“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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Are You Feeling What I’m Feeling? Sent to China, Hong Kong, India, Latvia, Russia, & the U.S.

Still a lot of catch-up to do on the documentation side of things.  Heck, with all the holiday rush-about (yeah, I’ll blame that), now I have a lot of catch-up to do on postcards I am due to send out!

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Eagle Huntress went to Laurel, Maryland, for a swap-bot trade of movie/TV postcards.  I haven’t seen this film, but I picked up the card at a local independent theater.

Goosey Goosey Gander’s castle went to Hong Kong, in a Postcrossing draw.

Hula Kitty  (not Hello Kitty) went to Moscow, Russia, the city I drew in Postcard United. The recipient must not have written much about herself, because I went the dastardly route of talking about the weather.  I try never, ever to do that.  It’s like the saying goes: everyone’s talking about the weather, but no one’s doing anything about it.

Entering the black & white postcard zone, all from a book of NYC photography I found at a library book sale.  Some people just love b&w photography.  Me, not so much, at all.  Not that I want my old movies & TV series colorized (I DON’T), but I’m just glad rich full color is how we see things these days.

Grand Central headed off to Shanghai, China.  This is actually a resend: I heard from someone whom I’d tagged in Postcrossing Forum some time ago, asking if I’d sent him the card.  I had, but I still don’t want him to miss out.  He’s a train lover, and I’d previously sent him a Skunk Train card–but I am out, and Grand Central was the closest I had to a train card.  By the way, there is a “train of lights” nearby this holiday season, all lit up, and with Santa aboard.  I’ve taken the ride 2-3 times, but honestly?  Well, look at the pics: all the joy is on the outside!  This is also why all of my holiday decoration efforts are focused on the inside of my home, where I can enjoy the fruits of my labor.
The ship shot was a Postcrossing draw, off to Riga, Latvia.  The recipient must not have written much about himself, because I went the dastardly route of talking about the weather.  I try never, ever to do that.  It’s like the saying goes: everyone’s talking about the weather, but no one’s doing anything about it.

Whoa–I’m feeling all déjà vu-y right now.  Are YOU feeling all déjà vu-y right now?

The Guggenheim Museum went to Beijing, China, thanks to a Postcard United draw. The recipient likes movies, reading, & travel–and so do I!

Barney Gumble from “The Simpsons” went to Mumbai, India, in a Postcrossing Forum tag trade.  The recipient noted that she likes this show, and I remembered that somehow I happened to have this card.  I told her that as far as I can remember, the last time I saw “The Simpsons” was when the movie came out–back in 2007! My favorite thing about that movie was how some 7-Eleven stores were turned into Kwik-E-Marts!

Hitting the Box: Received from Brazil, Italy, Germany, & Russia

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Oops, I seem to have scanned that bottom-right image sideways.  No matter!

That teacup-cat postcard comes from a sender in Moscow, Russia.  He is 16, and has been Postcrossing for over 4 years.  In his profile, he gets pretty specific about what he would like to see from other Postcrossers:

If you can, please, send me a postcard in an envelope with your favourite tea bag inside. Also, if you don’t mind, take a selfie with your friends or family and put the photo inside. Please, tell me any life story which was the most exciting/happy/sad… You can also tell me some interesting facts about yourself, your life, the place where you live, the country.

And now, here his the entire text of the postcard he sent me:

“Hello, my name is —-.  Greetings from Moscow, Russia.  Hope you’ll like this cute postcard!  Best wishes, —-.”

Sigh.

I’ve got two pieces of recycling to share this time.  The first, at top right, is via a Postcrossing Forum food package tag, and it comes from Reggio nell’Emilia, Italy.  Hey, it’s box wine!  The sender, who is originally from Brazil, tells me:

“…it’s called Sangiovese del Rubicone, it’s produced here in this region.  We are lately buying this kind of wine, it’s called ‘bag in box.’  The wine remains untouched by the air and so it prevents the oxidation of the wine.  We use this wine for lunch and culinary uses and we keep the good bottles for special occasions. 😉 “

I’m more of a chocolate guy, so I was happy to see this box panel come in from Porto Seguro, Brazil, thanks to the latest “chunk of cardboard” trade on swap-bot.  The sender provided the back story:

“I made this PC from an Easter egg box I won this year.  Flavor milk chocolate egg with truffle stuffed shell without added sugar, but it was still sweet.  Lol!  Is very delicious!!!  Cacau Show is a famous Brazilian manufacturer chocolates.  I hope you enjoy!”

Well, I can’t actually enjoy the chocolates, since she just sent me the chunk of cardboard, but that “no added sugar” thing is really sticking with me: after all, chocolate does not sweeten itself!  I wonder if the egg makers just bought already-produced chocolate, and can say they are being honest making this ridiculous boast.  Dunno.

The old-school still life, which I seem to have uphended, is a Postcrossing send from Berlin, Germany.  The sender writes:

“You see a picture from one of Berlin’s great museums.  Beware of the lobster!  He is a suspicious guardian of all these delicious fruits.”

Okay, someone’s been hitting the “bag in box.”

Stamps, postmarks, & washi tape:

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I love that chili pepper stamp from Brazil.

WHYYYYY?!? Sent to Germany, Indonesia, & Russia

Ugh!  I drew the same country twice in a day!  😥

I drew 3 new Postcrossing draws in one morning: ::click:: Germany.  ::click:: Russia.  ::click:: GERMANY AGAIN!  Okay, we really need to get more people in more countries (outside of the U.S. & most of Europe) signed up with Postcrossing, so that it will work the way it ought–with only one postcard traveling to a given country at one time.  I would love to see a greater diversity of destinations & origin points.

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Okay, enough with the rant, for this moment, at least.  The drive-through barn bridge (marked as “Slate Bridge, Swanzey, New Hampshire), is destined for a Postcrosser in Moscow, Russia.  She has been on the site for about 3 years, and she says she enjoys reading, traveling, movies, music, and being with her family & friends.

That arid-looking landscape (labeled as Badlands National Park, South Dakota) is off to Halle (Saale), Germany, to a 56-year-old Postcrossing Supporter who says he enjoys hard rock, American Football, reading, and astronomy.

The wonderful little beach scenario is going to Munich, Germany.  The recipient is a 30-year-old schoolteacher, and she says she likes getting colorful cards with lots of little details you may not notice upon first glance–and she notes that she finds that these are usually cartoon cards.  I think she should appreciate this vignette from near Half Moon Bay, California.

Finally, that dog card.  It’s heading off to my dog-loving postcard pal in Bekasi Utara, Indonesia.

Stamps, stamp, & washi tape:

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“Trials, Gingerbread, Sausage:” Received from Germany, Russia, & Ukraine

This trio of Postcrossing cards in, from a trio of my most-received-from countries:

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I really like that seated child image.  It reminds me of the art of Banksy, but this is actually by a German artist known as ALIAS.  The card was sent by a Postcrosser in Nuremberg, Germany (the card taking a journey of 5,777 miles over 10 days), who tells me:

“Card shows graffiti from Berlin.  I live in Nuremberg: trials, gingerbread, sausage… Just retired from managing an IT company.  More time for… will find out!” 

The Venetian Cat (entitled “Venetian Cat”) came to me from Odessa, Ukraine, and it took a full 5 months to travel the 6,390 miles to my door!  Whoa!  The sender writes:

“I live near the Black Sea.  I love the sea.  On summer weekend I often go to swim early in the morning.  But my skin does not like bright sun, so I leave before 10 a.m.  No, I’m not a vampire.  I love warm sunny days in October but I dislike the savage summer sun.”

That bottom card is not a picture print by Currier & Ives: it’s a piece by Boris Kustodiev, and it took 57 days to travel the 5,879 miles to me from Moscow, Russia.

Stamps & postmarks:

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I really like the leaves, especially the two on the right!

Wet & Dry (but not in that order): Received from Russia & the United States

It’s another chunk of cardboard!

I love these swap-bot trades, where any cardboard can be turned into a postcard.  This big chunk from Saint Paul, Minnesota–I don’t know what it’s fashioned from, exactly–it’s apparently the box for a towel made of non-woven fabric.

The sender writes:

“What are you reading lately?  I am working my way thru John D. McDonald’s Travis McGee series, and also John Sandford.  Yesterday I started Guns, Germs and Steel.  It’s long, and I’m hoping it’s not too dry.”

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The ocean postcard comes from a Postcrosser in Moscow, Russia, who writes:

“Greetings from Russia with the wishes of good luck, joy, happiness.  I like to travel the world, taking pictures of sights.  I like painting, especially the marine pictures.  The postcard–Black Sea–Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky, picture.  Your photos are super!!!  You’re professional!!!

“‘We all have time to expend on what is essential to our nature.’ –Thornton Wilder”

Stamps & postmarks:

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Furry, Fowl–and Foul: Received from Germany & Russia–and Russia

Three in: one from Germany (a Postcrossing Forum “USA to Any Country” trade) (in this situation, Germany being the “any country), and two from regular Postcrossing sends, BOTH from Russia!

I didn’t think that was supposed to happen–two traveling from the same country at the same time–but just days ago, I received two concurrent travelers from another company, Germany!  As I showed in my post at that time, both Russia & Germany are top participants in Postcrossing, but I wish there were either an algorythm or a membership drive to help better distribute the countries from which I receive–and to which I send–cards!

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I looove that Donald card.

Did I mention that I looove that Donald card?  It’s the Postcrossing forum trade, from a sender in Munich, Germany.

From fowl to foul, there’s the “Heavy Christmas” card from Moscow, Russia.  The sender tells me:

“From time to time I draw heavy metal cards for my friends. This year I have a surplus so I decided to participate in postcrossing.  This is my very first letter in this project.”

What a gift to the world.

Finally, from St. Petersburg, Russia, the other Postcrossing card, this one with a friendly hedgehog.  The sender has some recommended reading for me:

“Surely read books Peter Mayle.  It has many books ‘foodie travelogue.’ For example: ‘A Year in Provence,’ ‘French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew,’ ‘A Good Year.” Hope you like this books.”

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Hey, I didn’t even notice that “Little Prince” stamp until I viewed my enlarged scan!

Some Postcrossers Make it All Not Fun: Sent to Russia

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Postcrossing can be fun!

Postcrossing can be not fun.

When you click that “send a postcard” link, you just never know what you’re going to get.  Some people use their profiles to write about themselves (AKA, “a profile”), and some people just make a list of demands.

The person in Moscow, Russia who I’ve been assigned is that latter person.  I know NOTHING about her–well, I should not say that: I get a pretty negative idea, based on the fact she’s all about the demands, such as:

  • I would like to receive postcards from your town, especially the beautiful little streets, the old tower and desktop clocks, dishes of national cuisine, especially the dolls in national costumes, animals, especially donkeys and foxes.
  • Please do not send homemade cards and advertising.
  • Please do not send me a postcard with birds. In any way, DO NOT!
  • I’ll be happy if you can send me large (wall), a map of your country in which I will be able to celebrate the city of your country from which come postcards.
  • Please send only postcards 10×15 cm

UGH.  I found what I could find, and NO, I did not measure it.  It’s impolite for a lady to ask.

I didn’t really have any donkeys in national costumes, or whatever the heck it was she asked for, so I reached for the DISAPPOINTASSORTMENT, the stack of lame postcards I (wish I hadn’t) bought via Amazon a few months ago.  The photo is lovely enough, but the company that made this did not bother to identify where this is (let alone credit the photographer), and the writing side is slick enough that the stamped image I made smeared on impact.  Fortunately, my pen can stand up to this nonsense.

In about 30 words of a message on the back of my card–half or less than I usually squeeze in–I told this Postcrosser more about myself than she tells of herself in her profile!

Thanks for letting me get that all out of my system.

Tight Text & Teleportation: Received from Germany, Russia, & Taiwan

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Those fall-y trees came from Taiwan, through a Postcrossing Forum trade.  The sender tells me that this place–Songlu Villa, Fushoushan Farm in Taichung–“is famous for maple and sakura views.”  She also tells me California (where I live) “is the place I want to go!”  The feeling is mutual, in reverse!

All of those barn-y views come from a new Postcrosser in Enger, Germany.  She is so new, in fact, she neglected to write the Postcrossing I.D. on her card, & I needed to impose upon the website staff to help me look her up.  She did write her user name at the top of the card, though–but her handwriting is such that it looked like an alphanumeric code, and I was wondering whether I might actually be looking at all numbers, after all!  Other than that, she tells me she makes her own soap.

Finally, there is the “By the Sea” postcard, from Moscow, Russia.  Some postcard senders can barely bother to muster up a “Happy Postcrossing,” but this sender packed in, after her return address & postcard ID, 16 lines of dense, tight text!  Now, I average about 13 lines, myself, but her writing was so tiny: about a 3 or 4 font, I am guessing–and it was so neat, it did look like a font!  I had to hold it up to a lamp, and then get a second opinion, as to whether or not it was a special printed font.  If I were to slow down & concentrate, I could likely write nearly as neatly, but no way I could write so small!

The newsy card sends me “greetings from cool Moscow (-2°C)…I Googled the weather near you and dreamed about a teleport.”  Today’s high temp where I am is predicted to be 59°F, and I am dreaming of teleporting, too–to the equator. The Postcrosser also tells me a lot about where she lived for a young person, that her favorite photographer is David Doubilet, and that she does needlework–and some of her pieces now live here in California.

Nice stamps:

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Received from Russia, Taiwan, & the United States

Two Postcrossing cards in from Russia for this post. I do get many from that country (yes, even two in a week), but this some post of this is just me catching up.  Heck, for all I know, I’ve even posted one or two before.

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What a crappy photo. Would it have taken me that much longer to scan the things?

The poppies are from Moscow, from a 35-year-old woman with two children who says:

“I love to travel to Russia and visit ancient cities and natural reserves.  I like nature!  During the trips I’ve photographed, and then share photos with friends.  A person must be able to see the true beauty & enjoy it!”

The watery scene is from Yekaterinburg, which the sender identifies as a “little Russian town,” but which Wikipedia identifies as the fourth-largest city in Russia, one on the border of Europe & Asia.  The card’s sender tells me:

“I have eaten in Thailand too–I liked seafood and fruits especially.  What is your favorite dish?”

I don’t care to try to narrow down to a “favorite dish,” but I will say that I often think of the wonderful, abundant, fresh & cheap fruit I was able to find absolutely everywhere during my Thailand trip!  I definitely miss the fruit.

Penny, as I’ve named her, the kitty on the railroad tracks, is from Keelung, Taiwan, part of a Postcrossing Forum “Taiwan Meets the World” trade.  The sender writes:

“Hope you doing well! Best wishes.  xoxo”

So much for meeting Taiwan.  Can’t help but look at all of the white space on the back of the card & think of what might have been.  I’m sure I’ve never mentioned before that I’d rather have a box panel from someone’s favorite cake mix, filled with a nice message on the back, than a gorgeous, expensive postcard left basically empty.

The more I look at the Andy Warhol card, the more I think I probably posted when I got it months ago.  Gotta refine that system.  I will keep it brief: it came from Jacksonville, Florida, in a swap-bot trade in which we were to write about a book we’d recently read.  This person is a big fan of The Kiss of Deception, part of a series by Mary E. Pearson.

Stamps, postmarks…

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