Has Russia Hacked Postcrossing/-cardunited? Sent toGermany, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, & the U.S.

This time:

  • A conspiracy?
  • A Snoopy treasure trove discovered, and cast far & wide
  • Other stuff
  • Tons of stamps & stickers

Let’s start with Good Ol’ Snoopy Brown.  I’ve mentioned many times in this space the lack of Snoopy/Peanuts cards here in the U.S.  Despite being the birthplace of the comic strip, and although Peanuts greeting cards seem to be sold absolutely everywhere (even in supermarkets), the postcards are just not found unless you go to the source: the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.

That being the case, I was thrilled to find a book of 1970’s-era Snoopy postcards on sale online!

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Several have already been dispatched, including to Peanuts-loving pen-pals of mine in Hawaii, Tokyo, & England (I know I didn’t write that trio out as an equal set, yes).  Those cards (and one to Taoyuan, Taiwan, for a Postcrossing Forum tag) went out as postcards should, with a note & a stamp on the back, & dropped into a mailbox.  The next one here went out to a Postcrossing Forum regular in Finland who says that she gives Snoopy postcards to a friend, so she’d like hers in an envelope.  Okay, fine–I made an envelope:

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She also likes to collect stamps, so since I was already throwing stuff into an envelope, I added some stamps from my incoming mail.

The foggy view of Golden Gate Bridge was chosen by someone in Berlin, Germany, in a Postcrossing Forum “show the card you offer” tag.  I’m glad I had something she liked.

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To Berlin & St. Petersburg

Okay, let’s get into the Russia hack scandal story I’ve just made up (or unearthed inadvertently, who knows).  I have fallen way behind on “official” cards traveling out via Postcrossing Forum & Postcard United: between the two sites, I had only 1 card traveling (I think I can have around 30 at this point if I chose to).  Yes, I’m sending a lot of cards out, but it’s mainly via Postcrossing Forum, which offers so many different options that I’ve just found it the more fun way to go.  The problem I have with the main focus of the two sites is that Postcrossing Forum seems to send me constantly to just the same 3-4 countries, and Postcard United’s algorithm is so rough that there are repeat encounters with the same people, and I’m being paired within my own country.

Anyhow, I decided to send some cards out again via the two sites, so started asking to be assigned addresses:

Click 1–Postcrossing: Saint Petersburg, RUSSIA.  Of course.  Decided to try my luck next at the other site.

Click 2–Postcard United: Moscow, RUSSIA.  Why, I oughta…

Click 3–Postcard United: Krasnodar, RUSSIA.  What?!?  I claim shenanigans.  I’m moving back to the other site.

Click 4–Postcrossing: Alkmaar, Netherlands.  Fine.  I then quit while I was ahead.  We’ll see when I click on those “send a postcard” buttons again.  This is supposed to be relaxing.

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A sweetened pickle to the Netherlands, and the rest to Russia.

Moving on from the Eastern European drama… the pair of cards pictured next went off to China, in Postcrossing Forum tags.  The aerial view of Hearst Castle (another card I replenished during my recent postcard-gathering road trip) is headed toward a food safety major in Beijing, who expressed his wishes for anything local to the sender: “local buildings…anything local is welcome!”  If by local, he meant anything in the same state, this place 3 hours or so away from me is local!

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The pancakes, which I received recently from a Postcard Uniter, go to Heifei, Anhui, China, in a food postcard trade.  The recipient is a chemistry student who says he loves travel, and receiving food postcards.

Finally, this multi-zoned California map card (part of my recent haul) went off to Hong Kong, to someone hoping for map cards. I told her that within just a couple of months, I will have traveled to every segment on the left sided of the card within this calendar year.  I do love coastal trips!

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Now a look at stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff–do you have any favorites down here? Behold the new USPS stamp release, Delicioso, which “celebrates the influence of Central and South American, Mexican, and Caribbean foods and flavors on American cuisine.”  And I always love the shorebird & sea shell postcard stamp sets.

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Keep the Babies Out of the Cabbage, You Monster: Sent to Bulgaria, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, & Taiwan

It’s too easy for me not to keep track of the cards I send, so right now I’ll do the difficult thing, and make note of them (while I still remember, somewhat).

These first two cards (and several of each, by the way) were part of the stash I acquired a few days ago while hitting the state map card jackpot.  Since they are not state map cards, though, I didn’t share them when I wrote about the experience.

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Morro Bay is a pretty good place to see sea otters.

The sea otters are working their way toward Hong Kong, and the Morro Bay card toward Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan. It doesn’t show in my scan, but the flowers & the lettering in the latter card are covered in glitter.  It’s kind of awful, and I really don’t know if I even noticed it at the gas station where I was making my purchase, excited as I was to be filling my hands with dozens & dozens of state map cards so many Postcrossers seem to covet.  The recipient this time around wanted flowers & scenery, and I’m hoping she won’t mind a little glitter along with those things.  Would you?

This diner scene was chosen by a Postcrosser in Köln, Germany, in a “you can choose” thread.

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Hey, I just noticed that row of PEZ dispensers along the ceiling!  Scanning technology is awesome.

I just received this multi-image Belfast card a short time ago, and now it’s off for Sofia, Bulgaria in a swap-bot “recycled postcard” swap, in which we were to put a new back on a card we’d received.

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I REALLY like that piece of fish art.  If I were to visit Belfast, I’d certainly have to go & see that big fish.

The recipient of this card, her profile–well, it’s only a list of wants & don’t wants (leaving me very little to write about–I chose a few lines about the card itself & its provenance), headed by the line–in bold–“I collect only NEW postcards with a REAL photograph on them!”  This very heading makes me wonder why she wants to enter this swap for a no-longer-new-card.  The good news is, once of her big “wants” is touristy card (but she doesn’t like fish, so I may be eviscerated), so I mail this off with fingers crossed.  Oh, swap-bot, why are you so swap-botty?

Next up is a food package postcard headed for a medical student in Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan.  Maybe she will become the doctor who is able to develop a vaccine preventing Cap’n Crunch from tearing up the roofs of peoples’ mouths.

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Even if that never comes to pass, though, this Postcrosser already won me over with this set of horrors she hopes to never find in her mailbox:

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Another cereal, another food package tag, another country: this chocolatey panel went out to Seoul, South Korea.

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Getting into some older, previously-unlogged stuff now… I think they are both regular Postcrossing draws, but what do I know?  The indoor swimming pool from Hearst Castle went off to Taipei, Taiwan, and the bear should have ended up in Tokyo, Japan.

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Time for a look at the stamps, stickers, & washi tape:

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It’s All About Having Something to Read When You Flip Over that Card: Received from China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Russia, South Africa, & the U.S.

From somewhere in the U.S.: I love this Ghostbusters postcard, torn from a toy box for a swap-bot “up-cycled cardboard” trade.  I opposite-of-love the lack of a message; all the sender wrote was “I hope you enjoy my postcard!  HAVE A GREAT DAY!” This is a postcard with a story, and I wish the sender had told a bit of that.

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From Japan: Hey, those look like Bugles!  Bugles, the snack–have you had them?  I can’t remember the last time I have, but this makes me want some.  Anyhow, the card came to me via a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag, and the sender writes:

“This is one of my favorite snacks.  It’s made of corn.  I like its crisp texture.  You can see ‘TONGARI CORN’ at the bottom of the card.  ‘TONGARI’ means cone.  So, the name of the snack is ‘Cone Corn!’  It is simple and funny, isn’t it?! =)”

See how exceptionally easy it is to come up with something to say on a postcard created from a package?

From Russia: (from the same tag) That yellow panel from a cereal box, if you turned it over, you would see the sender wrote so much that there was almost no room to include my mailing address, which was jammed down into the lower-right corner of the card.  Here’s just a little bit of the message:

“I adore the packaging of products and my room is full of these things.  I have nowhere to put them, but I can’t throw out another box or jar.  It seems this is a disease!  This packaging is from a cereal called ‘Rye Balls.’  I bought these balls when I first went to the fair in my town last December.  They help me out when I have no time to cook breakfast.  Do you like graphic novels?  ‘Blacksad‘ by Juan Diaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido conquered my heart.  I had to read on the internet, but at the end of 2015, it was published in Russian.  I was so glad!”

That was only about half of the message.  You know, it’s all about having something to read when you flip over that card.

From Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa: That ice cream bar looks pretty good–though I would choose one with chocolate ice cream! The sender tells me about it:

“We absolutely love the Choc Pie ice cream.  Mind you, I love any ice cream.  I even eat ice cream in the winter.”

Well, winter is THE best time to eat ice cream!  After all, it’s loaded with fat, to warm you up.

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I especially like this next set of 3 postcards.  This structure is artistic & gorgeous.  It’s from China, and the sender tells me it’s a “traditional house…but most of them are become tourist places.”

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From the Netherlands, the reading man:

“I chose this card because I liked the image of this man.  He has obviously read so much that the letters come off of the pages.  I love to read!  Mostly sci-fi and fantasy.  Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors.”

Terry Pratchett is wonderful!  I’m overdue to read another of his books.

Oh, look at those fierce piranhas.  The sender is in North Carolina, and tells me:

“I visited Myrtle Beach last summer.  The aquarium was unique.  My favorite part was the jellyfish section.  They changed colors.  The alligator adventure animal park was awesome, too.  We also got our picture taken with two tigers and a monkey…”

Okay, that doesn’t sound like conservation.

From Germany, pancakes.  This Postcrosser writes:

“…I love cooking, baking, and good food.  The word on the front of the card means “enjoy!’  My favorites are Spanish, Italian, and Japanese food, and of course, the German food made by my mother.”

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From Russia: the snow scene is from a brand-new Postcrosser–he tells me this is his first card!  And other than that, a great expanse of snowy-white space surrounding his bit of a message.  I hope he will learn.  It’s the folks who have been Postcrossing or bot-swapping for years, and still can’t manage a message, who make me wonder.

I love that huge fish art installation on the bottom row of the Belfast card.  This came to me from Ireland, of course, and the sender tells me this is where he spent “the holidays.”

Okay, it’s finally time to look at the stamps.  There’s a sideways stamp, from China, showing some flying cranes.  Very nice.

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The Cereal Box Word Search: Sent to China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, & Netherlands

As usual, I’m behind in logging my sent cards, to the point where I can no longer identify everything correctly. Let’s knock some out now, starting with a few that I’m just sending out this very week, and then I’ll work my way back a bit.  This still leaves more in the backlog.  I’m afraid my blog is no longer completist, if it ever was.  Let’s do this.  Most of these cards went out in Postcrossing Forum tags.

Two cards from the Monterey Bay Aquarium: the two otters went off to Kita-ku, Kobe, Japan, and the exterior view is on its way to Tianjin, China.

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I noticed I had zero traveling cards on Postcard United, & just one on Postcrossing, so I clicked on “send a card” on both of those services. The view of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea goes to Untermünkheim, Germany, to a brand-new Postcrosser (2 weeks in) who hasn’t even bothered to create a profile yet.  I grabbed a card that would give me something to say (in short, love the Big Island of Hawaii; don’t care for snow, so only gaze up at it from the warm below).

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The Matisse image is going to Hong Kong, to a VERY prolific Postcard Uniter: in less than 3 years on the site, she has somehow managed to send out 3,027 cards!  Through some odd injustice, though, she has only received 2,228 cards to date.

More recycled cardboard: I like that I was able to provide the person I tagged in Niigata, Japan, with an entire word search (hewn from the back of a box of cereal).

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Oh my gosh, this card–another one from the infamous (to me, at least) Disappointassortment.  It went to Berlin, Germany–and it was actually on that Postcrosser’s wall of favorites!

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I decided I needed to do what the producers of the card did not bother to: identify this clock tower.  After some amount of web searching & comparing images, I came up with the determination that it is Old Town Hall in Prague, Czech Republic.

Last up is an envelope that I sent off to Zaandam, Netherlands.  Just the envelope, because I can’t remember what card was inside.  Well, I think I know what card was inside, because I don’t often get a request to send a card in an envelope–and I don’t always comply.  But let’s focus on the envelope, which I made from an ad for…something.  I think it’s for the butterflies at San Francisco’s Cal Academy of Sciences.

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Okay, time for all of the stamps, stamps, stickers, washi tape, etc.  What did you like this time around?

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The Case for Waterproof Ink: Received from Germany

This morning–and I don’t know why this happened–I opened my front door to find this on my doorstep:

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I don’t know how this beluga got where it was–it might have swam there, as it was raining all night.  Oh, and it’s not the photo part of this card I saw first; it was message-side up:

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It’s amazing to me how this scan underplays how very smudged this card is.  Apparently my scanner needs to be calibrated, or something.  Do you see all the faded color behind the purple lettering?  Imagine it twice as dark.  And smudgey.

So many questions go through my mind:

  1. How DID this come to be on my front porch, about 14 inches from my door, exposed to the rain?
  2. Why did whomever brought it to me not drop it in my mail slot?
  3. Why did the sender (this came, you may have noticed, from Germany via Postcard United) write in colored ink on a floral field?  Colored inks are problematic.
  4. And why did that sender write part of that message across the address information?

Between numbers 3 & 4, I don’t really know what’s going on.  I mean, even the part of the message I CAN read–I just don’t know what’s going on.

I never know what’s going on.

I’ll assume, I guess, that the sender didn’t even know that the purple pen was filled with water-soluble ink.  And of course, the person didn’t know the card would be left on my semi-rainy front step–BUT–one can assume that any postcard, on its journey, may well encounter a bit of water on a floor, in a postal box, on a thumb–or something.

I use a water-resistant, fast-drying black-inked pen, and I always regret when I end up using a different pen.  Since joining the snail mail revolution, I’ve started buying these pens (which I learned about in a Mental Floss interview with a pen guy of some sort) in bulk.  It’s actually about time I ordered a 3rd box of 12.

Snail mail can’t win back the world, if it’s illegible.

Snoopy x 3, Mickey, & More! Received from China, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, & the US

Lots of fun stuff this time around, from postal pals, Postcrossing Forum, Postcard United, & swap-bot!  It was an amazing day last week, when I reached into my mailbox to find THREE Snoopy cards!  They’re all so great.

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This big Mickey card arrived on the same day.  He’s pretty awesome, too.  I opted to receive this card in a Postcrossing Forum “you choose” tag.  The sender lives in Germany, and she tells me:

“I’m a big Disney fan (especially of the old ‘classics’ like Beauty & the Beast, Pocahontas, & Aladdin.”

I like those movies too, but I call them modern classics, having been a grown-up by the time they came out!

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I wonder whether that deer know that Hello Kitty is not a kitty.  It’s confusing.

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Don’t miss the back of these cards!  Cindi creates a beautiful Peanuts overload–and I love that Krazy Kat stamp!

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Kitten & bird stamps!  Chipmunk sticker!

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Do you have any favorites here?  I sure do!  Well, practically all of them.

A Burger Topped with Tuna Salad? Received from Germany, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, & the U.S.

I got some cool mail from my post pal in Tokyo, Japan!  And it seems that “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” has been on stage there recently–just look at the envelope she made!

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I love that postcard on the right, Pig-Pen & Peppermint Patty dancing.  It doesn’t show from my scan, but that seems to be a photo of original art.  The piece at a bottom, which I’ll use as a bookmark, was her ticket into the Snoopy Museum Tokyo.  She took some photos to show me, but first, let’s take a look at the back of her envelope.

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Okay, the photos inside the museum–and of her lunch.  Those statues are so cool!

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She told me about her visit (her 2nd time there):

“The theme was ‘Hello Snoopy, Again’ in this season (until April).  Snoopy is good at disguise, so there were many kind of Snoopy art as a vulture, penguin, helicopter, and so on.”

I love the old strips of Snoopy doing imitations. My favorites are when he copies Violet, Lucy, and even Mickey Mouse!

She told me the statue pictured is one of five in front of the museum, and she also told me the food was tasty, but she didn’t tell me what it was.  I asked her, and am still waiting to hear back.  I recognize the fries, & they look good.  Is that a burger topped with tuna salad?  Are those l’il corn dogs?

More postcards, more food!  Especially loving the two cards from Taiwan.  The delicious bowl of noodles came my way in a Postcrossing Forum “Taiwan meets the world” tag,” and the sender wants to talk movies:

“Last week I watched ‘Arrival.’  It’s interesting, really want to know my future, but impossible.”

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The card covered in food illustrations had been in my Postcrossing Favorites, and was sent to me in a forum tag just for favorites.  The sender writes:

“Greetings from Taiwan.  This card shows some of the most representative of Taiwanese foods.  Lucky that you live in California, there are so many Taiwanese immigrants (I was one of them) that offers authentic Taiwanese foods in Cali!  Give it a try! =D”

As I write this, it has been 2 days since my last stop into a Taiwanese food establishment!

The sushi card came to me from Georgsmarienhütte, Germany, via Postcrossing. The sender writes:

“I live with my wife in a small town (35,000 people).  We are both retired and enjoy traveling.  We prefer the sea, mountain hiking, and cycling along rivers.  One of our hobbies is playing pétanque, you know?  Now we are waiting for a nice springtime.”

I learned something!  Pétanque was a mystery to me, and when the description started out by saying it was a form of “boules,” I was more confused, still!  The most helpful description I saw pretty much called it horseshoes, but with balls.

Time for the last set of cards, starting with that lovely lighthouse photo taken by a Postcrosser in Taichung, Taiwan.  This was for a “photo you have taken yourself” forum tag, and the photographer tells me:

“I took the photo in Green Island, a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean about 33 km off the eastern coast of Taiwan.  I love the beautiful place very much.”

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The drawing of the two people came to me from Karelia, Russia, via Postcard United.  The sender tells me the illustration is “of the Siberian fairy tales,” but I’m sad to say that she didn’t tell me which one(s).  If you know something, please say something.

Finally, there’s the San Diego postcard, sent to me thanks to a Postcrossing Forum “last trip/vacation tag.”  Flipping it over:

“Greetings from Arizona! I just got back from a road trip to San Diego. It was a lot of fun and I especially enjoyed the tour of the Midway.  Tons of things to see and explore!”

Time for all of the stamps, postmarks, stickers, & washi tape!  As usual, I’m especially enjoying the beautiful Taiwanese fruit stamps.  I had never seen the stamps on the back of the San Diego card before, and I mentioned it to the sender.  She said that during her trip, she found a stamp dealer who was selling old U.S. postage at below-marked price.  Cool!

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The fish tape is pretty awesome.

Let’s Start Out Nice, Get to the Sad Meat of the Issue, & End with Beautifully Busy Backsides

Yes, I’ve got a little something to whine about, but I’ll put it off for a moment!  This first trio of postcards is awesome.  I love the retro Goofy cartoon cartoon poster, which came to me from Germany in a swap-bot trade of Disney cards.  The sender told me her favorite Disney character is Belle, and asked who mine is.  Such a pantheon, it’s hard to choose, but I do love Chip & Dale, and Donald, and I have a soft spot for obscure characters–such as Grandma Duck & Li’l Bad Wolf!  OH, and April, May, & June!  OHH, and Morty & Ferdie!

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Who’s driving the Peanuts bus?  It came all the way from Hawaii, thanks to “Good ol’ Cindi!” Keep on scrolling down to see the beautiful decorating she did on the back side of the card!

The Little Mermaid card is the product of another swap-bot Disney card trade, and it came to me from a swapper somewhere in Texas who tells me:

“I also love comics.  My husband and I both love the New Archie and I am super into Harley Quinn.”

Okay, let’s take a short break to enjoy something less pleasant.  Another swap-bot trade coming in is one of “free/ad food cards.”  A swapper in Colorado sent me a promo card from a restaurant in Texas she likes. The challenge was that it wasn’t designed to be used for correspondence: it’s printed all over.  She found the solution: to add a sticker to make my address legible.  I’m sad to report she didn’t use the same solution in her message to me; she used red ink, even over reddish brown print, and between that & some creative spelling, I had a REALLY tough time making out the message!   I had to go near a bright light & wag the card from side to side to read the reflection of the words.

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Cool robot sticker, though.

Oh, and someone else this time wrote part of her message in green ink.  Honestly: not all of us can read whatever people write, not matter how they write it. #writeinblackinkplease

Let’s move on!  The statue came to me from Hong Kong, in a “Hong Kong to the World” Postcrossing Forum tag, and you’ll see the back below, very decorated in plenty of beautiful stamps, washi tape, & more.

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A swap-bot “upcycled cardboard trade” is what brought me that panel from a box of chocolate-ish.  I saw it was rum & raisin, & went “oof” a little inside.  The sender, who is in Canada, writes:

I had this box of chocolates for months before actually trying it.  I put it off because I hate rum & raisin flavour…so obviously I didn’t like this chocolate.  Just remembering the taste makes my stomach turn.  It lives a better life as a postcard now.

You see this group contains the front of the card we discussed earlier.  On to the next set!  I love this “Taiwan Bravo!” card.  Apparently I’d favorited it, because it came to me in a Postcrossing Forum thread in which we are to send the person we tag a postcard from their favorites.  The sender tells me, “I’m a social worker.  Work for poor children.  =)”

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I had a really tough time finding out who sent me that Studio Ghibli card at right, so that I could acknowledge its receipt.  The sender did write the tag name, but no name, user name, or date.  Really, there’s a lot of identifying stuff that needs to be written on cards in the trade site game.  Often it’s good to write the important ones twice, as insurance against inky cancellations & machine tears.  I’d entered the particular trade multiple times lately, so used the fact that this card bears stamps from Taiwan to guess at who the sender is.  I sent her a conditional “thank you.” By the way, she wrote: “Ghibli is a nice cartoon.  There are many warm story.”

Last in that set is another from a swap-bot Disney swap.  Those bugs are from The Princess and the Frog, and was sent to me from a swapper in Green Cove Springs, Florida.  She wrote:

I am an avid Disney fan.  I love visiting Walt Disney World whenever I can.  In two weeks I’ll be renewing my annual pass for another year.  I hope you have a magical day!

She used some cool old stamps on her card–and a sticker of Stitch, too.

Last pair of cards: the “CCTV New Headquarter in CBD” was sent to me by a high schooler in Changchun, China. He didn’t note the tag trade thread, but he did write his user name, so that helped me find & thank him.  He wrote:

“Changchun is a city located in northeastern China.  My hometown is famous for winter sightseeing and automobile industry–a city of cars, like Detroit in U.S.  Welcome to China!”

He uses an extremely neat block print.  I should take such care when writing my postcards to be read around the world!

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Last card! It’s thanks to Postcard United, and it’s from Budapest, Hungary.  The sender wrote:

The Hungarian Parliament building is the 3th most biggest parliament building in the world.  It is very interesting, because Hungary is a little country.

So much beauty in the backsides: stamps, stickers, washi tape.  Enjoy!

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Taiwan’s stamps are so beautiful & colorful.

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I really, really like my country’s shorebirds postcard stamps.  I’d love for them to be a permanent offering!

Seven in One Blow! Sent to Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, & Russia

What a day, yesterday–I started with a card to a post pal, went off & mailed that, then came home in the evening to a Postcrossing Forum inbox full of addresses for trades I’d entered!  That’s seven outgoing cards, all in one day.  Here we go.

The first two cards are from a Monterey Bay Aquarium postcard book, and the first creature is a Purple-Striped Jelly.  It’s off to Hamburg, Germany, in a Marine Life & Sea Creatures tag.

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The Black Tip Reef Shark goes to someone in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, who stated a preference for sea creatures cards.  I didn’t realize it until I was addressing the card, but he is the same person who sent the two very-fully written cards I received last week!

I signed up in a “food & drinks” tag, for which I am sending one of my restaurant wall postcards off to Volgograd, Russia.

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I recently got a bunch of new San Francisco postcards–not from SF, of course.  If you can find touristy postcards around the Bay Area, it is safe to say that whatever the city, they carry more SF cards than those depicting their own city.  And do you notice what’s so beautiful about this SF card?  It barely shows Frisco at all!  Just looking off across the Bay to the Marin Headlands.  This one is off to Changchun, Jilin, China.

A Postcrosser in Gloucester, Ontario, Canada, selected the Fairyland post office from among my available cards I had posted for a  “you can choose” tag.

Vote for Franklin! That’s the first of these cards I prepped & sent, and it went to my Peanuts-loving postal pal in Tokyo, Japan.

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Finally comes the panel from a box of Nesquik Cereal (YUCK), off on its way to Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.  It’s off in a food package postcard tag, and yes, it’s better off as a postcard than as a package for part of an awful breakfast.

Time to turn everything over, & enjoy the stamps, stamps, stickers, & washi tape!  I’m loving my new fish stickers (purchased in the same stationary store where I found the SF postcards).  I like them so much, I’m afraid they will be gone quite soon!

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My Quarters for a Map Card! Sent to England, Germany, Japan, Macau, Scotland, Switzerland, Taiwan, & the U.S.

A dozen outgoing cards to share this time, and lots of variety.  Make sure to check out all of the stamps, stamps, stickers, washi tape, & weather doodles at the end!

But before we end, we begin.  And we begin with some food recently detailed in another post.  This portion went out to Alamo, Texas, in a swap-bot trade of ad/food postcards.

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California’s Grapevine–a very yawny route–went to Macau, in a Postcard United draw.  I don’t remember sending to or receiving from Macau before, but that’s all changed now.  A day after I drew this user’s name, I RECEIVED a postcard from her!  This is not the 1st time that this has happened to me on Postcard United.  Do you use the site, and has this happened to you?

The California state map with the gigantic surfer went to Schiffdorf, Germany in a Postcrossing trade in which we were to send the person we tagged a card from among those they had marked as favorites.  This was my very last state map postcard!  It’s a crying shame, because for some reason, a whole lot of postcarders seem to love & collect map cards.  I even took a day trip to touristy Monterey, California, last week, in part to restock on California map cards.  I popped into SO many stores selling cards–one of them had a huge wall of cards–and I encountered ZERO map cards.  I’ll be taking an overnight trip up the coast this weekend, & see what I find.

Next set of 3!  The “Keep Surfing, Dummies” shark swam off to Lynnfield, Massachusetts, in a Postcrossing Forum trade where partners choose the card they would like from those in an album the previous tagger has posted.  Scroll down & I’m sure you’ll be able to identify the card’s backside, seriously themed with oceany stamps, stickers, washi tape–and even a lurking shark!

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The very bored-looking reader went to Glasgow, Scotland in another favorites tag.  This Postcrosser’s profile mustn’t have given me too much to work with, because I behaved like a scoundrel & wrote about the weather.  To be fair, California weather has been extraordinary lately: 101, a major state highway, was completely closed down in southern San Jose due to flooding.  Heck, animals at the city’s zoo had to be moved.

Peanuts!  That’s off to Dongshan County, Yilan, Taiwan in another Postcrossing Forum trade.  That one was all about cards going to & from that country, so I’m happy to say another Taiwanese Postcrosser will soon be sending me a card.

Next set of 3, and aren’t those otters beautiful?  Every once in a while–and a couple of times recently–a wild otter will hop up to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s great tide pool exhibit, give birth, and hang out for a day or two before hauling back out with her new pup.  This card, and several other otter cards purchased at the aquarium, ended up being the only postcards I purchased during my day trip I mentioned earlier in the post.  This card went to my post pal in Hawaii!

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Kitty in pearls went to Tokyo, Japan in yet another Postcrossing Forum tag.  Yes, I love those trades.  You should check them out, if you never have.

Another beautiful kitty, the tiger, went to Poughkeepsie, New York, for a swap-bot trade of “beachy” postcards.

The last trio of postcards here go out in a pair of Disney-related swap-bot trades.

Beauty & the Beast are on their way to to a trader in Metairie, Lousiana, who might have the most beefed-up swap-bot profile (or any profile, for that matter) that I have ever seen.  Music, books, movies, TV, plus her Hogwarts house AND plenty of writing prompts for would-be correspondents–these are just for starters!  I enjoyed her list of dislikes, perhaps most of all this section:

“misspelling (stationery includes envelopes; stationary means affixed 🙂 and poor grammar (should have; a lot; lack of commas in direct address; don’t even get me started on it’s and its or they’re, there, and their :(“

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Rapunzel’s prison should end up in Sion, Valais, Switzerland; and Snow White & friends went to Brighton, Sussex, England.

Okay, time to look at all of those backsides!  If you look closely, you will see a few changes in weather in the time I was preparing these cards.

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Okay, here comes the back of that shark card I shared…

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Oh, it was really windy when I prepared the Disney cards.  I created a new weather doodle!  Also, a few days before writing these cards, I had been to San Jose’s Japantown, where I bought a sheet of silly sushi stickers, which I used on all 3 of these cards.

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DONE!  What do you think?  What are your favorite cards/stickers/whatever this time around?  And how much do you want to bet I will never see another California map card out in the wild again?