Thanks for the List, Buddy: Received from Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, and Ukraine

WOW, look at this Totoro card! I love it. It came to me from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, via Postcard United, & here is just a little of what the sender tells me:postcard 305a

I will be 29 on Friday. When I was 26 I had this weird phase where I thought I was 30 and now that I am actually just about there I’m feeling like I wasted my 20s worrying about getting old. Oy vey.

Oy vey, indeed. I know there have been people in my life who were so age-obsessed they surely hit that “30” wall quite hard–and “40,” even harder.

I’ve been on a couple of food tours while traveling, so I really am happy with this card, another one via Postcard United–but this time from Japan.postcard 305

The sender writes:

I have a girl who was born in January 2015. She likes Disney characters! In this summer, we traveled at Tokyo Disneyland! That was fun! Have you ever been to Disney World? I like okonomiyaki and sukiyaki in Japanese foods. If you have chance, try to eat them!

Still another card from P.U., still another great one! This is a gibbon, I think, and it’s from a sender in Portaferry, Northern Ireland. She says:

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I would absolutely love to visit California one day even if it is a wee bit too warm there for me. I really want to visit Disneyland and even Disney World! I live right in the town center and I can see the sea from my bedroom window. There is a subway next door to me but I only really like their cookies haha. We only have one aquarium here in Portaferry. It was closed for a long time and only opened not too long ago. I enjoy visiting zoos, Dublin is great!

That “there is a subway…but I only really like their cookies” bit really confused me. I thought she was talking about the underground! I know from experience that many underground systems do have food sellers, but still. Then I did a little Asking Jeeves & confirmed that there are Subway sandwich stores in Northern Ireland. And let me say, the cookies they sell there must be better than the ones available at my local Subway outlets.

The next card, bearing a painting by the Malaysian artist Mohammed Hoessein Enas, came to me from, yes, Malaysia–yet another P.U. card received in the last 2 days, as all in this post were! The sender writes:

Have you tried nasi lemak, satay, and our rendang? I love Malay food.

As do I.

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How about that magical dolphin? That’s from Hong Kong, this time in a Postcrossing Forum trade, and the sender gave me a tip:

Try to put the card under the light for a while and put it in a dark area. You will see something interesting happen.

And so I did!

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Here’s something I got from Malaysia in a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag. The sender writes:

This is a card from ‘Brown Rice Noodles.’ Let me share a quote with you: “Beautiful Things Happen When You Do Something You LOVE.”

Is a quote really a quote when it is unattributed? I think what we have here is a saying; quotations can be attributed to someone specific. I am picturing someone trapped in a plaque factory, writing this multiple times in 9 different fonts for sale at Joann’s, or–far worse–Hobby Lobby. On the other hand, I like the idea behind the words.

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Hopping off the soapbox, and into the sailboat: the last card came to me via a Postcrossing draw from Bucha, Kiev, Ukraine. The sender included his address and this message:

I collect and swap postcards: art, nature, flora, fauna, national costume, transport. Also: coins, banknotes, stamps, badges, pocket calendars.

Uhm, thanks for the shopping list, buddy.

Time for stamps, stickers, & washi tape! Malaysian stamps are so beautiful, and I love the first two here.

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Postal Mishaps & Mystery Liquids: Received from Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Taiwan, & the U.S.

Foghorn Leghorn here is at Magic Mountain in Southern California, but the sender is from Queen Creek, Arizona. She sent the card to me in a swap-bot “cartoon animal postcard” trade, and she writes:

I have never been to Magic Mountain, but this ride looks like a lot of fun!

I have never been there, either. I’ve driven past many times, but when you are in that neighborhood, well, for me the correct amusement park destination is always Disneyland.

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More toons: the caption on the back of this card tells me it is Mr. Muddle:

Poor Mr. Muddle just couldn’t get anything right. Everything he did, everything he tried, everything he said was muddled.

I know the feeling, I do. This is another swap-bot trade–“children’s book illustration postcard,” this time–and it’s from a swapper in Glencoe, Oklahoma. He writes:

My mom is a retired kindergarten teacher. I grew up on Mr. Men & Little Miss books. I enjoyed your movie review blog. I’m glad someone else enjoyed Ra.One!

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Someone from Slavkov, Czech Republic was assigned to me by Postcrossing, and she sent me the Pooh card. Unfortunately, some postal mishap claimed a large section of the message portion–peeled it right off. It’s a shame, because from what I could tell, she was actually writing a very substantive, friendly message. The mostly-blank cards always make it intact.

Another regular Postcrossing draw, this one from a sender in Taipei City, Taiwan who says he likes traveling and photography. Isn’t the idea of a “wind-power park” interesting? I was intrigued–and I really like that piece of crab art–so I looked it up. It’s right by the sea, it’s got recreation & performance spaces, and those 7 windmills generate enough electricity to power the park for four hours after dark. Better still, there are more sea creature mosaic statues! Isn’t it cool to learn new things through Postcrossing?

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That dolphin image is…interesting. I certainly prefer it to a photo of a dolphin in a swimming pool. I received it from Hong Kong, via a Postcrossing Forum trade of sea creatures cards. As we transition into the stamps, stickers, & washi tape portion of this post, let me express my appreciation for the BACK of the last card, which has a lot going on. I was about to express how much I am enjoying that Green Spot soda sticker, but when I initially looked it up, it turned out Green Spot is a booze. That didn’t seem right, so I tried again, & found the soda. So much learning!

I also really like the avocado stamp from Taiwan. Do you have any favorites this time?

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CORRECT THEM: Sent to China, Finland, Hong Kong, & Japan

As I attempt to catch up from several months of near-inactivity, I’m trying to complete some posts I started weeks ago–in an attempt to keep up. Now I have to back up, trying to find a few of the details to fill in some blanks. I feel like this post kinda gets an “incomplete” grade, but let’s get it out of the way so that we can move on. I think there’s some fun stuff here.

This stamp collection went to Hong Kong

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Cap’n Crunch went to Yotsukaido, Japan. Some foods are healthier as postcards, no? By the way, if you ever hear anyone refer to this product as “Captain Crunch,” CORRECT THEM.

This one went to Sagamihara, Japan.

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San Francisco looks best at night, and from far away.

Lucy went to Guiyang, Guizhou, China.

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Lucy pounds sand

I really love that era of Peanuts characters. That’s one of my favorite cards, right there.

It’s the Cap’n again! He set off for Pudasjärvi, Finland.

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Wuhan, Hubei, China

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Stamps! Stickers! Washi tape! Do you have any favorites here? There’s so much from which to choose!

 

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HK x 3: Received from Hong Kong

Alright, so my memory is not the best. In sending cards via Postcrossing Forum, I try to keep track of whom I’ve tagged & sent cards to, in part so I do not overtag the same person, and in part so I don’t repeat what I write on every single card to the same person. However, in the “offer” tags I’ve been mentioning in my recent posts, where I request a card someone has posted, and they send it to me, I have not kept track.

And thus, I opened my mailbox yesterday to find three cards from the same sender in Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong is a busy, packed, overwhelming place–and I kinda love it. I really enjoyed the neon & the street art, and so yes, I did choose to receive these three postcards.

Here are a couple of shots I took of neon & street art in HK:

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The postcards’ sender apparently wrote these on three different days. Here are parts of her messages:

As your profile mentioned, you love Chinese food. What’s your favourite? My favourite Chinese food is dumplings.

I’d go with the same answer. Or more broadly, dim sum in general. Here’s a shot I took while in a dim sum restaurant. You’ll see I was more interested in my first taste of HK dim sum than I was in elegant photography.

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Next postcard:

Actually, my first impression to California is grape. My teacher said “California’s grape” is really famous when I was a child.

Huh…I was surprised to hear this. If I were to have to write 10 “impressions” of my home state, I doubt grapes would come to mind. I wonder if teacher was thinking about the grape boycott, or wine, or what.

In my last weekend, I went to restaurant hotpot with my boyfriend. Do you know what is “hotpot?” It is very popular in Hong Kong.

Yes, there are many hotpot restaurants in the Silicon Valley area. And I still like dim sum best.

Stamp time! HK has a lot of great ones. Hey, this Flower Market stamp is from the same series as the Kitchenware Street from a couple of posts ago.

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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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Unwanted, Recycled–and Otherwise: Received from Austria, Belarus, Canada, China, Finland, France, Greece, Hong Kong, & the U.S.

I am SO behind on posting postcards I’ve received.  I grabbed a big handful to scan, and the main theme for most of them seems to be “unwanted cards.”  We’ll soon get to what that’s all about, but I want to be sure to start with two cards I really do like!  Both of them found their way to me in Postcrossing Forum tags.

I just love this sketch of a Hong Kong storefront & apartments; it really takes me there!  The sender asks, “have you tried egg tart before?  It has to be my favorite Hong Kong snacks.  California has always been somewhere I desperately want to visit, and hopefully I can visit there soon!”

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That breathtaking mountain view came to me from Shaanxi, China, and the sender tells me it is called Hua Mountain, and “it’s a little dangerous to climb, but because of the wonderful scenery, lots of people still trying and enjoy it.”

Next up, the kitty classroom, comes to me from Belarus, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum “favorites” tag.  I’m so forgetful, I didn’t even remember having marked it as a favorite.  Good thing to check those once in a while!

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Another cat, this one riding a tortoise, and it comes to me from France as a regular Postcrossing card.  The sender’s writing is quite difficult to decipher, which is a lesson to me, even though I THINK my printing is neat, that I could stand to try harder.  I thought she wrote that she is in the “Louie Valley,” but a consult with Ask Jeeves (or whomever it is running the internet these days) let me know she probably meant Loire Valley.  Also, if I’m reading this correctly, she hopes to open a bed & breakfast next summer.  Or it could be that she just got back from a waterslide with Santa–I just don’t know.  Well, I do know I prefer the latter.

These next 3 cards all came my way via swap-bot.  The big building is the Fine Arts Gallery in San Diego, California–but the card was sent to me from a swapper in the state of Georgia.

I think the Santorini, Greece, card actually came to me from that locale.  The sender wrote:

“You can walk to the top.  To get to the volcano you can get a small local boat to take you straight there.  Otherwise you can take a tour that includes Thirasía.  When you get to the top, the view of Santorini is incredible!  This is must place to visit if you here.  You can jump into the warm springs if you want.”

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The last card of that trio is the boat on the river.  The card was sent by a swapper in Illinois.  She sent it in a “recycled postcard” trade, but if she did indeed but a new backing on a card she previously received, I sure couldn’t tell–and I picked away at 3 of the 4 corners!  When I do these, I always like to leave the original stamps exposed (but on the bottom left of the new backing), as a bonus for the new recipient.  Anyhow, this card’s sender says the scene pictured is the Mississippi River, a sight she’s never seen in person, but that she imagines herself taking “an old time paddle wheel river boat ride down this river, if they still exist.” They do.  No, I’ve not been on the Mississippi, but more than once, I HAVE ridden a riverboat on the Rivers of America.

There’s a tag on Postcrossing Forum called “The Card You Want to Get Rid of,” and if I’d had this next card, I’d have sent it off in this trade, too!  I might just send it out in the next “recycled postcard” trade in which I participate.  The sender is in Tampere, Finland, and she told me, “I find this tag superb; it’s hard to find a suitable recipient to every postcard, but every postcard deserves to travel.”

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Another postcard I’d be happy to get rid of is the “Been there, done that, got the t-shirt” card–that comes from Sheffield, England, in a swap-bot trade.   The sender wrote the card on July 11, telling me: “right now it is nearly 10 a.m. and it’s raining, and probably won’t stop for the rest of the day.  Typical UK!”

Still more cards getting no love: the trio below were sent to me together from Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada, in a swap-bot “I Don’t Want These Postcards” exchange.  I’ll have to post them in my page of cars available for trades!  That one that looks like a b&w “magic eye” game will probably have to go out in another round of these “I don’t want it” tags!

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This next card came my way from Graz, Austria, in the “recycled postcard” tag I’ve been mentioning, and I may just have scanned & posted the other side here before, but I didn’t mark it as such, so either way–here we go.  In this tag, a person is supposed to slap a new backing on a postcard they received from someone else, & then send it to their assigned partner.  Let this serve as a warning that all glue sticks are not created equal; there was no postcard attached to this backing.  When you flip it over, all you see is shiny streaks.  In any case, I thought you might enjoy reading the hand-written recipe.

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Well, it’s just about stamp time, so let me ask you now:  what are your favorite cards this time?  Which ones would you first choose to send off in a trade of recycled or “I don’t want this” cards?  Remember, one good use of a postcard you don’t think anyone else will love, is as a vehicle to send a message to your elected representatives!

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Dogs in & on Water, & a Deer Behind the Wheel: Sent to China, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia, & the U.S.

After being away for some travel time, I got back to the postcards, with a bunch off through Postcrossing Forum trades & swap-bot — and even 2 new sends for Postcard United!  In the interest of finally posting here again–and not wasting too much time–there won’t be a lot of detail this time, but let’s enjoy all of the cool cards, stamps, stickers, & washi tape!

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That beat-up postcard with the beat-up trophy on the beat-up car went off in a swap-bot trade for beat-up postcards.  I was so happy to have the opportunity to send it!

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I’m putting eclipse stamps on most of my mail.  Black circles give way to moons, after a bit of heat is applied (whether by a well-placed thumb, or just hot weather).  In most of these scans, the moon is peeking through some.  By the way, if you live somewhere in or adjoining the eclipse zone, please remember: DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY UP AT THE SUN.  There are many sites full of information on safe viewing; please look those up.

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Giving ‘Em What They Want: Sent to Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, & the U.S.

Some more envelope-making this time, plus plenty of cards, stickers, stamps & washi tape I really like! See anything you like?  Let me know!  Let’s get started.

Tom & Jerry go to Hong Kong, to a Postcrosser who selected this card from those I showed as available…postcard toon Tom and Jerry

…and the bridge view is off to Xi’an, Shaanxi, China, to a Postcrosser who had marked it as a favorite.  So happy when I enter a Postcrossing “favorites” thread, & I actually have a card a member has marked!

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This card from the PEZ factory & visitor center in Orange, Connecticut was chosen by a Postcrosser in Gloucester, Ontario, Canada, who tells me her husband once visited that site & “bought out the store.”  When I went, the items I most wanted were in the display cases!

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The next 2 cards, along with the handmade envelopes that follow (and some other things I stuffed in) went to pen/postcard pals in Hawaii & Japan.postcard a The Food That Makes Us chicken rice

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The California map card is going to a map-loving college student in Hong Kong.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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“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:

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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.

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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.

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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?

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The Traveler, the Cook, and the Sailor: Received from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, & the U.S.

This time:

  • Snoopy!
  • Disney!
  • “Word lovers” with nothing to say!
  • Falling apart in the post!

 

Let’s start with a great pair of cards I actually got to choose, thanks to Postcrossing Forum offer tags.  This Peanuts postcard, with Patty scratching Snoopy’s chin, came from Japan, and the sender wrote, “I hope you will enjoy this card!”  Well, yes… I did ask for it…

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The sender in Hong Kong tells me about her local Disneyland:

“(It’s) the smallest one in the world, but it’s still popular, especially with Chinese tourists.  Every day the park is crowded with tourists.  😦 and I am not interested in it.”

Ha, when I spent a mere 3 nights in HK a few years back (not nearly enough time to properly see the city), I tried like crazy to avoid Disneyland–but everywhere I turned, there was another image or large advertising display for the place.  I finally gave in, & made a whirlwind early-morning trip, before meeting a friend for a dim sum lunch.  Fortunately, my mid-week, early-morning trip yielded a very uncrowded park, with no memorable waits for any of the rides I chose.  I had a great time!

Speaking of tourist zones, look at this cool 3-D card my pen pal in Tokyo, Japan sent to me when she visited Tokyo Tower!  The fact that they had a special mailbox & postmark tells me that Japan is very much more of a postcard-writing-and-treasuring culture than is the U.S.  Now I did, on a recent road trip, see a general store in a little community that had its own postcards, which it would mail for you for free, should you fill one out to someone & drop it in their basket.  I didn’t take advantage of the offer, as I don’t carry an address book on me.  Guess I could have looked up addresses on my phone email app–but I don’t know how many Gs I was getting in that remote area!

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The soup comes via a Postcrossing Forum food tag from a sender in Yokohama, Japan, who tells me about the photo on her card:

“This picture of Japanese local cuisine ‘Sanpei-jiru.’  It’s Japanese sake less soup with chopped salmon and vegetables.  It’s very good.”

A flying whale from Albany, New York, thanks for a Postcrossing Forum “marine life & sea creature” tag.  I see I made a note on the card quoting a line from this Postcrosser’s profile: “I love words.”  Now, why did I want to remember that?  Oh, I see now: the card was mostly blank space on the back, with the only message being “hope you like this card!  I thought it was pretty cool. :)”

So, that happened.

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The rug-looking card seems to be a piece of cardboard covered in gift wrap.  I’d have guessed contact paper, but this thing arrived in my mailbox flapping apart, attached only at one end.  This has been a bit of a theme recently. This one came to me from Blitar, Indonesia, thanks to Postcrossing.  The sender tells me I am her first match–she just joined the night before!  She also wrote:

“I am 23 years old, living in a small city in East Java province, called Blitar.  I love reading too!  My favourite is about self development, business/marketing and also recipe book because I’m a chef… I am a food consultant here, my clients are spread in Palembang, Jakarta, Surabaya, etc… so I live nomaden sometimes… Hahaha.  I love traveling too!  My fave Asia destinations are Thailand and Hong Kong!  The food is superb!  I hope someday I can go to USA!!!  That’s my dream destination.”

Finally, there’s the St. Petersburg card, another Postcrossing draw, this time from a 16-year-old girl in Checkhov, Russia, who wrote that she’d just returned from Camp Artek, where she was in the sea squad, and had a great time learning knots, semaphore, and much more.

Okay, enough for now!  Here come the stamps, stickers, & stuff.  See anything you like?

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