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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Here’s Mud (or Something) in Your Eye: Sent to Finland, South Africa, & the U.S.

I kinda love this entire batch.  Your results may vary (you can let me know).

It’s an all swap-bot entry this time, with 5 cards going out in two different swaps.  The top three, somewhat defaced, cards are off in a trade of “modified postcards.”

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That poor kitty is off to a leopard lover in Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  As I told her, I don’t believe in dressing up animals, but since it was already sporting the ornate collar, I decided it was just fancy like that.

The kid on the right: what’s that in his face?  According to the postcard’s caption, it’s Nutella, but it doesn’t look like Nutella to me.  To me, it looks like poo, or even worse, caramel.  In any case, the Peanuts gang had better wash up good.  The card will go to a swapper in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Speaking of the Peanuts gang, Hydra Lucy & Victim Schroeder will go to a Peanuts lover in Rovaniemi, Finland.  Hail Lucy!

The other two cards are off in a trade of upcycled postcards.  My toy-pusher in Singapore sent me the gift of very cool Mr. White Cloud & Little Raindrop figures, and ever since, I had been saving the package to send off as postcards.  This is off to the creator of this particular swap, who is in Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa.

I tried a new veggie burger this week, and I liked it!  The Hodo Soy Tofu Veggie Burgers were nice & firm, a far cry from the mushy, mushy Dr. Praeger’s I had previously been eating.  I saved the box for my snail mail habit, and off it goes to Goleta, California.

The backs of the cards are fun, too–at least I think so!

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I See I’ve Left Several Comments on My Blog: Received from Germany, Indonesia, South Africa, & the U.S.

I just grabbed a bunch of cards at random, ones I’ve had for a while, but apparently have not logged before.  They’re not too interesting, so I photographed them a bit differently than usual, just to spice things up.

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Those toys have waited MONTHS for their moment in the spotlight.

On the left-hand side, we have a couple of pieces of recycling.  The “Fisherman’s Friend” box panel was sent to me from someplace in Germany, thanks to a swap-bot trade.  The sender writes:

“Do you like the mint??!  From time to time they are nice, but sometimes they are too strong.”

When I told her that I had heard the name of the product, but was not aware that it was some kind of mint/candy, she expressed surprise.  I mean, it could be anything, right?  A net, rubber boots, intense skin repair lotion…

Look below for the stamps from this card, helpfully annotated by the sender.

The Ouma panel is from a product called “rusks.”  I had to look that up.  And it’s been some time, and I don’t remember, so I’ll look it up again now…

Okay, Wikipedia tells me “a rusk is a hard, dry biscuit or a twice-baked bread. It is sometimes used as a baby teething food.”  Yum!  The sender, a swap-botter in Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa, tells me:

“Ouma is Afrikaans for Grandmother.  We all love these rusks.”  

I think my favorite card this time is the one at top middle: Hotel Preanger (this word means, I am quite positive, “Before Anger”).  I received it through a Postcrossing Forum tag trade, and it’s from a 15-year-old boy in Indonesia.  Reading the message, I feel as if I’ve shared it here before, but I didn’t make any such notation on the card.  These cards are all old, and bear no notation of having previously been recorded here, so who knows.  I know I don’t read this blog!

Okay, that’s not true.  I see I’ve left several comments.

Anyhow, the sender writes:

“I’m new to Postcrossing and I’m enjoying this activity so much.  This activity of course will help me improve my English skill.  Oh yes.  A little info about this postcard pic.  This hotel, Preanger Hotel’ is a luxury hotel for high-class people.  The luxury renowned since Dutch-East Indies Colonial era and still hold its status as the most luxury hotel of its era.”

It’s a pretty fair bet that when I finally make my way to Indonesia, I’ll be staying elsewhere!

The lady who fell asleep reading was another swap-bot trade, this one sent to me from Atlanta, Georgia.  The topic was “what are you reading,” and the sender told me:

“I’m currently reading Criminal by Karin Slaughter.  She’s from Atlanta, which is where I live, so it makes for an extra special read.  She has a great way of building suspense in her books.  I truly love her writing.”

That card at top right, I’m not sure if I put it up at the correct orientation.  It was sent to me from somewhere around San Diego, California, part of a swap-bot “I HATE this Postcard” trade.  Here’s how the sender feels:

“I just don’t get modern art.  I just don’t get it.  🙂  I think this is hideous–but I’m sure other people really like it.  Maybe you do too?”

Nope.

Finally, at bottom right, comes my one regular Postcrossing incoming this time around.  It’s from Stelle an der Saale, Germany.  This man writes:

“I’m from lovely East Germany.  This postcard is about a united Europe in solidarity and democracy–and young people caring about that in my beloved city.  We need facebooklikes 🙂 !”

I apologize to you (but mostly me) if I’ve previously shared any of these cards before.  I can promise you it won’t happen again–but I won’t say why that is.

Oh, yeah!  Have a look at the stamp & sticker highlights!  What do you think of these?

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The Drug Store Ice Cream Chain of Command: Sent to China, Germany, Malaysia, Russia, & South Africa

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It’s time for another exchange of recycled goods via swap-bot!  The postcard hewn from a Dixie Cups box is headed for Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa.  The Pillsbury Dough Boy is going to live in Kiel, Germany, and as I lamented to the man who will end up with this card:

“…the problem with the Dough Boy’s tubes of refrigerated cookies, breads, etc., is that they all taste the same.  One bite, and, ‘oh, Pillsbury!’

The ice cream cones are actually for a Postcrossing Forum Food Package Postcard trade.  Yes, I love making postcards from boxes of…whatever. I have a whole big stack of them, just waiting to send out!  Just ask, & I’ll send you one.  Anyhow, the ice cream cones: this card is going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and it is from a box of Thrifty brand cones.  I told the card’s recipient about the whole deal with Thrifty Ice Cream:

“Thrifty was a big drug store chain, and at their ice cream counter, scoops were CHEAP!  And then Thrifty shut down, and their ice cream moved to another chain, Pay Less.  And then Pay Less shut down.  Now you would buy Thrifty Ice Cream at Rite Aid.

I ran out of room on the card to tell her this, but the last I heard, Rite Aid was looking like it was going to get swallowed up by Walgreen’s.  Too bad: I’m a CVS guy.

Stepping away from the recycling, the restaurant card in the top center is going off in a regular Postcrossing draw to a young couple in Münster, Germany.  The restaurant is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and as I told them, I don’t know how I got the card (either an unearthed family stash, or sent to me from a swap-botter), but I looked up the restaurant, and it still exists!

Next, let’s go to the funky leopard under the ice cream cones.  Off to Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with that one.  This was for a swap-bot trade called “Think Before You Send.”  My partner likes leopards–that was the first part of the thinking.  The second part was to look up details about the card, and share them.  I’ll just tell you it involved doing some research into the cards’s artist, Kazumi Yoshida, and I will let you do any leg work on that yourself, if you care.

The second (and final) regular Postcrossing draw goes to Kaliningrad, Russia, and it is the b&w pic of Radio City Music Hall.  The card’s recipient says she likes to travel, as do I, and I told her I also like going to the cinema, and that day I planned on seeing (and indeed, I did end up seeing) “A Flying Jatt.”

The California Natural Wonders map card goes out in a Postcrossing Forum trade in which we were to send the person we tagged a card from their favorites wall, and this person had actually marked a card I happen to have!  Off it went to Schiffdorf, Germany.  When I got tagged by the next person in the thread, I did not follow the link s/he provided to the card that I will be receiving from my favorites: I prefer to be surprised!

Finally, tiger goes to Shanghai, China, in a Postcrossing Forum trade to a 19-year-0ld who is interested in landmarks & scenery (those things are indeed behind the tiger, if you look).

Okay, giant stamp, stamp, sticker, & washi tape party at my place:

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A Chocolatey Center! Received from China, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, & the U.S.

Quite a few to share this time; let’s move clockwise-ish, beginning at the upper-left, and ending in the center.

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ASTRO!  That cool card came to me from Omiyaku, Saitamshi, Japan, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum USA-Asia tag trade.  The sender tells me, “He becomes a manga artist and is the 70th year this year.  So there is a commemorative event in Japan.”  I don’t know, can’t find anything on this…

TOTORO!  Another Postcrossing Forum tag trade, this one Studio Ghibli-Wishlist.  In this trade, I always enter during the “wishlist” phase, wherein the new tagger needs to send the previous user something from thier wish list.  This would be because: 1) I enjoy receiving Studio Ghibli cards; and b) I do not have any to send out.  The sender of this wonderful card is somewhere in Russia, and she writes, “I like Ghibli anime, too.  Almost all.  🙂  What anime do you like more than others?  What anime are you watched latest?”  I told her I like the cutesy stuff, like Totoro, Ponyo, and Arrietty.  Spirited Away, I love that.  The latest I’ve seen is Miyazaki’s latest (and allegedly final), The Wind Rises.

We have a couple of chunks of reused food packaging here: the pizza box is from a swap-botter in Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa.  She even put a puffy pizza sticker on the back!

The orange bars are another Postcrossing Forum trade, this one of food packaging, of course, and came to me from the Netherlands.  This sender and the previous have more in common than just sending me their recycling; they both also write about the weather!

Speaking of the weather, next up is that rainy shot captioned “A Small Southern Town.”  The sender is in China, and he sent me the card the same way most of this batch’s senders did, through a Postcrossing Forum trade.  He writes, “I went to California this January.  It was really a perfect place!”  I’m very interested in knowing what places he visited!

From a small town to a big city: this card is my only regular Postcrossing card received in the batch shown, and it comes to me from Beijing, China–even though it bears an Australian ID code!  The sender explains: “I’m an international student in Australia and today is the last day of my winter vacation.  Tomorrow I’ll back to school.  I’m now stay in Beijing China which is my hometown.”

Finally, we have a chocolatey center!  It’s a swap-bot “recycled postcard” swap, and it came to me from not-all-that-horribly-(I guess)-far-away Rohnert Park, California.  The sender, as required, slapped a new back on a card she had received in the mail.  Now, when I do this, I take a piece of cardboard & glue it firmly back there, but this sender had some kind of light adhesive on hers, & I was able to peel it back and discover that she had received it in a “touristy postcard” swap-bot trade from a sender in Pennsylvania.  The Hershey Visitors Center seems interesting: they have a “tour ride,” which, as far as I can tell from viewing their website, is more like a Disneyland experience, and NOT an actual view of factory operations.  Speaking of Hershey visitors centers, there used to be one a bit outside the SF Bay Area, in Oakdale, California.  The visitor center got shut down in an overabundance of caution following 9/11, and several years later, the entire factory got moved to Mexco in an overabundance of something else entirely.

Some great stamps & stuff this time!

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Such a Busy Backside: Received from South Africa

Somebody sent me her recycling!

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–Just as she was supposed to!  It’s another “chunk of cardboard” trade via swap-bot, & this one came from Brakpan, Gauteng, South Africa.  Really cool to see her country’s Rice Krispies packaging.  I’m pretty sure that’s somewhat different than the character & box design we have here in the U.S.  Yes, I am entertained by that sort of thing, and yes, I DO walk the supermarket aisles when traveling abroad!

There is so much going on, on the flip side of the card, I had to share!  Love the stamps, most especially the fish.

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Donuts are Bad Breakfast Food: Sent to Brazil, Netherlands, & South Africa

Time to send out the recycling again!  It’s another swap-bot “Chunk-O-Cardboard” trade.

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This time, all of my postcards were fashioned from a single cereal box, Cap’n Crunch Donut Crunch.  When I saw it at the store, I decided I had to try it.  I don’t know why; maybe I was subconsciously thinking about what cool postcards the box would make.  As for the stuff inside?  TOOOOO SWEEET!  Nobody who tried it could work with it; I ended up dumping it out–probably the best-possible solution.

These lovely cards are already off in the mail, heading to swappers in:

Porto Seguro, Brazil

Heerlen, Netherlands

Brakpan, Gauteng, South Africa

A sampling of the stamps I used:

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A Lingering Odor Amidst the Recycling: Sent to Canada, South Africa, and the United States

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You just know those folks in the lab coats did something horrible in their previous lives to deserve this job.

All swap-bot in this batch, and 3 of the 4 for the “chunk of cardboard” trade.  The fourth is for a swap called “butt-ugly postcard,” and I pulled it from and old book from Klutz Press called “The World’s Tackiest Postcards.”  So glad there have been a couple of swaps worthy of these horrible tacky cards–otherwise, I would have had to mail them to my friends!

Bringing in the Recycling: Received from Malaysia, South Africa, and the United States

Some very special, unique postcards just in–hewn from food packaging of one kind or another.

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These are presented in exact proportion to one another. The two postcards to the right are actual postcard-size. What I am saying is, that doggie card is HUGE. Spanning my hand wide along it, it reaches vertically from the tip of my middle finger, on down, well past my wrist bone. Horizontally, my thumb & pinkie do stretch beyond the edges, but I am unable to grasp the card without bending it. Huge, I say.

Did I mention that the card cut from the box of dog biscuits is huge?  Well, it is.  It was sent to me as part of one of my favorite swap-bot trades, the Chunk O Cardboard swap.  It arrived from Brakpan, South Africa–becoming not just my first card from that country, but also my very first from the entire African continent!  Wikipedia tells me that Brakpan is a gold & uranium mining town in the province of Gauteng, and that…

The name Brakpan was first used by the British in the 1880s because of a non-perennial lake that would annually dry to become a “brackish pan”.

Insert joke about California swimming pools here.

The “chonju Redginseng Tonis” card was sent to me from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, part of a food package postcard tag in the Postcrossing Forum.  The sender helpfully tells me,

“this is red ginseng tonis from Korea, it was bought by my mum from Dodam thermal massage bed company.  They have their branch in Malaysia though.”

Massage bed–so that’s what that other thing on the box is!  Couldn’t tell if it was some kind of odd remote control, or what!  Doesn’t look too relaxing, but maybe the ingestion of ginseng is what makes that happen for a person…

The wake-up workout comes to me from somewhere in the Jacksonville, Florida area, another swap-bot chunk o cardboard.  “Do you sudoku?,” asks the sender, “I can’t even spell it.”  In my thank-you message, I let her know that I used to sudoku quite a lot.  I did this because I’d heard it’s good for the brain, but then I finally stopped when I realized it was curtailing my reading time.

Stamps!  Some really nice ones, and if you’ll notice, there is a bird representing each of the three countries.

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