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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Toons & Travelogues: Sent to China, Malaysia, Spain, & the U.S.

First, a couple of Postcrossing Forum sends!  I saw the Tom & Jerry card in the favorites of a ‘crosser in Madrid, Spain, so off this goes.

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The Giant Pacific Octopus card went off in a Marine Life & Sea Creatures tag, to a recipient in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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Butterflies!  There are a lot of monarch butterfly groves along the California coast, resting places where these guys stop on their winter trip to Mexico.  The one in Pismo Beach is my favorite, because it’s super-concentrated: a lot of butterflies, quite close–and docents there to provide binoculars & telescopes!  Check it out.  This one headed out in a regular Postcrossing draw, and will end up with a high schooler in Quzhou, Zhejiang, China.  She really wanted to know good places to visit, so I told her to seek out butterfly groves.

Speaking of beautiful places to visit in California, we have these two scenes from the northern coast:

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The cards went out to Lacey, Washington & DeFuniak Springs, Florida, for a swap-bot “The Book I’m Reading Right Now” trade.  The book I’m reading right now:

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Saving a Sexier Island, by Neil Humphreys.  It kept me busy on a couple of long flights lately!  Actually, I have since misplaced the book.  One sure way to find it: buy a new copy!  Speaking of losing nice things, in this book, Humphreys–English born & raised, but living in Singapore for many years now–explores some of the overlooked & threatened treasures in his adoptive home, and humorously sings their praises.  I recommend his series of “sexy island” books, I’ve learned a lot & laughed a lot!

Okay, check out those backsides now!

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“Despite What the News Have Said About Us…” Received from China, Greece, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia, the Philippines, Singapore, and the U.S. **RANT INCLUDED!**

Let’s dive in!

Look at that cooool Totoro card!  Be sure to scroll down & see the stickers on the back, too.  A Postcrosser in Seattle, Washington sent this to me in a Postcrossing Forum tag trade.

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Right next to Totoro is a scene from Singapore’s very colorful Haji Lane.  I was able to request that card in another Postcrossing Forum tag–from the same person I’d received a similar card in this tag, a few months ago.

Then we go into the wild, sort of: Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.  The sender tells me:

“Greetings from Malaysia–a very warm country in South East Asia (avg. temperature: 30C).  Malaysia is a country with multiple cultures and religions.  Despite what the news have said about us, we still live in perfect harmony and celebrate all festival together.  I grew up in a small town call Cameron Highlands, a famous cool hill resorts which had average temperature of 16C throughout the year.  It is famous for its tea growing, vegetables farming and flower nurseries.  Now I live in the capital city–Kuala Lumpur.  But I still visit my parents back in Cameron Highlands during holidays.

Panda time: it comes from China, in another PF tag trade.

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Also from China is that colorful Shanghai skyline, sent to me by an Instagram friend who’d been noticing my postcard posts, and put out a call to his friends who would like to see postcards while he was traveling in China & Taiwan.

Oh, there’s a story behind that orca card.  And by behind it, I mean regarding the back side.

I flipped the tag over to find a taped-on block of orca info printed out from Wikipedia.  C’mon.  After that, the sender jammed in a handwritten hi-how-are-you-hope-you-enjoy-this-card-take-care, and a scrawled hieroglyph of an initial.  I know the card came from Seattle, Washington, because it was clear in the postmark (clear postmarks never being a guarantee), but I didn’t know the venue (Postcrossing Forum?  swap-bot?), or the user name.  I had to spend some time going through my inbox looking for possible senders of this card, then trying to match those possibilities with locations in their profiles.  UGH!

I wish everyone using these sites would take greater care and PLEASE neatly print the following:

  • The date (postmarks are not always clear–or present)
  • Trade venue (Postcrossing Forum?  swap-bot?)
  • Exact name of trade (many have similar names, and much trading is rapid)
  • User name (c’mon)

End rant, let’s go to Manila, Philippines. This card was received via Postcard United, and the sender tells me about “the Philippine jeepney–a unique mode of transportation here in my country.”  They sound like an adventure!

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Next, from Athens, Greece via a tag trade, comes the candy package, the contents of which are described by the sender as “ION Baloo, amazing butter candies.”  Onto the back of the card, she glued a panel from a box of tea I assume she also likes.  Scroll down & you’ll see it.

I got a colorful card & message from the Netherlands, in a regular Postcrossing incoming:

“I love the USA, I practically visit every year.  I’ve seen quite a lot of it…last visit was to San Francisco, what a beautiful city!  In daily life, I’m a nurse because I love to take care of people.  It was like a calling for me.”

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Another Postcrossing card: it’s the cannon, & it’s from a real estate agent in Moscow, Russia.  He printed out his message & glued it to the card–I’m assuming it has to do with English skills.  This reminds me of another card I received recently, which I guess I’ll include in a later post (if I don’t lose it).

Last up, from somewhere in Minnesota via swap-bot, is that cereal.  The sender tells me, “for ‘diet’ food, it’s actually pretty good.”

Okay, time to look at all of the stamps, stickers, & stuff.  The Totoro on the 1st image looks like a stamp, but is just part of the postcard printing.  My favorite 3 stamps down here, in order of scrolling appearance, are the spoonbill (U.S.), the chicken (Singapore), and the flowers (Malaysia.  How about for you?

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Seven in One Blow! Sent to Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, & Russia

What a day, yesterday–I started with a card to a post pal, went off & mailed that, then came home in the evening to a Postcrossing Forum inbox full of addresses for trades I’d entered!  That’s seven outgoing cards, all in one day.  Here we go.

The first two cards are from a Monterey Bay Aquarium postcard book, and the first creature is a Purple-Striped Jelly.  It’s off to Hamburg, Germany, in a Marine Life & Sea Creatures tag.

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The Black Tip Reef Shark goes to someone in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, who stated a preference for sea creatures cards.  I didn’t realize it until I was addressing the card, but he is the same person who sent the two very-fully written cards I received last week!

I signed up in a “food & drinks” tag, for which I am sending one of my restaurant wall postcards off to Volgograd, Russia.

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I recently got a bunch of new San Francisco postcards–not from SF, of course.  If you can find touristy postcards around the Bay Area, it is safe to say that whatever the city, they carry more SF cards than those depicting their own city.  And do you notice what’s so beautiful about this SF card?  It barely shows Frisco at all!  Just looking off across the Bay to the Marin Headlands.  This one is off to Changchun, Jilin, China.

A Postcrosser in Gloucester, Ontario, Canada, selected the Fairyland post office from among my available cards I had posted for a  “you can choose” tag.

Vote for Franklin! That’s the first of these cards I prepped & sent, and it went to my Peanuts-loving postal pal in Tokyo, Japan.

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Finally comes the panel from a box of Nesquik Cereal (YUCK), off on its way to Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.  It’s off in a food package postcard tag, and yes, it’s better off as a postcard than as a package for part of an awful breakfast.

Time to turn everything over, & enjoy the stamps, stamps, stickers, & washi tape!  I’m loving my new fish stickers (purchased in the same stationary store where I found the SF postcards).  I like them so much, I’m afraid they will be gone quite soon!

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A Post So Action-Packed, it’s Got BULLET-POINTS! Received from Canada, Germany, Macau, Malaysia, & Taiwan

So much going on, I’ll hype in in bullet points right here at the top!

  • Snoopy!
  • Hamilton!
  • Another Postcard United Quirk: In & Outta Macau
  • A Very Special Postmark, & an IDGAF Hand Cancellation!

Okay, let’s get down to it…

First group of cards: STAR POWER!  This cool shaped Snoopy & Woodstock card came to me from Taiwan, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum Snoopy/Peanuts tag.  The back was cool, too, as you’ll see toward the bottom of this post.

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From NYC: the “Ham Across America” card is a thank-you for making a donation to the Planned Parenthood Foundation of America as a special contest/fundraising promotion Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda was promoting.  His mother is on the national board of directors of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  No, I did not win anything, but I was really looking forward to receiving this postcard–and I already have my tickets for Hamilton’s SF run.

Second set of cards: FOOD!  That lovely illustrated recipe came to me from Malaysia in another Postcrossing Forum tag.  The sender writes:

I’ve been to SG, TW, Thailand, Indo but I realized I haven’t tried all the delicious cuisine in Malaysia.  Malaysia is a multiracial country and also a gourmet heaven.  Hope you can come and try it next time.

His country holds the very top slot on my “want to visit” list.

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Spoons!  They’re from Lithuania, thanks to Postcard United, and the sender wries:

I live in the capital city with my family & dog & rabbit.  I love animals a lot.  They always make me smile!  Traveling is my passion.  I haven’t been to US yet, but hopefully I’ll get a chance one day!

The next card is from Nagoya City, Japan, also via Postcard United, and the sender tells me, “I love these Japanese sweets, wagashi.”

Third set of cards: NATURE!  I love this depiction of Malaysian foliage.  It’s yet another Postcrossing Forum tag (can you tell I love those things?), from the same sender as the food card above.  This time, he writes:

Have you ever heard about Terengganu?  It’s one of the states of Malaysia and famous with islands, beaches, and other unmatched beauty.  As a local, normally I went for off-road cycling/jungle trekking/hiking with my friends during the weekend.  There are lots of interesting looking plants inside the wood including the Pitcher plant from the postcard.  The local named it “Periuk Kera,” means monkey pot because they think monkeys drink and eat from the “pot.”  Though playing in the wild was fun, there’s still some rules and taboo you must know before going to the forest and mountain.  It might sound superstitious, but there’s a lot of strange and explainable things that me and my friends encounter before.  But not enough space to write here.

Ugh!  Just when it was getting to the good part!  Well, I hope he tags me again soon.  You know what, though?  Look at that message above.  Such a long, content-filled note!  So much, in a tight, pretty neat, hand.  This is what I just love to see on a postcard.  Cool texture on the card, too–it even shows up in the scan.

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Remains from sea creatures, arranged neatly in the sand…it’s a regular Postcrossing draw from Germany, and I like the way the card’s sender closes her message:

“…let us all hope for peace on earth!!”

Now, I’m no fan of excessive exclamation points, but it’s definitely a good time for us all to hope for peace on earth!!

Those leaves are from A Bug’s Life, and the sender is Melissa, who was writing specifically to try to get me the special Canada Post cancellation from Saint-Valentin, Quebec.  It worked, as you’ll see if you scroll down.  They kinda cancelled out her message, rather than the stamps, but the red ink wouldn’t have shown up well on the red stamps, anyhow.  Scroll on down, and you’ll see the postal worker’s inelegant solution to make sure the stamps couldn’t be reused!

Fourth & final group of cards: MANMADE STUFF!  Taipei 101 is from a Facebook friend in Canada who’s noticed my postcard postings in social media.  He recently took a trip to Taiwan & China, and put out a notice to his contacts to let him know if they’d like him to send them postcards along the way.  Why, yes, please!

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Oh, the Macau card!  I mentioned this situation recently! One day, I clicked on Postcard United’s “send a postcard” link, and was assigned a recipient in Macau–and the very next day, I received a card from that same person!  As I said in my other post, this is not the first time this has happened with old P.U.  Do you have any similar experiences?

The sender of the card is also the card’s artist.  She writes:

I love painting & take photo.  My dream is to send my art works all over the world.

I don’t remember if I noticed at the time I received this card that the sender was also the artist.  Horrible memory, so there’s another reason it’s good I do this bloggy thing with my cards.

The last card is the one with those interesting beach chairs.  It’s a swap-bot trade from Berlin, Germany, and the sender tells me:

This is how a German beach looks like usually.  At least at the Baltic Sea.  And I love how colorful it is.

Time to look at the backs of the cards, with all the stuff I mentioned earlier, & more…

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Cool postmark AND stamps!

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I love the tasty Japanese food stickers.

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A Bit Heavy on the Kaya: Received from China, Malaysia, Poland, Slovenia, & Thailand

Six incoming cards this time–let’s start with my two very favorite!

The dino is just the bottom of a 3-tiered dino stack found in Beijing, China‘s 798 Art Zone.  I would love to find myself here!  I received this postcard in a Postcrossing Forum tag trade.

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I received the kopitiam card via Postcard United, from a Netherlands native now living in Malaysia.  I haven’t been to Malaysia yet, but I have been to neighboring Singapore, where kopitiams–and this breakfast–are also a big thing.  I had my kopi with milk, and I left most of my egg behind–eggs are a taste I have yet to really appreciate, at least most of the time–but I love me some kaya toast.  I love it at home, and I love it abroad.  And I will eat it here and there.  I will eat it everywhere!  I do so love kaya toast.

Staying on the topic of food, the next card was sent by a Postcrosser who tells me that she’s a foodie, and that “there are many kinds of delicious snack in China.  So I hope u could have fun in China one day!”  I would like to spend many days doing so!  This beautiful building on her postcard is the Ri Sheng Chang Exchange Shop, located in Pingyao, Shanxi, China.  It dates back to 1823, and is thought to be the first draft bank in China’s history.

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More food comes my way from a Postcrosser in Slovenia.  She lists the foods (her writing is a little hard to read, but we can look these items up using the print on the card image), then says, “maybe you’ll ever eat these foods.” Not-so-fascinating fact: I don’t care for honey, olives, or olive oil (I think Olive Oyl is kinda cool, though).  You know what food I DO love?  C’mon, have you even been paying attention?  I love kaya toast!

More buildings, more Postcard United, this time from Poznań, Poland.  The sender tells me his is one of the largest cities in the country, and he also writes:

“I’m an attorney and I really like my job.  🙂  I love almost every kind of active spending time e.g. skiing, cycling, hiking or canoeing.  I hope that you’ll like this postcard picturing Liberty Square in my hometown.  Wish you all the best!”

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The last card is from Thailand, received in a swap-bot trade of free ad cards.  I see it was produced by an Australian initiative that invites emerging artists to apply to have their work printed on its free cards.

Stamp time!  I especially love that one on the bottom row, sporting a photo from Krabi, Thailand.

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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)

All in One Day! Received from Australia, Finland, Malaysia, Russia, & Taiwan

First mail day of the week, and my box was full of postcards!  Getting five in one day, I suppose perhaps I should brace myself for the idea that this might be it for the entire week.

Let’s start with “Malaysia Traditional Kue,” my favorite card this time.  I must really like it, to call it my favorite when this is probably the 3rd time I’ve received the card over the course of my Postcrossing career.  It came to me via Postcard United.

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That beautiful tea dragon made its way to me from Oulu, Finland, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum food package tag.  The sender writes:

“This is the strangest tag I have ever participated in!  This package shows one of my fave teas to make in ice tea form–I like white teas for it, raspberry & orange in addition to this.  The cute dragon is a bonus!  I don’t use sugar or other sweeteners in it, so black tea tastes too strong IMO.  I do prefer green teas for warm tea.  The stamp shows one of the crazy competitions we have in Finland–boot throwing.  Others in the series include e.g. Air Guitar (the world championships are here in Oulu!), and wife carrying.  I’ve been to the air guitar world championships a few times, but it was years ago.  It’s a fun contest to watch and some performances are really acrobatic.”

Well.

You’ll get to see the stamp she’s talking about down below, but let’s look at that noodle dish, now.  That’s from Taiwan, an the sender tells me:

“I would really like to show you this food.  “Oyster & pork intestine vermicelli with rice noodles (da chang mian xian in Chinese) is my favorite!

Down below, you can see the stamps from her card, and I’ll share her descriptions of the food found on those.

The rather scary Russian scene is from Russia, via Postcrossing.  In registering the card, I learned the sender is a 12-year-old.

Much less scary is the shark card, which I received from Eden, NSW, Australia via Postcard United.  Pretty cool: a first-day issue card from 1998.  I like that cancellation stamp!  The back of the card is quite interesting; the user employs QUITE a few custom & non-custom ink stamped statements & designs, while still squeezing in  little hand-written message.  I’ve left it all mostly intact below, so you can take it in.

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Beautiful stamps on the card from Taiwan.  The sender tells me the fruit on the left is lian wu, or wax apple, and the pastries at the right are her favorite dessert, “dan huang su, egg with mashed red bean and crispy outside.”

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Chock Full O’ Peanuts, with a Hint of Veggie Bacon: Sent to Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, & Taiwan

Over the past couple of days, I’ve prepped cards to send off in several Postcrossing Forum trades–including the nearly-always-dormant (but currently moving) Snoopy/Peanuts thread!  And though that only accounts for one of the four trades here, there are several Peanuts lovers in the bunch.

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Lucy is pounding sand on her way to Dongshan Township, Taiwan.  This user wanted senders to draw a cute picture for her, so I did, as you will see below.

Those “bacon strips” are a vegetarian product from Morningstar Farms, and something I’ve been buying & enjoying for years.  The card is on its way to Singapore for a Food Package Postcard tag, and as I told that recipient, I just used some of that bacon this week in a veggie BLT with avocado.  She’s a dalmatian lover, and you’ll notice that I tried to please her when I adorned the back side of her card.

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Let’s go with Lucy, a born leader!  That’s from a series of Peanuts character cards printed for the political season.  As I told this card’s recipient, who lives in Selangor, Malaysia, I do not think Lucy would make a good President–but I can think of at least once person who would be worse.

Finally we come to the postcard that shows us the time Linus attempted to sell Violet some bogus cat toys.  That’s the one that is going off in the Snoopy/Peanuts tag, and it is going to Yokohama, Japan.

Time to show off the backsides of the cards, each one a real party!  The stamps I pre-ordered quite some time ago finally arrived this week: they are the Lunar New Year stamps, and also the seashell stamps, which I love.  I’m also a huge fan of the shore birds postcard stamps, which I’ve had for quite some time.  I’m going to have to rework my stamp math now that the Forever stamp rate has come up; my first attempt, with one Forever stamp plus two postcard stamps, runs a couple of cents over the $1.15 international rate.

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An Extra Finger: Received from Chile, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, & Taiwan

I’ve got a handful with an extra finger, all from either Postcrossing Forum trades or Postcard United.  Let’s start with my favorite postcard from this round, that very pretty food map from Taiwan.

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The sender tells me that the card is “showing local cuisines in different area.  You can find rice dumpling, xiao long bao, beef noodle soup, pearl bubble tea, fried oyster egg, fruits snow ice, I feel hungry now writing this card LOL.”

Me, too!  And in case you’re still virtually hungry, you can virtually feed yourself with those plates full of sushi from Japan. This card’s sender writes:

“I live in a small town in Osaka with my family and some pets.  Osaka is the second largest city in Japan.  I’m a big fan of U.S. and have visited there 3 times.  My last trip was to CA last December.  It was amazing and want to come back again.”

I asked her where she went while she was in California. She told me, “we went to Disneyland of course, Disney Adventure, Hollywood, Universal Studios etc! I will never forget the amazing holiday there. My daughters keep saying they’re dying to be back again…so do I!!!”

Next up is the hipster raccoon, and it came to me from a sender in Russia who is also a traveler: “I was in France, Spain, Ukraine, Israel, Egypt and India.  🙂 I like to read books about travel too.  My favorite author is Karin Muller!”

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The Alice in Wonderland drawing came to me not from one of the sources I earlier cited, but swap-bot, and its sender tells me about her region of Chile:

“We have beaches and to the other side mountains with volcano, national parks and huge, tall and millennial trees called Araucaria.  I think you like here (9th region of Chile, La Araucanía ).

Next up, from northern Italy, is what the sender describes as a public swimming pool in her city.  I have this pegged as a retro card, but how would I know?   What do YOU think–old card, or new?

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Finally, there’s that perfectly lovely view of Utah’s Bryce Canyon, on a card which ended up being the most disappointing of the lot for me.  WHY?  Because it was sent to me from Malaysia. I’m fairly certain she would have been disappointed if I were to send her a Malaysia postcard.  What do you think?

Anyhow, the stamps on the back of the card are gorgeous–it’s hard to beat Malaysia’s stamps, in my book–and she wrote a nice message:

“Oh, I had a lovely time reading through your profile; you really do enjoy lots of things 🙂 I’m glad that you enjoy Malaysian cuisine!  What’s your favourite dish? Have you tried durians before and sambal petai, I wonder? I’m 19 y.o., studying arts and social sciences.  I hope one day to make a positive change for the natives of my land.”

How about these stamps?  In addition to the Malaysian ones, I also like the Taiwanese fish & elephants, and the food from Japan.

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