Mega TOON Edition! Received from England, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, & the U.S.

13 postcards this time, all toon-related. Still playing catch-up, so while some of these are newly-received, some came in months & months ago. We have a combination of Postcard Forum tags, and incomings from postal pals of mine. Let’s get started, so we can get finished!

I love this Disney duck art, with Christmas greetings in Swedish. It came to me from Finland via Postcrossing Forum. I remember it was a very confusing parcel to receive: an envelope filled with many postcards, each with a tiny message denoting a different Postcrossing tag. This user had tagged me many times in different threads, all at once, did not message me to let me know, and surprised me with all of this. I keep track of whom I’ve tagged (since my memory is not so good), so that I do not overdo tagging the same person. In any case, though, I do love this postcard.

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Hey, Doraemon! The card came to me from Indonesia, and the stamps & stickers tie right in, so you’ll have to scroll down & check them out. The sender writes:

Doraemon is my favorite cartoon too because they are funny and taught us about friendship. My fave character is Nobita & Shisuka.

Peanuts time! Cindi in Hawaii knows that I love the oldest versions of the characters, & she has sent me two of my favorite cards, featuring Pigpen, Lucy, & Schroeder. The scans of the backs down below show a beautiful patchwork of related stamps & stickers.

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An extra serving of Peanuts, from a post-pal in Tokyo, Japan:

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I love Spirited Away. Just saw it on the big screen again a few months ago for one of those two-night return engagements that happen sometimes, and I was blown away all over again. This card came to me from the same postcard pal as the one right above it.

Mickey and his band also came to me from Japan, in a tag in which we were to list the characters we’d like to receive. Horace Horsecollar was on my list, and as you’ll see at the bottom of the post, the card’s sender was surprised by my obscure choices.

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Totoro here came to me from Russia, but the sender isn’t talking about Ghibli:

When I was a child, on TV on Saturday morning showed Disney cartoons. One of my favorites was Chip ‘n Dale.

The postcard teeming with Misters Men & Little Misses came to me from yet another postcard pal, this one in Brighton, England. Don’t miss the matching stamps down below!

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The kitty packing heat was sent to me from Seattle, Washington, and the sender writes:

I don’t know the cat on the front of this card, but Strawberry Shortcake was a favorite of mine, back in the day.

She mentions Ms. Shortcake because she affixed a sticker of that character on the back of the card. You’ll not see her in this post, because by this time I had scanning fatigue, and that kind of thing just doesn’t make the cut. I’ll just share that it was an older version of the character, in shorts, flip-flops, and a floppy beach hat.

This Hello Kitty card did make the cut. It’s yet another card from Japan, and the back has great stickers, stamps & washi tape which, along with the card’s message, you can see below.

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These funny little sea creatures came from Russia. The sender tells me that she loves Kinder toys, and that she used to play with them with her older sister when she was a child.

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That little mouse came to me from Berlin, Germany, and the sender tells me:

I’m a 28 year old Russian girl, moved to Germany recently. Before that I spent 2.5 years in Moscow working as an IT engineer. Now I live in the center of Berlin, Mitte district. My office is in crazy and fancy Kreuzberg! There is a cool graffiti on our office wall: Putin, Obama, and Merkel closing mouth, eyes, and ears!

Hey, I found that piece of street art!

I feel like this came from a more innocent time.

Let’s finally get to the previously mentioned stamps, stickers, washi tape, and messages. So much good stuff!

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I love, love, love that little squirrel sticker. The pair of cats on blue are awesome, too.

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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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Just Dropped You a Line to Say ABSOLUTELY NOTHING: Received from Indonesia & Taiwan

Two postcards in recently via Postcard United, and that is not the only thing these two have in common.  Before we go further, though, let’s take a look at the front of the cards.

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I love that gateway, and the arch beyond.  The card came to me from Changhua, Taiwan, and its caption tells us this about the scene:

The Gateway to the East-West Cross-Island Highway, Hualien: after passing through the vermilion archway, you will be greeted by the breathtaking splendor of Taroko Gorge

The other card was sent to me from Pare, Kediri, Jawa Timur, Indonesia, and it has some beautiful & interesting stamps on the back (as does the other card).

Oh, yes, the backs of the cards; let’s talk about those, because those are what tie these two cards so inexorably together.  Have a look:

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Oh, look: I could write both of those messages in one Tweet, and STILL have room to add something interesting!

From Taiwan:

Greetings from Taiwan.

Yes.  The stamps, postmark, & photo tipped me off to that.  Thanks for the confirmation, though.

From Indonesia:

I hope you will like this card & stamps

I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt that they selected the cards & stamps in hopes I would like them.

Now, this 2nd person, according to Postcard United, has sent 505 cards.  And on her profile, she wishes everyone a “fascinating and crazy postcrossing”–which is more than she wrote on my card!

What is the point of sending a card if you don’t want to write anything on it?  I’m not fascinated, but it does sorta drive me crazy.  I could rant a lot more, I suppose, but this is just — sad.  Some people do have to work harder to come up with something to say.  For this, Postcrossing does offer some help, offering its answers to the question: “What should I write on the postcard?”

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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Dear Occupant: Received from Indonesia

I don’t often create a post with just one postcard, but occasionally I receive a card so interesting, that I think it deserves its own space.  Have a look at this:

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I feel as if you are talking to me, and me alone, so warm inside right now am I.

Well, wow–I think I just received a postcard from a rubber stamp! And how does one respond to a “how are you” from a rubber stamp?

Now, one way to interpret this is that this Postcard Uniter just doesn’t speak English, but doesn’t want to miss out on the experience.  A look at her profile, though, told me she claims that English is indeed one of her languages spoken (along with Indonesian & German).  I still think it likely means she doesn’t speak English, though, and though the rubber stamp is clever (and I REALLY like the idea that she may have a special little add-on stamp for every weather eventuality), it would feel better, as the recipient, if she just hand-wrote this rote message on each card she sent.

Have you ever received a card like this?  Did it warm your insides, or what?

By the way, here is the front of the card:

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I really like the bird stamps on this card; take a closer look:

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Topographical Snoopy: Received from Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, & the U.S.

What a swell batch! I especially love the cards at the top, both of which are ducky.

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What a wonderful, beautiful Donald Duck drawing.  He’s looking befuddled; he’s definitely been disrespected–and you just know he’s moments away from launching into an angry fit!  I received this in a Postcrossing Forum “I would really like to have tag,” where I wrote that I would really like to have a card with Donald or one of his relatives.  The sender wrote:

“Apa Kabar?  How are you?  Salam/greetings from Indonesia!  May the Peace and Joy that Christmas brings be with you and your loved ones!

I really want to see giant rubber ducks in a harbor.  One did come, very briefly, to Los Angeles, but only very briefly, and that’s about 6 hours away from me.  This card is one I actually asked for, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum tag in which we were to post the cards we offer.  The back side is beautiful, too!  The sender, who is in Taiwan, tells me:

“This card is Rubber Duck in Keelung (maybe you know).  I visited it in 2014.”

The Sally Brown card is very interesting: Sally is drawn is Charles Schulz’s style, but the other items show no attempt to match up.  The sender wrote:

“Greetings from Riihikoski, a village in south-west Finland.  I really love Snoopy and his friends.”

Down below, where I show the backs of the cards, check out the also-very-interesting 3-D Snoopy sticker!  By the way, this card was sent as part of one of Postcrossing Forum’s most lonely threads, the Snoopy/Peanuts tag.

Great drawing on that Snoopy card!  The image had been in my Postcrossing wall of favorites, and a sender in Japan chose it for me, thanks to a forum trade in which you were to send someone a card from their wall. The sender wrote about food:

“I like cooking.  Today’s dinner is yakitori.  It’s grilled chicken skewers.  They are made from bite-sized pieces of meat from all different parts of the chicken, and grilled with salt.”

The card at bottom right is from somewhere in the U.S., and came to me in a swap-bot trade of movie or TV postcards.  The font style on the front made me just dismiss it as computer code, and my first thought was that perhaps the two characters on the front were Snape & Malfoy from the Harry Potter series.  NOPE.  The sender tells me:

“I got this card at a craft fair a while back.  Hope you don’t mind that it’s a custom one.  I kind of got sucked into the SuperWhoLock fandom.  I’m a bit embarassed about the Super element, but a proud Whovian…and who can resist Cumberbatch?”

And so I came to Ask Jeeves about “SuperWhoLock.”

Soooo much good stuff on the back of the postcards this time:

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Here comes that 3-D Snoopy sticker I mentioned before.  It’s hard plastic.  Below this image, I’ve posted an enlargement, so keep scrolling.

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I guess it’s hard to show in a scan…it’s like a plastic topographical map… have you seen some like this before?

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PU-3: The Last of My 1st Batch in w/Postcard United, & then…

Yeah, yeah, I dove into Postcard United a couple of months back, and once my cards landed, I eventually started receiving cards from around the world–and my own country.  I waited until they all seemed to be in, then shared them here, and here…and now, finally, right here.

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Isn’t that pizza card sent to me from Beijing, China interesting?  It seems to me that the smaller image, separated from the larger one by a line of perforation, is meant to be saved by the sender– but of course, if you really like the pic, why not save the BIG one?  I got both, with the note:

“Hello!  Nice to meet you!  I’m from Beijing, China. This is a card of pizza.  Hope you like it.

I really like that toucan photo, which was sent to me from Novosibirskya, Russia:

“I bought this postcard in the Novosibirsk Zoo.  This toucan lives in it and sends you greetings.  Toucans easily tamed, because they are trusting and teachable.  Maybe I should make toucan as a pet? 🙂  Although two large snails live in my house.  Do you have any pets?  Good luck!  Happy postcrossing!”

Yes, she did say postcrossing, although we’re using the, uh, other service.  And a big NO on the toucan stuff.  Screw that noise–I hate to see big birds in small cages.

One final card to share in this inaugural lot of received cards, and it’s the kitten apparently allowing a puppy to swallow it whole.  It’s from Norway, and the sender tells me:

“I live in the south-east of Norway.  I have 2 kids, boy (21) and girl (16), cats and a boyfriend.  My job is to take care of kids and adults with special needs.  All the best!”

Stamps–the one from China is my favorite…

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By the way, I neglected to share more than one of my “Great News!!!” messages (the Postcard United version of Postcrossing’s “Hurray!” message), but this one from a ‘Uniter I was assigned in the U.S. is worth reading:

Hello from Massachusetts! I want to thank you for the groovy vintage card! Totally love it! Postcardunited is a fun site that is struggling with growing pains. Sometimes it drives me crazy…but I keep coming back because at one time, I was #1. But the current #1 (Yuk) is tough to beat! Have a great weekend!! Nathan

So now what do I do?  START SENDING OUT MORE CARDS!  Yes, I will continue Postcard Uniting.

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The donkey went off on its way to Hirtenberg, Austria, to a person who did in fact express an interest in donkey cards.  Here’s a snippet of her profile:

I live in a house with garden together with my dog-girl, she´s my sunshine, very naughty and cute!!

That pool scene went to someone in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China who expressed an interest in hotel ad cards.  This card, which I’d say is from the 1960s at the latest, is one I found in my late mother’s stationery stash, and it is from a place called the Maui Palms Hotel.  I’ve been to Hawaii plenty throughout my life, but I think this might have been from a trip my folks took before my time.

Finally, the bridge card is going to Jawa Timur, Indonesia, to someone whose entire list of cards she would like to receive was all about bridges.  I was happy to find a bridge in an old postcard book I found at a Friends of the Library book sale.

Looking forward to more Postcard Uniting, with more countries I never (or rarely) see on Postcrossing!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyhow, the sender writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nope.

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

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

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

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

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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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HEY! I Dove in to Postcard United! Bahamas, Chile, Guyana, & More…

I did it!

I signed on to Postcard United!

I’ve been aware of this Postcrossing-like site for several months, but I’ve resisted up until now.  I was a little suspicious: there are a lot of misspellings on the site, and it’s less than complete, and I was unable to find much independent information about it online.  That is, until several days ago, when Melissa Rose posted Postcrossing vs Postcard United on her blog, The Anxious Canadian.  She sold me immediately, because she is using it smoothly herself, and because of her statement, “due Postcard United’s smaller user count, it is easier to receive mail from rarer countries.” Sold sold sold, sold sold! With 1 out of every 3 of my Postcrossing cards going to or coming from Russia, Germany, or the Netherlands, I’m ready for some variety!  Thank you, Melissa Rose!

I dove in.

I dove in hard: I not only signed up; I also became a supporter!  They said I could send up to 12 cards, so I decided to get to it & send all 12, a task I completed in about 3 days’ time.  Here the assigned countries are, in reverse order.  Some here I have never, ever seen in two years of Postcrossing.

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Yes, I encountered some surprises as I clicked along.  Obviously, there are not a lot of people using the service, because when I got assigned a recipient, then went through the process of reading the profile, picking a card, writing it out, etcetera–maybe puttering around the house actually getting things done in between–often times, when I clicked to get assigned my next destination, only one or two–or zero–numbers had come up in-between the one I’d previously been assigned!

Another surprise: the United States?  What?  In Postcrossing, you have to give permission.  Ah, well.  Also, I was assigned the U.S. (and another country) twice, something that does happen, but more infrequently, in Postcrossing.

Okay, the cards.  My very first assigned addressee is in Gomel, Belarus.  She likes cows, so she gets my cow card here.

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Next up: Chile!  My first card to–or from–that country.  The Cayucos beach scene goes to a 29-year-old in La Serena, Chile, who lives so near the beach that she goes about 4 times a week, after work. She loves touristy postcards, and she asks people to forgo the envelopes (“let’s not waste paper”).  And she, like me, likes having something to red when she flips over a postcard:

“Don’t know what to write? You can tell me about your day, a project you are working on, your dreams and plans, the current book you are reading or something interesting about your city or country, even a nice quote will make my day 🙂 Of course, this are just suggestions and you can write about whatever you want, but please write something on the postcard.”

My third draw brought up Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a rare but always welcome sight on that other site.  This Postcard Uniter (is that the correct way of referring to one another on this site?) has a happy-looking profile shot, and a lot to share about herself; she enjoys:

  “…listening to music, correspondence, collecting stamps and postcards, photography, creative writing, arts, cooking (the list goes on :)) I love nature and so, I love travelling, but it was the thing that I’m not able to do often. I love to learn about other culture in the world, lifestyle, food and unique traditions that colors the existence.”

I thought she would be interested & pleased to see the pair of zebras cuddling next to California’s Pacific Coast Highway.

That extreme jaguar is going not to a person, but to a country!  Georgetown, Guyana is the destination.  The nation set up a temporary Postcard United account in celebration of their Golden Jubilee–50th anniversary.  They’re hoping to get more mail between now & the end of October, and if you’d like to learn more, you can find out here.  I chose the jaguar because it’s their national animal.  I wished them a happy anniversary, and also peace & prosperity.  Not the approximate 13 lines of blahblahblah I usually fit onto a card, but it’s hard to come up with much you want to say to an entire nation (or its publicity arm).  This was very interesting; I’d say most people know exactly one thing about Guyana.

Speaking of not much to say, my next draw, sadly, was this non-uniting Uniter in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, to whom I send the sad little horse.  The entirety of her “profile” is this: “Hello! I love tourist and animal postcards!!! Postcards only please! No photos, folded greeting cards etc, ad cards etc. No religous cards! Thanks!!”

UGH.  Now, should we do her the favor of assuming the fact that she has, as I write this, been a member only 15 days, mean that she just is in the process of writing an actual profile, and she’s here for more than just the swag?  I wrote to her, in text a little larger than usual:

“Greetings from California, U.S.A.!  I’m new on Postcard United, too–a couple of weeks newer than you.  I have been on Postcrossing for a couple of years, though.  I’m not interested in collecting postcards–for me, it’s all about learning a little more about other places and people. Cheers–“

Inoffensively stated, I think.  Also, I do love getting mail.  And also, despite the fact I don’t collect postcards, I have amassed a lot that I love & plan on keeping.  But that’s not why I’ve taken to this somewhat time-consuming hobby.  Anyhow, onward… the Big Sur postcard is winding its way toward a Uniter in Schweiz, Switzerland–another rare Pokémon!  The recipient is a 43-year-old woman who enjoys photography, as well as collecting, reading, & studying books.  She says she enjoys postcards with nice views, and nice views are what Big Sur has to offer.

On to the second set of six cards, and not straying so far from Big Sur, there is the elephant seal in San Simeon.  And it goes to: Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.A.  WHAT, THE U.S.?!?  Over at Postcrossing, same-country sending is an opt-in thing, and I just assumed… well, I headed over to the FAQ, and found out this.  FINE, let’s not get hung up on this, there are so many cards to send & record…okay, the Marylander is a medical student, interested in postcards of strange animals, and she says she thinks of postcards “as a way to help other people relax at the end of a long work day, make a bad day better, or to be kind.”

Tiger goes to Nassau, Bahamas!  My first-ever postal contact with this country (and not my last, as you may have already noticed).  The recipient, says she is retired, married, and the parent of two young adults.  Lots of personality in her profile:

“I love to read, quilt, Travel and Paper Crafting. I AM A COLLECTOR OF COLLECTIONS. So I have cookbooks, pens , pencils, matchbooks, postcards, stamps, Gift cards, Business cards, Hotel room cards, Tea bags, Tea cups,teaspoons, plates, and aprons. I keep almost everything.”

Postcard themes she said she likes include Disney & fairytales, so I thought she’d be amused by the magical tiger.  She also writes:

“But will be happy with the postcard of you choosing.Currently there are only two of us from my country registered on this site, my niece and I. It has been fun each time I get her address. All the best and may each day bring you lots of postcards, smiles and happiness.”

Hold on, wait a minute: does that mean that the very next person I drew–yes, also in Nassau, Bahamas–is this person’s niece?  Here, minus her postcard wishes, is the entirety of her profile:

“Hello, I am looking forward to getting a lot of postcards.”

Ugh. And she’s been a member for about a year and a half.  I grabbed that California map–she did say she’d like map cards–and wrote:

“Greetings from California, U.S.A.!  I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, quite close to San Jose on this map.  I have just signed up for Postcard United, and am in the midst of sending out my first batch of cards.  I have been Postcrossing for 2 years, though.  I enjoy learning about other places & people.  Cheers–“

Too subtle this time; she probably won’t get it.

It’s really a joyless thing, when people leave no profile, or an “I want this, I want that” non-profile.  I’m in this for the joy.  I love sending people things, but… nevermind, let’s continue on.

Stamp Collage with Sheep went off on its way to a 39-year-old man in Wysokie, Poland who says he likes stamps. He also describes himself as wheelchair-bound & lonely, and writes:

“I would like to know postcrossing a lot of interesting and cool people, so I do not feel that I’m lonely. Thank you for all the cards from around the world that are sent to me, I’ll be thankful for everything. I am a person, quiet, a lot of people say that quickly make contact, so if you want to know me, then you can go ahead and write it down. Remember to love people because it quickly away.”

Pretty heart-breaking stuff.

Medan, Indonesia is the destination of Stamp Collage with Ice Cream, and it goes to a stamp collector who doesn’t say too much in her profile, but she does describe her city as “A CULINARY CITY NEAR LAKE TOBA.” Well, being a food traveler, that intrigued me, and I looked it up, and Wikipedia tells me:

“Medan is inhabited by many different ethnic groups, mostly Malay, Batak, Javanese, Padang, and Chinese. Malay people are the natives of the Medan area, and have deep roots in Medan. They began ruling there during the Deli empire (Kesultanan Deli) until now. The empire has many lands and property of heritage in Medan, such as Istana Maimoon, Mesjid Raya Medan, Sultan Deli Pool and many more.  The Javanese are transmigrants. Many of them were forced to move there by the government during transmigration programs.

Because of its multiculturality, Medan has wide variety of cuisine which originated from Malay, Bataknese, Chinese, Indian, Minangkabau, Javanese, Arabs, and Western cuisines.
This city is known as culinary heaven of Indonesia which prominent for its street hawkers offering a great variety of cuisine which often serves cheap local delicacies.”

Oh, you had me at “street hawkers!”  Then I found this delicious food blog entry, 10 Reasons Why Medan is Food Heaven!  Well, until I can make it there, I’ll be looking up some of these recipes!

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It was time, then, to draw the very final recipient of my First 12, and–my home country, again.  The last card goes to Newburyport, Massachusetts, U.S.A., to a man who says he likes cards that are “WEIRD! The Weirder the better.”  Also, he likes “Risque or ‘mature’ cards – pinups,” and I think this “GIRL Crossing” card covers both bases.  I ripped it out of the Klutz Press book, “The World’s Tackiest Postcards,” (published in 1987) which I found at a library book store.

Now that I’m maxed out, I just have to wait for my cards to hit their destinations–and then see the reactions, and the cards that should be coming in my direction!  Updates to come.

A sampling of the stampling follows.  Do you have a favorite stamp from those shown below?  I like all of them, but it’s the Spoonbill I love.

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