The Stamp that was Torn, & the Stamp that Never Existed: Received from Chile, Netherlands, Poland, & Russia

There’s a photo of the cards’ fronts down below, but let’s start with the stamps (or lack thereof), because I think this batch of postcards has a couple of interesting stories to tell.  First, look at the section of card at the very top, a card I received from a Postcrosser in Poznań, Poland:

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Did you see what you didn’t see?  I didn’t even notice what I didn’t notice at first, and then I noticed it: there was no stamp!  There’s space where a stamp might’ve been, but all of my holding up to a light & staring showed no signs of stamp glue, and then I realized there was no postmark, either.  I couldn’t figure it out, so in my registration message, I let the sender know:

“Hi…, thank you for the beautiful mooncake postcard! I only just noticed that there is no stamp–or postmark! Very interesting, & puzzling–but I’m sure glad it made it to me. Thanks again!”

Soon enough, I received this response from her:

“Hi! Sorry that there wasn’t any stamp on the card. I didn’t send it via Poczta Polska – the national Polish post office but a website (napiszkartke.pl) which sends all the postcards from Germany. As they send a lot of them, they don’t get stamps – I think it would take a lot of time to put them on every postcard. I hadn’t known it before I sent the cards – it’s the first time I’ve ever used the website. Sorry once more, I hope you understand.”

Well, she didn’t need to apologize.  Anyhow, I just visited that site, and from what I can tell, trying to decipher Google’s poor autotranslation, is that you may type in a message to be written by someone at the company on one of their cards, or you can send your cards to them, to be remailed to the recipients.  I think my correspondent did the latter.  What do you think of all of this?  Received a card from a mailing service?  Used a service to send a card?  In any case, here was her message to me on the card:

“…I’m 20 years old.  I live in Poland where I study Danish and English at university.  I wanted to send you a card with a beach as you love them but unfortunately I’d run out of them.  So I decided to choose a card showing Chinese food.  I hope you like it!”

I do.

Okay, one more stamp story, a very, very sad one.  Look back up to the image, right below the missing stamp & to the right is a colorful shred of a stamp.  The card (which shows London’s Tower Bridge on the front) came via a swap-bot “I’ve been here” trade, from a sender in La Sirena, Chile.  I was very excited, because 1) I think this is my first card from Chile; and 2) I could see a Condorito stamp peeking out from behind a postal service sticker that had been slapped on the card. In taking Spanish courses & trying to improve my language skills, I’ve purchased several copies of this comic book.  I was excited to be about to get to see this character again!  I carefully peeled at the postal sticker, and–it absolutely took the stamp along with it.  Dagnab!  Why does a country’s postal service go to the effort to design & sell special stamps, if the people receiving the mail will never get to enjoy those stamps?  Depressing.  Well, here’s what I should have seen.

Oof, I nearly forgot to read the back of the card to you!  The sender writes:

“Last year…I did an Eurotrip.  My cousin took me to eat crepes, and it was so cool to see how they prepared them.  I took so many pictures that a guy was making fun of me, because I was ‘so tourist.'”

I am “so tourist,” myself!

Okay, those were my stamp stories.  Moving on, the card with a cartoon cat on the back as well as the front came from a Postcrosser in Tosno, Russia, by way of a “USA to Any Country” tag trade in the forums.  It actually does have a big, colorful, delicious food stamp.  The sender tells me:

“…I watched a film in which the main character moved to a coastal city.  I always wonder how people live in coastal cities…what is their life like?  I mean cities with warm climates like in California…”

Since her climate, a couple hours away from the Baltic Sea, is, as she puts it, “rather cold,” she’d probably want to slap me if I told her I am cold here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Finally, from Groningen, Netherlands, via Postcrossing, comes the card that says, “Retro lekker hip.”  The sender’s message:

“Happy Postcrossing from Groningen!  A stunning (as I say it myself) city in the north of the Netherlands.  The text on the card says something like: ‘Retro: delicious/fantastic etc. hot/hip/modern.”

I have no idea what is going on.

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Tupu, Hupu, & Lupu: Received from Finland, Malaysia, & Netherlands

Three Postcrossing cards to share, and oohh, I love that Aku Ankka (Donald Duck) card!  Great classic art.

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The Postcrosser in Huittinen, Finland, who send me Aku Ankka also provided me with his nephews’ names: Tupu, Hupu, and Lupu.

The next card is a twofer: a resident of Bremen, Germany, sent me a card while traveling in Groningen, Netherlands!  He told me both cities were rainy that day (I assume he meant that day).

Lastly, from a sender in Tawau, Malaysia, comes that gorgeous beach, where I would like to be right now.  The sender tells me it’s a “dawn view of our Malaysia Island name ‘Pulau Perhentian.'”

Stamps & postmarks:

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Catching Up: Sent to Belarus, Canada, Finland, Germany, & the Netherlands

So much catching up to do, after a need for computer repair left me for weeks with a frustrating, limited device (or as some people call it, a tablet).  Five out through Postcrossing today!

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Since I have a lot of catching up to do, I’m not going to offer the amount of detail I usually attempt, but I’ll make a couple of brief notes about the cards & stamps.

The three illustrated animal cards come from “The Animal Box: 100 Postcards by 10 Artists.”  I do quite like the sea turtle stamp.  I should also note that the Postcrosser in the Netherlands specifically said she likes flamingoes.

The Postcrosser in Finland said she would, more than anything, like postcards that are “weird, bizarre, tacky, strange…” and so I pulled that meaty card from an old Klutz Press book, “The World’s Tackiest Postcards.”

The remaining, beautifully-photographed, card is my own work.

A couple of the outgoing cards are affixed with a small stamp collection, as you see below.  I try to use as many stamps as possible to get up to the current $1.20 international rate when the Postcrossers say they are fans of stamps.

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37 Days Later…

WHOA–I’ve been notified today that THREE of my postcards sent through Postcrossing have reached their destinations!

Groningen, Netherlands: 5 days, 5,453 miles

Nad Labem, Czech Republic: 11 days, 5,804 miles

Sumy, Ukraine: 37 days, 6,165 miles

It is this last card that makes me breathe a deep sigh of relief. It was among my initial batch of 5 postcards sent out upon joining Postcrossing just over a month ago (shall we say, 37 days?), and I had pretty much given it up for dead.  So happy to see it FINALLY made its way to its destination!

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Slow-train to the U-kraine.

So now, I get to mail out more cards via Postcrossing!  Stay tuned.

Sent to: Groningen, Netherlands; Singapore; Deltona, Florida; and Frenchtown, New Jersey

First off: Postcrossing news.  A card I sent to Qingdao, China, has been received!  It took 24 days to travel 5,977 miles.  Now, I get to send out a new card–to Groningen, Netherlands!

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Yes, this card has appeared on this blog before.  The fact there are 500 of them means it is also likely it will appear again. In fact, I am also sending one out, not via Postcrossing or swap-bot, to a friend in Singapore.

To Deltona, Florida, part of an “upcycled postcard” swap-bot trade:

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Nancy here has walked down the The Snail Mail path before, too.

Also for the swap-bot “upcycled” trade, this masterpiece goes to Frenchtown, New Jersey.

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Hmm, perhaps, I should have saved that one for an international art collector…