To H*ck with Trader Joe’s: Received from Germany, Japan, Mexico, & the United States


Look at that coooool Snoopy postcard from Japan (& stay tuned for the awesomeness on the flip side)!  It came to me from Tokyo, Japan, part of a Postcrossing Forum USA-Asia tag, and based on this card & everything attached to the back of it, the sender must have been studying my profile & favorite cards.  She writes of the card, which says “Happy New Year”:

“I send this card though it’s a little early.  🙂 Japanese have a custom of sending New Year’s Day cards, nengajo, to greet their friends and relatives.  It’s similar to the Western custom of sending X’mas cards.  I already bought some cards including this card!”

That makes so much sense to me, sending New Year’s Cards–and in fact I have sent them in the past.  The difficulty here in the U.S. is that in order to do so, I have had to buy blank cards & write in “Happy New Year” (or on occasion, have some custom-printed.  That should change–or I should go card-shopping in Japan.

Okay, here is the back of the card (text removed).  Look at that Astro Boy stamp!  Look at everything else!  Or just skip down to the rest of the post; I will never know unless you tell me.


I recognized the colors & swirl right away on the card from Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany, sent as a part of a swap-bot chunk-of-cardboard swap.  I can’t show the back, as it is covered in text, but it is printed with a design of Kinder Surprise (or “Überraschung”) eggs–in fact, it is so covered in text, the sender even wrote over the darkest parts of the design, leaving part of her message to me undecipherable.  I was able to make out at least this much, though:

“I spend lots of pocket money on this! Ü-eggs, just to get the little toy inside & I give the chocolate to my brothers or sister.”

I do not eat Kinder chocolate, either, but I do not give it to poor, unsuspecting people.  The fact is, the stuff tastes awful (and that is putting it kindly).  I would rather put the toys in my mouth.  I just trash it as I am unwrapping the eggs.

Speaking of things that scare me: Trader Joe’s!  It’s another chunk of cardboard, this one from Atlantic Beach, Florida.  The sender writes:

“Trader Joe’s is one of those organic stores.”

Yeah, and judging by the shoppers at my local stores, its fans are vicious!  Do not get between them and the sampling station, I’ll tell you that!  A couple of months ago, I was pulling an item off of the shelf, and an old lady came along & rammed her cart into my rear end–and did not say a word!  Not, that is, until I slowly turned my head & gave her The Look.  The Look can be very effective.  I wish it would work when people block the path with their carts, though.  What happens to common sense & courtesy in that space?  That’s it: I’ve just decided that when I need to go to Trader Joe’s, I’m going to go to Sprouts, instead.

Hey!  I have received my first-ever swap/crossing card from Mexico (and only my second from all of Latin America, the first being from Brazil)!  It’s that funky gymnast.  Doesn’t that look like a character from that creepy Tom Hanks series?  No, not Toy Story, the other one–Da Vinci Code. Anyhow, this is from a Postcrosser in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, who tells me at the end of his message to “have a great day/week/month/year…