Reclaiming My Time: Sent to China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Serbia, Taiwan, the U.S. & the U.K.

In my last post, I lamented how attempting to track my postcard comings & goings is claiming too much time. Thanks to some commenters on the post, and some introspection, I have begun to implement a few techniques to chip away at the time suck:

  • Going as I go: I am posting outgoing cards & info in a draft as I go–no more spending time trying to rediscover the information to post. I will be clearing all the shots on my phone & computer that I may or may not have already posted. This is huge.
  • Faster than scanning: I will use the photoscan app on my phone when it seems faster. It’s–inelegant, as you’ll notice below, but it makes things faster!
  • Keep it simple: I have begun editing my scans using PAINT! Just a simple shrink & crop. The free photo editing sites are adding more hoops that suck up time and computer space, so this has made a HUGE amount of difference.
  • –And simpler: However I scan the backs of my postcards, I am trying to do it BEFORE I write them out. This means less editing later to protect recipients’ personal info.
  • Making choices: Moving forward, when I finally make another post of received postcards, I may well leave out the ones I don’t care for so much (though I’d still show stamps I like). This has got to save a lot of time, right? We’ll play that one as we go.

Updates on this project as we go, and your input welcome. OKAY, let’s get on with the cards! When you see repeated cities down below, some may be going to the same person in that city. Sometimes. Didn’t necessarily keep track. See how well I’m doing with this project, already?

First off, there’s a food package postcard going to Ruian, Zhejiang, China. When I requested the recipient’s address, I received a response that this was to be a greeting for her friend’s 18th birthday, that the friend would like a Marvel card, and that she likes two singers no one over the age of 17 has ever heard of. Since this is a food package postcard tag, I sent her this sweet card, with the birthday greeting, and lots of stickers (which you will see, if you scroll down far enough).

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A second panel like this is going to Osaka, Japan.

Cute otters heading to Yonago, Tottori, Japan

postcard a Monterey Bay Aquarium otter mommy and baby

Morro Rock going to Taoyuan, Taiwan

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The evil queen is off to Essen, Germany. This was in a “I’m Offering” tag, and the recipient had at first selected a card I just could not find in my available cards. I apologized, and this was her second choice. It’s just as well: the first choice was a lovely view of Trinidad. This Postcrosser mentions in her profile that she would like to live in the Caribbean, so I have the feeling she doesn’t realize that the “Trinidad” emblazoned on the missing card actually refers to Trinidad, California.

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Here’s one going to Novi Sad, Serbia

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More Peanuts, this by request to a Postcrosser in Taichung City, Taiwan.

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This pair of otters was requested by a Postcrosser in Pencoed, Bridgend, Wales:

Postcard A Sequoia Park Zoo Eureka

By request to St. Petersburg, Russia

Postcards a Women in Science Elizabeth Blackwell

The Aladdin card goes off in a Disney tag to Taichung, Taiwan.1529247783241

One of the handmade envelopes I made some time ago takes the hula Jetoy card (my last, I think) off to Novi Sad, Serbia. The recipient asked that the card be written, but in an envelope to “keep it clean,” I think were the words she used. I don’t usually stick my cards in an envelope, and the standard-sized boxed envelopes I have wouldn’t fit the card–but what the heck.1529330809791

The best thing about this Chinese vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco’s Chintatown? FREE POSTCARDS! This one goes to Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. in a food card tag.

Lucky Creation Vegetarian Restaurant SF

Hey, the Disappointmentassortment rears its head again! I repurposed some stamps accumulated via Postcrossing to salvage an ugly card received in a cheap set I purchased. This goes to Englewood, Colorado, U.S.A., to a Postcrosser who wished for collage cards.

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I drew another name in Postcard United; this card goes to a recipient in Nagoya City, Japan.

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She’s a power user: 2,610 cards sent through this service in less than 3 years of membership. She’s also one of those people: the ones who list all of their “expired cards” that have disappeared into the ether (or postal service) without being registered. What purposed does this ever serve? I think many people do it just because they see others doing so. In this case the user realizes that close to half of her 380 expired postcards were sent to inactive members. This is probably why Postcard United is now tracking how long senders go between requesting an address.

Elephant & Piggie are bound for Hong Kong, in a Postcrossing Forum trade of children’s book illustrations…

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…and California’s North Coast should land in Selangor, Malaysia, thanks to another Postcard United draw…and my very next Postcard United draw (a day later) was to Sarawak, Malaysia!

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Right after that, I clicked again & came up with Shanghai, China.postcard 338

Back to Postcrossing Forum trades, this Ben & Jerry’s map will go to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The recipient wanted food cards, and Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops are some of my favorite restaurants! Chocolate Therapy, please…

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Time to show some stamps, stickers, & washi tape. New since the last post are the USPS scratch-n-sniff Popsicle stamps (which pair well with the older ice cream stamps), and also many stickers. What do you like?Hawaii 568

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Sent to China, England, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Spain, & Taiwan (Part 2)

Last time, I ended up just showing off the backsides of these eleven postcards I’ve sent out recently.  Time to flip them all over!  Most of these went out in Postcrossing Forum tag trades–if anything else is the case here, I’ll make note of it.

These three presidential Peanuts characters went out into the world along with my recommendation that each of them would have been a reasonable choice for my nation’s top office.  The worst I could say was that Pig-Pen may be dirty–but he’s certainly not the kind of dirty we are becoming used to!  That candidate went out to Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, and Charlie Brown (“He is kind & fair to everyone,” I wrote) went to Tokyo, Japan. The third candidate, Franklin (“Oh, how I wish Franklin had run! He’s such a good guy, who studies hard & is always fair”) went to my Peanuts-crazy postpal in Peacehaven, East Sussex, England.

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Peanuts 2020.  Because we’ve proven we’re not against cartoon characters holding office.

Okay, now that we’ve seen the would-have-been candidates, let’s rush through the rest of the cards, four at a time.  Which are your favorites, this time?

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The Met Museum: Sevilla, Spain (Postcard United draw)

Tiled Peanuts gang: Yokohama, Japan

Marching ducklings: Udupi, Karnataka, India

Flying crane: Neuss, Germany

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Monterey Bay Aquarium octopus: Shenyang, Liaoning, China

Pismo Beach butterflies: Selangor, Malaysia (Postcrossing draw)

Matisse-Still Life with Pomegranates: Kaohsiung, Taiwan (Postcrossing draw)

Matisse-The Divan: Weifang, Shandong, China (Postcard United draw)

I am Losing Track! Sent to England, Israel, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia, & Taiwan

This is getting out of hand.

The game of snail mail is such an ephemeral thing, I thought it would be nice to use a blog to keep track of the comings & goings, to e-save the postcards I send out, and to remember the countries & people I’m hearing from.  The fact is, though, it’s a lot of detail to keep on top of.  I’m losing out on reading time!

If you, as a snail mailer & blogger, have any tips for simplification & organization, please share!  In the meantime, let’s try to catch up on some of my outgoing cards I’ve been letting slip through the cracks here on the reporting end.

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Princess Tatiana from Disney’s The Princess & the Frog went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a Postcrossing Forum trade titled “what I’d really like to have is,” and I THINK the recipient asked for a Disney princess.

Eat More Hole Foods!  Just don’t buy them at Whole Foods, or they’ll cost you an arm & a leg.  The doughnut went to Suffolk, England, in another Postcrossing Forum “you choose” tag, in which the person tagging us gets their choice of a postcard from those we have posted as having available to send.  She’s since tagged me again, and has chosen a similar card from my collection–but that will have to wait for another post.

The next set of 3 are all for regular Postcrossing draws.  The corgi went to Johor, Malaysia; the bear to Saint Petersburg, Russia; and the shots of San Jose to The Hague, Netherlands. See how quickly I dispatched with all of that?  Not satisfying at all.  We are learning nothing, here.

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The Japanese Friendship Gardens in San Jose are beautiful.  There are a lot of beautiful Japanese gardens in the SF Bay Area.  My FAVORITE such garden, though, is in Hilo, Hawaii.  True story.

Okay, here we go.  This lady down here, don’t keep her waiting any longer.  I mailed her out like a month ago.

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The lady looking at clothes went to Tel Aviv, Israel.  That’s another card from the Klutz Press World’s Tackiest postcards, and if you don’t think it’s tacky, just look at the next image down, which is the text printed on the back of the card.

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C r i k e y .

Lovely.

It went off for a swap-bot trade of “weird/ugly postcards,” and as I wrote to my partner, “doesn’t get much weirder & uglier than this!”  You know, at some point, Klutz published a second book of these cards, but I don’t tend to see either of them around!

Finally, the sea nettles from the Monterey Bay Aquarium went to Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, in a Postcrossing Forum tag trade of marine life-related cards.  I love marine life.  I try to make an aquarium trip just about every place I travel, so just now I got curious about whether Kaohsiung happens to have an aquarium.  It does, but apparently it’s not such a great place to be a fish.

So, whether you have words of wisdom on keeping on top of recording mail, or favorite aquariums, or whatever… please do check in!

 

A Great Batch, with a “Bad” Ending: Received from China, Japan, Taiwan, & the U.S.

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Those very busy, porcelain-making pandas came to me from Harbin, China, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum tag trade.  Did you hear the news stories about the U.S.-born pandas who were sent to China, and are having a rough time with the language & food?

Cindi in Hawaii tells me Honi Kaua translates as “kiss me.” You know Hawaii is a special place when, for once, a kiss from Snoopy doesn’t leave Lucy calling out for iodine!  This very cool, very special Hawaii card is such an exclusive that I, in many trips to Hawaii throughout my life, have never seen it in any stores there.  Of course, most of the stores that draw me in happen to be ABC Stores!

The two busy Peanuts postcards in the middle are from a postcard pal in Tokyo, Japan.  Even more than the cards she sent, I love the envelope she made for them–out of an entire Snoopy-themed Mister Donut bag!

 

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The Taiwan card is from Taiwan–Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to be exact.  The sender writes:

“I’m a college student.  I live in Kaohsiung, a south city of Taiwan.  Kaohsiung used to have an important harbour, so there were lots of old warehouses.  Now the area of these warehouses become a famous art center.”

I love the beautiful flower stamp on her envelope (scanned below), which is labeled as Calliandra emarginata, but it looks like lehua to me!

Finally, from Kansas City (and no, I don’t know which one), thanks to a swap-bot trade of movie/TV postcards, comes that “Breaking Bad” card.  The sender writes:

“Did you ever watch Breaking Bad?  If not, I highly recommend it.  It is a masterpiece.”

No, I have never watched that.  You know what show I highly recommend?  Luke Cage.

I mentioned one of the stamps before, but look below & you will see that this was a wonderful batch for stamps!  In fact, the only two I do not love are the buildings.  I’ve scanned just one of the two Snoopy-with-hibiscus stickers (each of them different) on Cindi’s card.  I’m a fool for tropical flowers.

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Face it, Tiger: You’ve Hit the Mailbox! Sent to China, England, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, & the U.S.

It’s going to be quite the session today.  THERE WILL BE  A RANT!

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For now, though, let’s start with the tigers.  THREE tigers, going out in 3 Postcrossing draws.  The first goes to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and I chose this card for her for no particular reason, save perhaps for the fact that she said she’d like to see anything unique from my country.

The next tiger goes to Singapore, and I feel that rant coming on.  CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS POSTCROSSER IN SINGAPORE?  She has been with the site for more than 8 years.  She has sent nearly 6,500 cards.  And as for her profile?

N   O   T   H   I   N   G   .

SHE HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRITTEN AS A PROFILE.

What is her point in participating in this site?  I mean, to the extend she is even participating; I see the lack of a profile of any kind a complete refusal to participate in the project.  The only reason I chose one of my favorite postcards to send out is that in the absence of any kind of connection between sender & recipient, this card helps me out by having a back story I can write in the message space.  I mean, I hope a message written on the card will not offend this prolific cipher.

/end rant

The tiger heading for Rotenburg, Germany will be going to an interesting home, I think. This Postcrosser had some very specific requests:

PLEASE WRITE ME BABYNAMES WITH LETTER S ON START
-Please write the date, temperature, distance, how much postage you pay for the stamp and tell me where do you keep your postcards to?

I don’t even know what that last part means.  I fulfilled all of the middle stuff, and ignored the “babynames” bit.  She has internet access.

Astro Boy!  He’s off to Mangalore, India in a Postcrossing Forum Anime/Manga tag.  This Postcrosser writes in his profile, “through Postcrossing I can see your side of the world :-)”

The postcard hewn from a package of pani puri went to Falls Church, Virginia in a food package postcard trade.  That product may not have been the perfect solution for pani puri lovers, but it was definitely fun, and it makes for really great postcards, I think!

The rather boring “Fremont” card is off in a Postcrossing Forum “China Meets the World” trade to Hangzhou, China, to an engineer who said he would like postcards depicting the sender’s city.  I told him I didn’t think these are very good representations. I would certainly snap up postcards featuring the Mission Peak photo on Fremont’s Wikipedia page.  It also shows a small corner of the city’s Central Park, which itself would offer several postcard-worthy scenes.

The last two cards are from the boxed set, “The Art of Disney: The Renaissance and Beyond (1989-2014).”  The Beauty & the Beast card–well, let’s just say I need a postcard secretary.  I scanned the front of the card, but have no record of the other side.  Doing some looking around, the scan date seems to coincide with a swap-bot Disney postcard trade, so that makes sense, yeah.  Apparently I mailed this off to Hollywood, England.

Finally, the Lion King card is off to Xi’an, China, in a Postcrossing Forum Cartoon/Comic Strips/Anime tag.  The recipient is an 18-year-old who likes giraffes, and Disney, and many other things.  She asked that people not write in cursive, because she couldn’t read it.  BOY, have I received postcards I could not decipher!  I do print my cards, though perhaps not always as neatly as I ought.

Here you go: some of the stamps, stamps, stickers, & washi tape:

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Beach, Bunny, Burger: Sent to China, Russia, & Taiwan

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The three friends over Half Moon Bay are headed to Beijing, China, to a university student who says she wants to travel to beautiful places, and says her card likes include those designed by the sender, and those with cartoons.  Check, check, check!

The rabbit is going to a rabbit fanatic in Fryazino, Russia.  I was a little surprised when I clicked on “send a postcard” and I got Russia, as I already had a Postcrossing card traveling to Russia, but these things happen.  We really need to figure out a way to recruit new members in less-Postcrossy countries.

That bit o’ burger box is going to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as part of a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag.  This Postcrosser enjoys food packaging as postcards so much, she has an online photo album of the repurposed packaging she has received!  I believe this is the second such card I have sent her way.

Stamps, stamps, and washi tape:

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Beautiful Creatures: Sent to Indonesia & Taiwan

I like this animal batch going out.

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The manatees–the last of the postcards I received from last year’s renewal of my Save the Manatee membership–are off to Bekasi, Indonesia, in a Postcrossing Forum Marine Life & Sea Creatures tag.  I hope I get another set of cards for this year’s renewal!  As I told the card’s recipient, I have never seen a manatee in the wild–only in aquariums.  I also saw the manatee’s Asian cousin, the dugong, during a visit to the Singapore Zoo.

The kitty is going out for another Postcrossing Forum trade, this one called “Taiwan Meets the World,” and it’s on its way to Taichung City, Taiwan.  This user, with whom I have traded before, notes on her profile that she likes cat cards.  See how accommodating I am?

Finally, a regular Postcrossing draw!  I was excited to see Taiwan come up, but deflated when I see the Postcrosser has not written a profile. Well, the wonderful tiger is off to Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, and I hope that receiving a card with a 14-line message (not including formatics like date & greeting), inspires this user to tell her fellow Postcrossers a little that would inspire them as they go about preparing mail for her!

Stamps:

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Not what they seem: Received from Slovakia, Taiwan & the United States

“Touristy”-type postcards today, maybe not sent from the places they might indicate:


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When I saw that Georgia card, with glittery lettering & background that barely register in this scan, I assumed it was from a swap-bot tacky postcard trade.  Nope!  It was for one called “not my state, not yours.” The sender lives closer to Richmond, Virginia.  She writes:

“We like to visit a small mountain town in GA named Helen.  It is a bit cheesy, but it is modeled after a Bavarian village.”

I know what she is talking about.  I don’t know Helen, but here in California, we have our own cheesy town: Solvang.

That New York postcard, which you can see sports an old photo of the city, is another “not my state” arrival, this one from someone near Seattle, Washington.  The sender writes:

“I would say I have never been to NY but technically I have–only saw the inside of the NYC Greyhound station about 2 in the morning.  I will visit someday.”

Brr… the snowy card comes from Kežmarok, Slovakia, from a 15-year-old Postcrosser who writes,

“I like skiing and hockey.  I like geology and history too.  I collect minerals and fossils.  My best item is the skull of cave bear.”

Finally, from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, comes that postcard of Angkor Wat.  This is the most complicated lineage of a postcard today: it’s a postcard of Cambodia, sent from Taiwan, by a person who bought it in Vietnam!  The sender tells me that, and then really catches my interest:

“Taiwan’s food is so delicious. I like it so much.”

Stamps & stuff…

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Dry Bread & Surprises: Received from Finland, Taiwan, and the United States

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First comes a card from Raleigh, North Carolina–hey, it’s from Dear Detective!  I’ve been fascinated by her “100 Days of Stampmaking” project, which features a constant stream of impressive (get it?) works of stamp art.

The wine-n-stuff was sent to me from Hämeenlinna, Finland, from a Postcrosser who tells me she likes cooking, “but don’t have that much time to concentrate it…Buying too much exotic ingredients and have hardly time to prepare them…But the idea is sweet!”

Finally, at the bottom, there is that very ornate, colorful image, sent to me (as part of a Postcrossing Forum USA-Asia tag trade) from Kaohsiung, Taiwan.  Since I am unable to type out the characters describing the image, I have scanned the sender’s description:

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Stamps! Love that ice cream one.postcard250

Cake, Kitty, Consciences & the Coast: Sent to China, Czech Republic, Russia, and Taiwan

The first two of my outgoing cards are for Postcrossing Forums tags; the second two are in traditional Postcrossing draws.

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The Pinocchio card goes to Shanghai, China, part of a Postcrossing Forum Disney tag trade.  A new Disneyland is scheduled to open in Shanghai this year; I’m wondering if this Postcrosser is excited about it–and if she’ll have to wait in insanely-long lines!  I told her my favorite Disneyland rides are Space Mountain & Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride–and not necessarily in that order.

The cake is going to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in a Postcrossing Forum food package trade. This is a panel from a box of Softasilk cake flour, and I told the recipient I keep thinking of making this “Deluxe Devil’s Food Cake,” but with a cream cheese frosting rather than the almond extract-laced frosting recipe printed on the box.  Can’t stand almond extract.

Now for the regular Postcrossing draws.  What two countries came up?   Czech Republic and Russia!

Jenisov, Czech Republic is the destination of that Morro Bay card.  The recipient said he enjoys “sending and receiving all types of postcards except of fairy tales and stars.  I really like nature scenes and landscapes from your country and city views or aerial views, too. I like castles.”  Since he only wrote about the cards he wanted (and he does go beyond what I shared) rather than about himself, I didn’t have a lot to write about, but I did manage to go on about why I enjoy the Morro Bay area.

Kitty comes last, and is headed for a Postcrosser in Enem, Russia. She says, “I live in south of Russia.I like history and different cultures. And I like to travel too. I will like any card you send me!” She hasn’t done a lot on Postcrossing yet, so there are not a lot of “favorite” card images to guide me, but one of the few there is a cat, so–kitty with beads.