Traveling, Recycling–and Whittling Down the Dissapointassortment: Sent to Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, & the U.S.

I’ve got cards going out to seven different countries, all but one being signees of the Paris Agreement.

Hey, I got rid of one of my Disappointassortment cards!  That heart locket card goes out in a Postcrossing draw to Brasschaat, Flanders, Belgium, to a recipient who said she likes cards with hearts on them.

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The mail-a-sea-lion card goes to a sea-lion-loving family member.  I love sea lions, too!  Scroll down, and you’ll be able to see the other side of this very functional card.

It’s the Grinch!  He and a lot of other offspring of Dr. Seuss’s imagination reside in Springfield, Massachusetts, in the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden.  I visited this site in May, just missing by a couple of weeks or so the grand opening of the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum!  But I did get some postcards, & sent this one to Cindi in Hawaii.postcard128

I also visited the PEZ factory in Orange, Connecticut! What a fun experience.  I bought a lot of stuff–and I also picked up some free postcards they had, promoting their party room.  This one went to North Hollywood, California, for a very specific swap-bot trade: “Free/Ad Card: I picked this up on vacation.”  I just knew these would come in handy.

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The fox went off toward Tokyo, Japan, for a Postcrossing Forum USA/Asia tag.  The recipient said she liked foxes!

There’s a second Disappointment card going away!  These ballet folklórico dancers are not the problem; it’s that the card manufacturers failed to give context for the card, and…oh, just refer to the original post.  The card went off to Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, in a Postcrossing Forum “China Meets the World” tag.  The recipient said he liked cards featuring cultural celebrations for our area, and, well, here in the San Francisco Bay Area, this counts!  I grew up enjoying ballet folklórico in schools, museums, and other settings.

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Something not so easily found in the Bay Area is great Thai food.  Oh, there are Thai restaurants absolutely EVERYWHERE… but just try finding a Southeast Asian person who would want to eat in any of them.  I have finally found two restaurants that break that sad mold, and one is San Francisco’s Kin Khao.  You, I assume, being someone who is interested in postcards, you may love to walk into this restaurant to find a wall decorated with a huge postcard rack, full of food cards yours for the taking!  I’ve mentioned this before; you can see the rack in that post, here.  This one goes to Stetten, Germany for another specific swap-bot trade: “Free Postcard–Restaurant/Coffee Shop.”

Next we have a couple of cards I created from boxes of frozen food, for another swap-bot trade of “up-cycled cardboard.”  I don’t usually buy frozen prepared food, but these two items from my local Indian supermarkets reeled me in.  The Kati sandwiches (card going to Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) seemed like an improvement on Hot Pockets (a low bar; Hot Pockets are nasty), and they were.  As for the other package (going to South Elgin, Illinois), I really like good sambhar.  This was not really good sambhar.  Better stick with home or restaurant-made.  THEY MAKE FOR NICE POSTCARDS, THOUGH!

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This Mickey Mouse card went to Longquan Station, Taiwan, via a Postcrossing Forum Disney card tag.

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Okay, let’s move on to the stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff.  I think there may be some stamps here you haven’t seen before.  Please share your thoughts!

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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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You Go Away for a Few Days, and…Received from Canada, China, & Germany

I took a nice elongated weekend trip, and now that my mail service has restarted, a lot of postcards have come in through the slot!  A nice welcome home.

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Manatees!  I love those guys.  It was mailed to me from a swap-botter in Sandwich, Illinois (a small town, she says about 60 miles away from Chicago).  She tells me:

“I visit Florida often to see family.  I’ve been able to see a number of aquariums and spotted dolphins and very small sharks in the waters.  Oh and alligators in the pond behind my mom’s home and on the golf course.  My favorite is the manatee.  This postcard and many others were available at Manatee Park in Fort Myers.  We spent an afternoon watching them come and go.  It was February and when the water gets cold they find warm water in an inlet.  The park is a natural habitat with viewing areas, educational events and they have a microphone in the water and speakers to listen from the viewing spots.

Sounds so nice!  I would love to see manatees in their natural home.  Something else I’d love to see in their natural home is orcas; that beautiful card in the middle is from Melissa in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, who tells me the cetaceans are regular visitors to the area, and she was once able to see a pod.  I gasp internally thinking about the idea of seeing such a thing.  I wish all orcas were so free!

A third card I love is that Goofy art at the top right.  It’s from Altenburg, Germany, and is my one regular Postcrossing card received this time around.  Check below for the cool stamps & washi tape!  The sender tells me about where she lives:

“…Altenburg, a beautiful little big town with 164,000 inhabitants in the north of Germany. I’m 43 years old, and my motto is: give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day in your life!”

Nice!

The next 2 cards came from the same person, though she wrote them about a month apart!  She is in Yangzhou, China, and she sent the cards via Postcrossing Forum trades.  The one at bottom left, with the three walking girls, is dated  July 16, when she wrote:

“We are having summer holiday now!  With countless of homework to do, of course.  And I only have to read for summer holiday.  We are to go back to school to have extra classes coz we are in grade 3 in senior school.  We’ve to prepare for the high school graduate exam in advance, it’s like SAT in your country.”

On August 24, on the garden card at bottom write, she told me,

“(This is) a Chinese-style garden in Hangzhou, just where the G20 this year takes place.  But I think the Chinese gardens in my hometown–Yangzhou–are the most graceful, the representative of which is Slender West.  Have you heard of it?

I had not!

Finally, at the bottom middle, is that interesting food!  It’s another Postcrossing Forum trade, this time from Dalian, China.  The sender tells me,

“On this postcard is a traditional Chinese food…  ‘Rolling Donkey’, haha!  Maybe in English, it’s called ‘Ludagunr.’  I’m not sure.  It’s glutinous rice rolls with sweet bean flour.  It’s very delicious!  Hope you’ll like it!”

This is something I’m not familiar with–and now I will have to seek it out!

Stamps, washi tape, & stuff:

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Cute li’l warthog!

Going Heartless: Received from Canada, China, Indonesia, Ukraine, & the U.S.

Ooh, how about that top row?  I love those two cards!

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The first card is from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and part of a swap-bot “Upcycled Cardboard” exchange.  The swapper writes:

“I enjoy this swap so much because it’s cheap, recycling, and requires creativity.  It’s from snack box, the brand is SMAX.  Actually, I don’t really like the taste of this snack, LOL.  I hope you’ll like it (I mean the postcard. 🙂 )

I know how she feels!  Once you get the idea of using packaging as postcards, you look at your grocery basket in a whole new way!

Snoopy!  I always love finding Snoopy in my mail box.  That’s from Cindi in Hawaii, and you gotta scroll down & look at all of the cooooool stickers & stamps on the other side.

The second row of cards both came to me due to a swap-bot “Disney postcard” trade.  The fireflies are from “The Princess & the Frog,” and the card was sent to me from a swapper in Alberta, Canada, who writes:

“…I’m about 3 hours from Jasper National Park & the Rocky Mountains.  It’s my favorite place to go…”

The Toy Story card is from a sender in Chicago, Illinois.  This guy left so much white space on the back of the card, I can hear the wind blowing through.  He writes:

“I remember seeing this film when it came out in 1999!  Take care,”

That’s it: the greeting, then that, then the signature, then an expanse of white space that represents about half or more of the card’s writable area.

If you know swap-bot, you know it’s a ratings-based system, and you may know I cringe every time it’s ratings time on the ‘bot.

Every time I send out something for swap-bot, I go for that heart, the “extra-special” rating that I think should be so easy to achieve, that I don’t understand when I don’t earn it.  The same week that the half-written card previously mentioned to me, I received a swap-bot rating for the  doubly-free card I sent to Minnesota.  It was a heart-less rating.  Here’s what I’d like you to do.  Look at this card, front & back, and let me know what I should have done to earn that heart.  Let’s begin with the swap instructions:

Send 1 free/ad postcard to your 1 partner. Theme of the card can be anything, no offensive though. Senders’s choise. It would be great that the card has some room to write your greetings. Add at least the swap name and your Swap-bot name! Send written and stamped.

Okay, now here is my card, back & front:

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Lots of stamps, long substantive note, ink-stamped images & washi tape… what else, then? Should I start taping cash to my postcards, or what?  Please do help me out, here!

On the flip side, when it comes to being the person doing the rating, my policy is to err on the side of generosity: I INTEND to give the heart rating, and only withhold it in the rare cases when the sender is clearly hardly straining toward the bare minimum.  Like, for instance, on the nearly-empty card I described previously.

Oh, those swap-bot nerves…

Moooooving on…

Bottom row: the book with leaf card came to me via Postcrossing from Chernihiv, Ukraine.  The sender tells me that she is a web developer, but in her free time she prefers needlework.

Finally, we come to the terracotta warriors.  This comes to me thanks to a Postcrossing Foum Far East to America tag, from a sender in Guangzhou,China.  Here is what she has to say:

“This’s Terracotta Warriors, which was established by Qin Shi Huang and listed in UNESCO, is located in Shanxi Province, a famous ancient province in China.  This series of postcards is rare, since the seller said this’s only presented to the foreign reporter as a gift.  But I send one of them to you and want you to learn more about China.  Maybe the color is a little wierd, but it’s acceptable, right?  Maybe you should visit there one day!”

By the way, I found this History Channel write-up, 5 Things You May Not Know About the Terra Cotta Army.  The piece of info about Qin’s burial complex that really stuck with me?  “So far, archaeologists have uncovered a 20-square-mile compound…”  Whoa.

Taking a peek at the backsides– stamps, postmarks, stickers, & washi tape:

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A Cavalcade of Backsides! Sent to Hong Kong, Poland, and the U.S.

A slew of swap-bottery this time!

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The top two are for an “upcycled cardboard trade,” in which we were to rescue cardboard from the recycling by turning it into a postcard.  The fish postcard, one of a set I made some time ago (down to a single card after this went out), goes to someone in Clyde, Ohio, who says she likes “under the sea” themes. The cloud & rain, from a toy package, went off to Bel Air, Maryland.

The California postcard is the only non-swap-bot card this time around, and it goes out via the Postcrossing Forum Hong Kong to the World Tag, to a recipient who expressed an interest in map cards.

I HATE that postcard at bottom left!  Artless, uninspired, uncredited–and of course it was part of the disappointassortment.  I papered over many of this mistakenly-purchased hell-set of cards with stamp collages, but somehow, this card escaped that treatment.  It’s a good thing, because now it goes to go off to Warsaw, Poland in a swap-bot “I HATE this card” trade!

That “Star Wars Episode I”-looking lady came to me some time ago from Russia, and now it heads off to someone else, thanks to a “recycled postcard” trade, in which we were to slap a new back on and old card, and send it off.  As you will see below, I cut off a portion of the new backing, so that the recipient (who lives in Zweeloo, Netherlands) will get to enjoy the original postage stamp.

Finally, the “Genius” card went off to Plainfield, Illinois, as a part of a “free card” trade.  I picked this up at a cool old single-screen cinema near where I work.  Just another reason to give them my business!

A cavalcade of backsides:

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Her Favorite Food is Sugary Cereal: Sent to Czech Republic, France, & the U.S.

Some Postcrossing, some swap-bottery!  The 2 cards on the left went out for a swap-bot “recycled cardboard”-themed trade.

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So, I had to get a new iron last month.  My old iron, after years of faithful service, just quit one morning without giving notice.  Fortunately, I had an ironed shirt in reserve.  I put the dead thing in my car, to remind me to go buy a new iron.  Here, you can see what I did with the box from the new iron.   I told my sad tale to the recipient of the card, who lives in South Elgin, Illinois.

The card below that was hewn from a box of Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch, and it’s on its way to a swapper in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, who says that her “favorite food is sugary cereal.”

In the right-hand column, we have two new Postcrossing draws, and the top one is another zebra card acquired on my most-recent postcard-shopping spree in San Simeon, California. This particular zebra shot is most fortunate, as you can see Hearst Castle–this pair’s ancestral-ish home–in the background.  The card goes to Strasbourg, France, to a Postcrosser who is interested in images of wildlife, landscapes, and also black & white images.  Check, check, check!

Finally, there is the berry drawing, which is making its way to Brandýs nad Labem, Czech Republic.  This Postcrosser is an interesting case: she’s been active on the site for over 6 years, and to keep things interesting, she has posted monthly themes.  This month, she requests that the people who draw her name send her postcards picturing fruit (“especially berries”).  I love it!  I don’t particularly like this colorless card, but it’s the only berry image I had, so off it went.

Stamps, stamps, & washi tape:

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Of Hammocks & Laziness: Received from Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, & the United States.

Love that mole card!  Krtek came to me from his homeland of the Czech Republic.  I have seen the character around, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode of his cartoon.  Apparently book versions have been made, because this card’s sender says, “Krteček was my favorite bedtime story.”

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The hammock came from Finland.  I will share with you the entirety of the message from the other side:

“Warm summer greetings from the south of Finland!”

I swear, there was enough white space on the back of that postcard to build two Starbucks franchises.

If you don’t know what to write on a postcard, why send postcards?  Postcrossing doesn’t exactly leave us hanging out here in write-to-a-stranger-land, either: the site offers 20 suggestions of what to write on a postcard. Heck, I’d even be amused if she had slapped on a comic strip from her local newspaper–there was certainly room for that!  At least the bird stamp was very nice.

The big panel-of-Sharpie box is from Canada, thanks to the swap-bot Chunk of Cardboard trade I like so much.  If you look at the bottom-right corner of the stamp scan below, you will get just a peek at the wonderful watercolor dots with which the sender covered the back of the card before stamping, addressing, & writing me a very long note.

The penguin came to me from a swap-bot member in Illinois, U.S.A., torn from a notecard for a “notecard postcard” trade.  She tells me that, like me, she enjoys author Carl Hiassen, and the TV show “Shameless.”  I have slowly been working my way through the original British version of that series, which just kept going & going & going.  Kind of like me, when someone doesn’t write an actual message on their postcard.

Really beautiful stamps this time around! The Canadian ones commemorating the Lunar New Year are especially amazing: may be hard to tell from the scan, but the dragon image is raised, and the ram is embossed with shiny, reflective highlights.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stamps!

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Sent to Germany, South Korea, and the United States

Two more of my Postcrossing cards have been received–in fact, two cards I mailed on the same day were received on the same day!

My card to Munich, Germany traveled 9 days and 5,866 miles; and

my card to Lucerne, Switzerland traveled 5,835 miles in those same 9 days.

Time now to send out more cards!

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Two of my recipients are very lucky! The third gets the ghost card.

My tiger cards go out to Hamburg, Germany (Postcrossing always has you with a card out to Germany, and one to Netherlands, it seems), and to Chungnam, South Korea.  The card to South Korea is headed for an American who has been living there for two years, teaching English.  So cool!

That ghost card–picked from my big box ‘o’ old book cover postcards seen so often on this blog–is going to Sandwich, Illinois.  Yeah, you read that right.  Do you want to know what that city is named for?  Sandwhich, New Hampshire. Seriously, I looked it up.

The card is part of a swap-bot “postcards through the alphabet: G” trade, and I started to tell the recipient that I am not interested in reading about ghosts, but then I remembered the Topper books by Thorne Smith.  Funny stuff.  Have you ever read them?  Or perhaps you’ve seen the movies or TV series.

Sent to: England, Netherlands & the U.S.

5 sent out in a swap-bot “sender’s choice” trade:

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A couple more from my big but slowly-shrinking box ‘o’ old book cover postcards seen frequently on this blog, plus a few from my day trip down the California coast last month. Wish I were there!

Clockwise from the upper left: the ceiling card goes to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the recipient mentioned being a fan of Douglas Adams, so I shared a quote of his I like:

The card at upper right went to O’Fallon, Illinois;

Mijrecht, The Netherlands was the destination of the Monterey card. I’ve been paired with this user before.

The card at bottom right goes to London.  I’ve also been paired with this user previously!

Finally, the card at bottom left goes to NeedeThe Netherlands.