Cute creatures & delicious eats: Received from China & Finland

Three very nice cards to share this time:

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Snoopy & Woodstock came to me in a Postcrossing Forum Snoopy/Peanuts tag trade, all the way from Hyvinkää, Finland.  The sender writes:

“Your birthday is soon so I chose this special card for you.  The text in the front says: ‘I hope these congratulations reach you on time…congratulations!’ Snoopy was already famous when I was a child. It is nice to see how he is still going strong.”

That beautiful delicious food card–I think the first die-cut food illustration card I’ve received–came to me from a Postcrosser in Hangzhou, China, after a journey of  6,267 miles in 13 days.  The sender tells me:

“This is a kind of Chinese traditional food called dumpling.  They have cloth and body.  The cloth is made from flour; the body usually is meat or beef or vegetables, just as you like. Chinese people in the north of China especially like eating dumplings with vinegar.”

I will admit I am well-versed on dumplings, being lucky enough to live in an area where the population is able to support a large number & variety of authentic Chinese restaurants–and I even make dumplings myself, occasionally.  The only bad part is that after all the time making & rolling the dough, preparing the filling, filling & folding & finally cooking them–the things disappear so quickly!

Lastly comes the thoughtful-looking panda, who made it to me after a journey of 6,951 miles over 25 days from Guangzhou, China.  I feel so lucky to have received two Postcrossing cards from China this week!  The sender of this card writes:

“When I travelled to America, there was no enough time for me to visit the west coast.  I love travelling and it’s interesting to talk with friends accompanying me and people I meet in the journey.  It’s hard but challenging to travels along. There are lots of delicious foods in GZ, where I live.”

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QUITE the postcard day–take a gander! Received from Taiwan and the United States

What a cool haul this time around!

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Take a gander at that gander!  The Gladstone Gander card came to me from San Francisco, California, from a friend who recently took a trip to Italy.  I love my souvenir.

From somewhere near Taichung City, Taiwan, I received that delicious-looking doubled layer roll. The card is the one Postcrossing item in today’s lot, and it traveled 19 days and 6,555 miles to get to me.  Its sender writes, in part:

“I want to try every country’s special food.  So I am wait.  Wait for one day I have enough money to go around the world!  OH!!! HEY! Please promise me you will not eat this postcard!  Just kidding!”

Ending with more edibles, there is the recipe cut from a box of Chex cereal.  This came to me from St. Paul, Minnesota, thanks to one of those swap-bot “chunk o cardboard” trades I love so much.  The sender tells me, “when I make Chex Mix I skip the nuts and pretzels.  I am a Chex separatist.” Looking around my place, I have no Chex.  Do you suppose I could make do with Cheerios, Golden Grahams, and corn flakes?

Stamps!  I vote yes on the flowers, especially the lehua, and a great big huge NO on the clown.

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Cards-by-the-Sea: Received from Austria, Germany, Hong Kong, and Russia

All four from Postcrossing!  I have a question, if you are a knowledgeable Postcrosser: How does someone end up receiving more cards than they have sent?  A card number is not issued to be sent to you until one of your sent cards has been received (and “traveling” is the designation given to cards you have sent, but have not yet been received).  As of right now, I have received three more cards than I have sent!

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That gorgeous, panoramic, very-recognizable view of Hong Kong caught my eye & my breath before I’d even turned away from my mail box.  It came to me from, if you can believe this, Hong Kong (it traveled 6,925 miles, and, according to Postcrossing, 116 days–but the card is dated April 5, indicating a journey closer to 2 weeks.  I am thinking that either the sender was replacing a card that she noticed had apparently gone missing–as I have needed to do once in my time there–or she was just really tardy in sending).  In her message to me, she writes,

“I read your profile and I know that you have been to Hong Kong!  Wow!  How do you feel about the food in Hong Kong?  I love to eat fish balls, egg puff, grid cake, and three stuffed treasures.  They are the local street-side snack that every tourist must eat in Hong Kong.  I hope that you have tried them”

I told her I have tried many of those things, and many of them are available in the area where I live, as there are many HK-style cafes & snack shops.  The primary food on my mind when I visited her city was dim sum, and yes, I got some!

She continues:

“I learnt California from Geography textbook.  It is a place with great sunshine, right?  Hong Kong is also a coastal region.  It is well known for its glamorous night view of Victoria Harbour.  Quite beautiful, isn’t it?  But for me, I prefer the natural scene to the city view.  In the summer time, I usually go to beach with my friends.  Though I can’t swim, I enjoy the time of listening to the tide and building sand castle.  It is wonderful for us to breathe in some fresh air and escape from the busy time in the city.”

The zebra & the whale are from Nizhnevartovsk, Siberia, Russia, and they traveled 5,552 miles & 22 days to be with me.  The sender is a journalist for a local paper, and she takes in stray cats  She says right now she has three that are looking for good homes.

Two chickens on a beach.  They see a roast chicken on a blanket, and one chicken says to the other chicken, “I told you so: put sun screen on!” That came to me from Austria, having traveled 5,965 miles in 9 days. The sender, like my correspondent in Hong Kong, has a lot to say:

“Austria is the direct opposite to California (Oops!  I forgot Arni Schwarzenegger!), but here some things you have to try, if you come here once (“Once!” I love this movie!).  Go to a “Heuriger” and taste “Grüner Veltliner” (white wine) and black pudding–yummy!  And Palatschinken with marillen jam for dessert!  Forget Mozartkugeln, only tourists buy them.  Try Manner-Schnitten (wafers).  

Okay, so I have been to Austria–many, many moons ago on a h.s. student tour, one very much more about get-on-a-hired-bus-get-off-the-hired-bus-tour-the-old-palace-get-back-on-the-hired-bus variety, so I have no memories of experiencing cultures through special foods.  I do remember hotel meals with overcooked, gray vegetables.  I do know & despise Mozartkugeln, though: marzipan and I are bitter rivals.  And I do know & love Manner-Schnitten wafers, which are only a Cost Plus away.

Lastly, that gorgeous sea lion & bird scene came to me from Dresden, Germany in a voyage spanning 5,753 miles and 9 days. The sender writes,

“I love to walk along the coastline, too–every summer I go to the Baltic Sea or North Sea here in Germany to forget everything around myself and just relax.  Unfortunately I’ve never been to America and so I can only dream of your coastlines and the sea far far away.”

Stamps, stickers, postmarks…

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Received from Belarus, Finland, Indonesia, Netherlands, and the United States

Whoa–came home yesterday to find a mailbox loaded with SIX postcards!

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When it comes to high-quality postcards, there is just no beating a kitty on the toilet.

The huge snowy postcard comes to me from Finland, via Postcrossing.  The sender tells me,

“Last weekend I visited in Koli National Park.  There is a small hotel and spa.  It was amazing experience to go into a pool (with warm water) outside, temperature was about -10C, dark sky with stars over us, trees covered with snow and so quiet around.  Next morning I saw the most beautiful sunrise through hotel window.  If you ever come to Finland, this could be something you’d like to see.”

I told her that if I ever get to visit Finland, I hope it will be during the warm season!  She lost me at -10C.

The “Smile” card is also a Postcrossing arrival, this one from Netherlands.  The sender tells me that she, her husband, and their three boys like to ride on their old Italian motorcycles.

Kitty on the toilet!  That one came to me from Bekasi, Indonesia, and I was expecting it.  It was a direct trade through Postcrossing Forums–my very first–which I mentioned earlier.  This is a great card on both sides!  Just look at this fun art, the wonderful handwriting, and the tasty food recommendations:

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I love foods from Malaysia & Singapore, and many of those have Indonesian roots, so of course I look forward to the opportunity to visit Indonesia sometime.  In the meantime, I think I will try making some of those dishes at home.

The card with the food on front–more Postcrossing–is from Minsk, Belarus.  The sender tells me,

“I like to read books and learn languages.  We have no sea in our country and every summer we try to go to the seaside.”

I was just at the sea yesterday–and my dog was IN it.  Bath day today!

More on reading: the book-cover postcard came my way from Portland, Oregon, part of a swap-bot “what are you reading” trade:

“I’m currently reading What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe.  He’s a blogger for the comic xkcd.com.  It’s a fun read, especially when I only have a few minutes.”

Finally–more reading-related stuff–it’s the Free Comic Book Day postcard!  Not from Postcrossing or swap-bot, but directly from my local comic book retailer in Milpitas, California!  Free Comic Book Day is awesome.  It’s a day when you get free comic books.  Have you ever taken part? This year it falls on Saturday, May 2.  Don’t miss out!

Stamps!  I think that tree stamp from Finland may be just about my favorite postage stamp ever.
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Received from Indonesia, Netherlands, Spain, and the United States

Four in a day…all are Postcrossing, but for the bit of packaging you see, which is swap-bot.

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On my favorite card of the batch, those beautiful foods came to me from Semarang, Indonesia, marking my very first card from that country.  The sender tells me some tales of the local foods:

“Many foods here are influenced by the Chinese who came here around the 15th or 16th Century.  Lumpia…is a kind of spring roll with minced bamboo shoot as its filling…a husband and wife who invented lumpia once were rivals who sold their typical lumpia.  The husband was Chinese, while the wife was local Javanese.  People here love to eat quail eggs.  It’s so delicious, though it has 3640 mg of cholesterol.”

Moving from delicious foods on to coffee & tea, that Folger’s panel, another swap-bot “chunk of cardboard” acquisition, came my way from Florida.  The sender tells me, “I love a good cup of coffee in the morning, nothing gets me smiling better.”

Back to Postcrossing, and some tea & sweets to go with that coffee, comes that note card from Didam, Netherlands. The sender made use of all the extra writing surface by telling me a lot about herself, such as the fact she bakes almost every week, and she shares her favorite quote(no idea whose it is):

“Kindness makes you the most beautiful person in the world, no matter what you look like.”

Finally, from A Coruña, Spain, comes the pendant.  Knowing I’m a lover of the coast, the sender tells me, “I love beaches.  In Coruña, there are a lot of beaches and I like all of them.  In summer I’ll go to all of them because they are so special.  In winter, I usually go to walk on the beach.”

Stamps…

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I really like the stamp from Indonesia. I wish I were there right now, enjoying these beautiful flowers in person!

Received from China, Germany, New Zealand, & the United States

Mail call: cards in through Postcrossing & swap-bot.

postcard112aThe train buzzing past the beach came to me from Tauranga, New Zealand (a trip of 6,521 miles/25 days), where the sender told me that image is of “the only passenger train that runs the length of NZ. It’s a long slow trip!”

The tasty food illustration came to me from Shandong, China (6,104 miles/40 days). The sender doesn’t tell me what these bowls may contain, only that she was writing to me from her college library.

Stuttgart, Germany is the source of the abstract image (another long trip: 5,764 miles/32 days), and the sender expresses envy of my warmer climate: I’m not far from beaches; she’s got snow.  I told her my climate is far from tropical–but I would not switch places with her!

That big cereal box panel comes to me from O’Fallon, Illinois, yet another “Chunk-O-Cardboard” received through swap-bot.  The sender closes with the question, “the man who discovered milk, what was he doing?”  I asked her what made her so sure it was a man.

Stamps!

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Received from China & Ukraine

Tasty arrivals through Postcrossing!

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The beautiful rice dumpling at top comes from Fujian, China, where the sender tells me its “a traditional Chinese food, zongzi.  It’s very delicious…China has many kinds of nice food.” Yes, I love good Chinese food, including zongzi–which I have made many times!

That bread ring image was sent to me from Cherkasy, Ukraine. The card’s writer says its “our national bread called karaway.  Ukrainians use to bake it on weddings as a symbol of happiness for newly-wedded.”

Nice stamps, too!

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Received from China, Hong Kong, and Poland

Love me some Postcrossing!  All three here are recent arrivals through that service.

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The bus comes from Hong Kong, where the sender says he used to work in an Italian restaurant. I told him I’ve been to HK, but did not sample the Italian food.

The card featuring the seaside village of Rowy comes from Poland.  The person who sent this to me writes of a trip to California that included stops in the Sierra Nevadas, San Francisco, and Carmel.

The drawing of Mapo Tofu comes my way from Heyuan, China.  I love a good mapo tofu, but I don’t really understand drawings of food.  Before I read the caption, I thought it may represent a pizza.  The card’s sender tells me the people in her city are very friendly.  Cool stamps, huh?

Received from Belgium & Russia

Two more in through Postcrossing:

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Caramba, that food card, from Antwerp, Belgium, took 49 days to get to me!  5,502 miles.  I’m thinking my postal carrier has been hording.

The card on the right is from Moscow, Russia, where the sender says his hobby is trams. I don’t think I see a tram in this image, but one never can be sure, can one? Since I can tell you were about to ask, I will let you know that this card took 26 days to travel the 5,881 miles to my place. Yes, about half the time, to travel nearly 400 more miles.  Our lesson?  Never assume the Belgian chocolate you are eating is fresh.

Stamps!

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Received from Belarus, Netherlands, & United States

A new trio of cards in today:

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The beautiful bird card (White-tailed Tropicbird, by John Audubon) came to me from Minnesota, U.S.A., in a swap-bot “art postcard” swap.  The sender tells me she loves my toy photos, confirming her good taste.  The back of the card is covered with an amazing collection of stamps:

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Yes, all of the above on ONE postcard!  Incredible.  I’ve never seen most of those.  Cool whale tape, too, though I am not really showing you most of it here!

The Girl with the Citrus Eyes comes to me from Netherlands via Postcrossing (5,516 miles, 7 days).  The sender tells me the words on the front are a Shakespeare quote: “Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”  I fear I may be both.  The stamp:

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Finally, the food card comes from Belarus (also Postcrossing: 13 days; 5,863 miles). The sender writes only, “Many greetings from Belarus!” The rest of the card is covered with pre-printed text, in what I assume is the recipe for this mystery meal.  Sadly, the Belarussian language has a different alphabet from my own, so I am at a loss to translate! I really like the stamp, though:

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