast…


…this made me smile even wider!  It came to me from Fuzhou, China in a Postcrossing Forum tag trade, and the sender had seen the card in my favorites.

“This card shows some popular dishes.  I like them too.  🙂  I’m glad to send this card to you.  My summer holiday was finish.  I began to work.  The mid-autumn festival will be coming. We eat mooncakes on the day.  I like mooncakes.”

I made mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival this year:


The colorful card at top right, full of figs & stuff is a Postcrossing arrival from Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine.  The sender tells me:

“This postcard depicts (Crimea’s) sights and culture…and FOOD.  We have a lot of fruits, fish and vegetables and our cuisine is based on this ingredients.  It’s very tasty as the Russian cuisine and I strongly recommend you to visit my country, my city, my region at least because of its food.  If you’re interested, I’ll give you some recipes.”

The cartoon kid came to me from Mannheim, Germany, and the sender writes:

“I’m working as a librarian at the university.  My 15 years old nephew is a fan of Naruto and he gave me this card for you.  OK, it’s an ad card…but we thought you might like it.  My hometown is Mannheim where Carl Benz invented the automobile in the years 1885/1886.  The stamp is a fairy tale stamp of the story about Hansel and Gretel.  Have a nice mail day!”

You can see Hansel & Gretel down at the bottom of this post.

The ship on a postcard is from a Postcrosser in St. Petersburg, Russia, who tells me:

“I love reading and my favorite book is ‘The Master and Margarita.’ And also for cuisine, I prefer Georgia’s.  It’s really amazing!  I like spicy meat and I’m fond of their sweets, too!”

Then we come to two fish postcards, joined into a single notecard with washi tape.  The envelope crafted for this is remarkable–you can also see it down below (complete with the bite taken out of it somewhere along the snail mail pipeline).  This came to me from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada as the result of a result of a swap-bot swap: the swap I shared that was so special I felt the need to mail something off in return. This time, she writes (in part):

“Thanks very much for responding to the swap I had sent you.  It was an even happier snail mail day because it involved a Smurfette envie, cool stamps, a retro postcard, and you left very little white space on the postcards–these are my favorite kinds to receive! 🙂

The sea creature rubber stamps you asked about–they are a set from a company called DJECO.  My memory is kind of dismal these days, but I think I got them in the kids’ section at the Vancouver Art Gallery giftshop.  I did check Amazon, but they didn’t have this particular set.  I found them a few years ago, so don’t know how available they are.

You know of ROBOCON!!! It was not until I looked him up as an adult, that I realized he was an actual character!  I though he was just/or could have been a figment of my childhood imagination.  I can’t tell you why I so loved this robot when I was a kid.  Still do, I guess!  

I’m off to Befordshire and will start the new Springsteen book.  Hope I don’t fall asleep b/c it’s heavy and it’ll hurt when it falls on my face.  :I  “

Boy, can I relate to that last bit, about falling asleep while reading in bed(‘fordshire’).

Finally, from a Postcrosser in Groningen, Netherlands, I received that postcard of tapas.  The sender had put this in an envelope, and she wrote:

“If you ‘love’ food, I ‘have’ to send this card to you.  Sorry for the envelope, the sorthing machines mark black stripes on the front of the card.”

I do need to say at this point that if someone were to invite me out for tapas, I would be hoping to go to the tapas place not far from my home.

Okay, this was a rather long meeting.  Let’s end it all now, with a look at the stamps, postmarks, envelope & stuff.



Are You Finnish Eating? Received from Finland

Two from Finland in one day–and both food-related!


On the left, from a Postcrosser in Iisalmi, Finland, is a card that traveled 5,248 miles over 17 days to get to me. The sender tells me she’s a mother of two young children, and a teacher of English, Spanish, and Swedish.  She also writes of food:

“We eat lots of fish in Finland, especially salmon.  My husband often prepares ‘blazed salmon’ and it’s delicious.  The fillet of salmon is pinned with wooden sticks or nails onto a plank of wood, which is held at an angle over the fire to cook the dish.  The stamp represents another traditional Finnish dish, karelian rice pasties.  They have a thin rye crust filled with creamy rice porridge.  You should try them if you visit Finland!”

And so I shall, if I do!

The other card is rendered from actual food packaging, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag.  The sender is from Isojoki, Finland, and she writes:

“This package is from instant porridge, oatmeals with raspberry.  Very delicious.  Do you like oatporridge?  It is typical in U.S.A.?  Hope you like this ‘card.’ 🙂 “

Stamps & postmarks below.  At the bottom right, you can see the pasties the first writer described.

Have you tried any of these fine Finnish foods?


Just No Accounting: Received from Japan, Russia, & Taiwan

Three in a day–that’s a lot for me!


First comes the wonderful little chef, from Ibaraki, Japan, courtesy of a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag.  The sender tells me she has made the card from a “choco anpan” box:

“This is a Japanese small bread-shaped snack.  It’s delicious and it’s so cute. :P”

Take a look down below for the wonderful food stickers (and the super-cool stamps) on the reverse side of her card.

More deliciousness on the next card, which came to me from a Postcrosser in Taipei, Taiwan.  I have tried all of the foods listed, with the exception of the fried sub-sandwich.  As for the steamed buns, AKA xiaolongbao / XLB / 小籠包, well, I’ve had those twice in the last 3 weeks or so!

Finally, from a Postcrosser in Petrozavodsk, Russia, comes the card depicting a sidewalk.  Now, I was looking at that card, wondering if that scene is the best this locale has to offer–and then I recalled the postcards I see that depict my own city.  Let’s just say that there is no accounting for postcard designers.  I will let the postcard’s sender have the final word on her locale:

“This is a very beautiful, quiet and cozy town.  It is the capital of the Republic of Karelia (on the north of Russia).”

A wonderful assemblage of stamps, stickers, & such:


FOOOOOD! Received from Belarus, China, & the U.S.

I tend to receive a lot of food-related cards.  Here are three of the most recent!


That big, happy burger card was fashioned from the cover of a pad of stickers, and it comes from a swap-bot member in Trenton, New Jersey as part of a chunk of cardboard recycled content postcard trade.  When you look at the other photo, you’ll see one of the stickers.  The sender of this card tells me, “my husband & I have a large toy museum in storage until we can find a suitable, affordable location!”  I can’t wait to see that!

The other two cards are regular Postcrossing incomings.  The babka is from Minsk, Belarus, and the sender tells me:

“People say that Belarussians are very calm and hospitable.  We like guests.  That’s why we have our own cuisine.  Our most famous dish draniki, but this one may be even more tasty.  Hope you can cook it.”

And now for something I really like!  From Hefei, China comes that wonderful assortment of xiaolong bao, soup, and more.  The card’s sender tells me:

“I’m a food enthusiast.  Do you know one food that a stick of sugar-coated haws?  It is very delicious.  Next Monday is our Lantern Festival.  I will enjoy sweet dumplings.”

I have never had sugar-coated haws, have you?  I’ve certainly had draniki, and made it it many times myself (though I know it by a different name).  What’s your favorite food from today’s post?  I’m calling XLB!

Stamps, stickers, & postmarks:


If I Could Eat a Postcard: Received from China & Malaysia

I received a couple of REALLY tasty postcards this week:



A Postcrosser in Xiamen, Fujian, China sent me that Tian Jin crepe, the Jian Bing Guo Zi.  She wrote the postcard while enjoying some time in Xiamen Botanical Garden!  She tells me the park offers “really fresh air & beautiful views.”  I enjoy visiting botanical gardens when I travel, so I need to put Xiamen & its garden on the list.

Now about that jian bing guo zi: the sight of that made me need to find where I could get some, as soon as possible, close to home!  The very next day I was in Oakland’s Chinatown, at Tian Jin Dumplings, AKA “the dumpling window,” as it is not a walk-in restaurant, but merely a window along the street, which you might miss if you walk too briskly & are not paying attention.  I’ve been here previously, for the dumplings & bao, but this time it was all about the jian bing.  Here it is:

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I hear there is a bubble tea place in my own city that counts this dish among its offerings–we’ll see about that, at some point.

As for that card full of delicious fruit, it comes to me from Kota Kinabulu, Malaysia.  This was the first card sent out by a brand-new Postcrosser, and she listed every single fruit on the card!  She also tells me:

“My favorite fruit would be durian though it’s famous for its aroma/stench, haha.  Recently I ate some by the roadside fruit stall and boy it was good!”

Durians are the spiky things in the middle of the photo; two are complete, one is open, showing its tender insides.  Durian is known as “the king of fruits!”  Another saying for the fruit is “smells like hell, tastes like heaven!” And there are many places that do not allow the stuff on public transport (Singapore, for one).  It’s really tasty fresh, but just wait for that first burp…

Stamps, postmark, sticker, sketch: I like them all!  Can’t stop poking that puffy panda…


It All Starts with a Couple of Bowls: Received from China, Japan, Lithuania, & Singapore

Lots of Postcrossing here.  I really love the two tasty ones!

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The cartoon bowl has got to be one of my all-time favorites.  It came from Sendai, Japan, in a journey of 10 days & 5,012 miles.  The sender writes,

(In Sendai,) we have lots of nature, delicious foods especially rice, fruits, and vegetables…In Japan, there’re lots of bowl-style foods.  Do you know how many styles way to eat rice cake? The answer is 200.

The bowl of food without a face comes from Chongqing, China, not a postcrossing draw–we’ll I’m not her draw, but she’s mine!  I drew her, and have had a card allegedly traveling her way 99 days as of this writing.  When I contacted her at the 60-day mark, and sent a new card (which also, I guess, has not arrived), she rewarded my efforts by sending this delicious card.  She writes of the dish on her card:

This card is a delicious food called ‘cold noodles with chicken shreds.’ This food is a little spicy, or maybe not a little spicy for you guys.”

The American art (Subway, by Jacob Lawrence) came from Singapore, a trip of 8,469 miles over 23 days.  The sender does mention food: that she is craving wonton noodles (at 11:40 p.m.), and that she has an eating disorder called ARFID.  I had to look that up.

Finally, a few nice views from Kuršių Nerija National Park in Lithuania, on a card that took 22 days to travel the 5,674 miles to my mailbox.  The 16-year-old high-school freshman says she trying to learn some Spanish:

I’m learning it from a phone app, so I don’t know how it’s gonna work.

Stamps & postmarks! So many great stamps here.

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