Shooting off a Blank: Received (Sorta) from the Netherlands

This is self-explanatory (received via Postcard United). When I went to thank her for the card–and to mention that she’d forgotten to write a message–I noticed that she had also left her profile blank.

Insert your own rant here, because I am tired.

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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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The Cereal Box Word Search: Sent to China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, & Netherlands

As usual, I’m behind in logging my sent cards, to the point where I can no longer identify everything correctly. Let’s knock some out now, starting with a few that I’m just sending out this very week, and then I’ll work my way back a bit.  This still leaves more in the backlog.  I’m afraid my blog is no longer completist, if it ever was.  Let’s do this.  Most of these cards went out in Postcrossing Forum tags.

Two cards from the Monterey Bay Aquarium: the two otters went off to Kita-ku, Kobe, Japan, and the exterior view is on its way to Tianjin, China.

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I noticed I had zero traveling cards on Postcard United, & just one on Postcrossing, so I clicked on “send a card” on both of those services. The view of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea goes to Untermünkheim, Germany, to a brand-new Postcrosser (2 weeks in) who hasn’t even bothered to create a profile yet.  I grabbed a card that would give me something to say (in short, love the Big Island of Hawaii; don’t care for snow, so only gaze up at it from the warm below).

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The Matisse image is going to Hong Kong, to a VERY prolific Postcard Uniter: in less than 3 years on the site, she has somehow managed to send out 3,027 cards!  Through some odd injustice, though, she has only received 2,228 cards to date.

More recycled cardboard: I like that I was able to provide the person I tagged in Niigata, Japan, with an entire word search (hewn from the back of a box of cereal).

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Oh my gosh, this card–another one from the infamous (to me, at least) Disappointassortment.  It went to Berlin, Germany–and it was actually on that Postcrosser’s wall of favorites!

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I decided I needed to do what the producers of the card did not bother to: identify this clock tower.  After some amount of web searching & comparing images, I came up with the determination that it is Old Town Hall in Prague, Czech Republic.

Last up is an envelope that I sent off to Zaandam, Netherlands.  Just the envelope, because I can’t remember what card was inside.  Well, I think I know what card was inside, because I don’t often get a request to send a card in an envelope–and I don’t always comply.  But let’s focus on the envelope, which I made from an ad for…something.  I think it’s for the butterflies at San Francisco’s Cal Academy of Sciences.

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Okay, time for all of the stamps, stamps, stickers, washi tape, etc.  What did you like this time around?

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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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Mark as Logged: Received from England, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Romania, & the U.S.

This time around, I’m sharing some recently-arrived cards, as well as some much older ones that (as far as I know) I haven’t shared previously.  Keeping track is hard!

The “World Famous Brighton Rock” card came from a postal pal in Brighton, England today–and today I learned “Brighton Rock!”  I had to look that up online, because my friend was actually lamenting a familiar situation:

“As for Peanuts postcards, I’m no closer to finding any of them here, so I’ve had to cheat and make my own with stickers that I found in New York last month.  Quite a few of the Hallmark shops where I would normally buy Snoopy stuff from had either shut down or no longer stocked Peanuts merchandise, which was a bit disappointing, but didn’t ruin my vacation!”

Another postal pal, Cindi in Hawaii, knows exactly how to get Peanuts postcards: throw down for mail order from the Charles M. Schulz museum in California!  I love this new “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night” Snoopy card.  Make sure you check in at the bottom of this post, for all of the wonderful stamps, stickers, & washi tape from the card’s back side.

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The next card shows three guys I am always very, very, happy to see: The Three Caballeros.  It was sent to me from Seattle, Washington, at the end of 2015 for a Postcrossing Forum “request a Disney card” tag, and I haven’t marked it as logged in this space.  The sender drew a fun rubber ducky pic on the back, so be sure to scroll down for that.

Second set of cards begins with another card postmarked in December of 2015, from a Postcrosser in Hong Kong.  She wrote:

“This is a new shop that just opened near my apartment in Hong Kong, and they were giving out some nice postcards.  I hope you enjoyed some dim sum and egg tarts in Hong Kong.  Egg tarts are my favorite!  Also egg waffles.  So good!”

I did indeed enjoy some dim sum while in HK (don’t recall if egg tarts were part of it), and I was in fact looking to buy an egg waffle maker while I was in town!  That didn’t happen, but around the time I received this card, I received one as a gift!  Made some egg waffles just last week, in fact.

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That scary, scary monkey card might just have to get sent off to someone else.  It came my way from the Netherlands in a Postcrossing Forum “ugly postcard” trade.  I think this, and 2 or 3 other cards from today’s entry, had been serving as bookmarks!  My poor book!

The snowy card next to the monkey is from a Postcrosser in Japan.  This only goes back to September of 2016.  The sender told me she lives in a small town in the mountains, and she doesn’t have any beach cards, so she decided to send me a snow card.

The last set starts with another snow card, this one recently received from Romania via Postcard United.  The sender tells me:

“I love to spend time in the countryside, where life seems not to have changed in ages.”

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We’ve got a food package next, this from another Postcrossing Forum tag, and sent to me from someone in Raleigh, North Carolina, who writes:

“My husband loves lychee and I love mochi.  These were delicious.  Ever had them?  My parents tease me for loving mochi so much.  It’s called dduk in Korean.  They call me a dduk-bo which is essentially a person who loves dduk.  Rice cakes freeze pretty well.

I think it was the weekend before I received this card last month that I’d just been buying fresh mochi treats in San Jose’s Japantown, so this was very timely.

Final card is another from who-knows-how-long-ago, a Postcrossing incoming from Mexico.  There were, as you will see, Doraemon stickers on the back, and the sender explained:

“Here are a couple of Doraemon stickers I was given in Hong Kong at supermarket.  Very nice place and yummy food!  Anyways, this postcard is from my hometown, we have yummy food, too!”

Okay, that’s it for the fronts.  I’ll mark them as logged now, so you won’t have to be bothered with them again.  Now poke around the backsides–so many amazing finds down there this time!postcard014

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We Begin & End with Fish: Sent to Japan, Netherlands, Taiwan, & the U.S.

It’s a good time to try to think of pleasant things.

I have some catching up to do!  Let’s start with these cool new postcards I bought, two of which have long-since gone out to post pals in Japan & Hawaii.

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This mermaid smells like a wet dog.  And fish.

Later, I made envelopes to send more stuff to the same two people.  This one I made from a photocopy of an old comic book cover, & sent off to–can you guess?

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Yes, Hawaii!  And here’s the back-side of the envelope.

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Inside went some stickers, a note on a postcard, and an old brochure I unearthed.

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That piece of advertising has to be 35 years old, at minimum.  When I unearthed it, I had to do some online research to see if the place still exists.  It does!  Here’s the rest of the brochure:

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I asked my friend if she’d been there.  She has, to the restaurant–it’s a cheap place to eat!  I’ll have to remember that, the next time I’m in the neighborhood.

Here comes the other envelope I made, this one for my friend in Tokyo:

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I enclosed another sheet of those Peanuts stickers, plus a note on this postcard:

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Here are more postcards that went out, these for Postcrossing Forum & swap-bot exchanges.  Off they went to Hoofddorp, Netherlands; Goleta, California; Taichung City, Taiwan; and Tsukuba, Japan.

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Finally, have a look at the stamps, stickers, and washi tape!  I think it might be time for me to restock my stash of fish stickers!

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Dank. Pricey, but Dank: Sent to Germany, Hong Kong,Netherlands, Russia, & Taiwan

I’ve sent five more down the mailbox chute!  We start with two views of Hearst Castle.

The majestic exterior is a Postcrossing draw going to Texel, Netherlands, and the dank interior is a Postcard United draw which if all goes well will wind up in Magdeburg, Germany.

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Rapunzel is headed for Hong Kong in a Postcrossing Forum tag.  The recipient likes Disney princesses.  This is a piece of concept art from one of the “Art of Disney” sets.  Have you ever noticed how the concept art (especially now in the digitally-rendered film age) is so often much more beautiful than the final product?

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The Smurfs are off to Novosibirsk, Russia (the third-most populous city in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg), in a Postcrossing Forum tag that’s all about looking at your partner’s favorites, and sending them a card you think they will like.  I know she’ll like this card, because it was one of her favorites!

Finally, Fremont went off via Postcard United to Tainan, Taiwan.  The recipient was interested in seeing & learning about local geography, so I told him about the winding canyon road near here that has been so often closed due to mudslides in unseasonably-heavy rains.

And so we have reached that time again: time for stamps, stickers, & washi tape:

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Familiar Folk, in a New Context: Sent to Australia, Japan, Netherlands, & the U.S.

Happy New Year!  Here’s a post that’s been sitting in my draft folder for a few weeks, while I waited for the cards to reach their destinations (to avoid spoilers for the two people who happen to read this blog).  I think it’s safe now…

I like this handful of cards.  Three of them are going out in an interesting swap-bot trade the organizer named “postcard roulette.”  We were assigned one person as a recipient–and then we were to mail a 2nd card to another, unassigned, partner from the trade roster.  As I said, I mailed out 3 cards–one to my assigned partner, one to another participant–and one to the organizer, as a thank-you for hosting the trade.

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My assigned recipient is in Geldrop, Netherlands, and she is a Disney fan, so she gets the Aladdin card.

The swap host lives in San Francisco, California, and enjoys landscape and randomness (my interpretation), and that tiger card fits in both categories, I’d say.

The third card actually went out to a fellow WordPresser!  I was reading the profile of a swapper in Gaven, Queensland, Australia, to help me choose a card she might like (she likes wildlife, so I chose the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas in San Luis Obispo County)–and she mentioned her blog–Under a Canopy of Stars–which I follow!  Had to send a card & say hi.  Hi!

The remaining two cards to regular postcard pals of mine: The World War I Flying Ace went off to Kalaheo, Hawaii, and Pig-Pen (who would have made an awesome President) was bound for Tokyo, Japan.

A sampling of the stamps, stickers, & washi tape:

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So Much Awesomeness, All at Once! Received from China, Netherlands, Philippines, & the U.S.

Six postcards, all of which I love, from four senders, all in one day!  What a day!

These two Shiba Inu come from China, via Postcrossing Forum, in a tag in which we were able to choose the cards we’d like from those the sender had available.  With my memory, it’s always still a surprise!

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The cards’ sender tells me:

“I love Shiba too!  I found lots of them during my trip to Japan last year.”

This type of dog is very popular around my neighborhood; I see them being walked quite often. They are beautiful, but being a lover of big dogs, the inu I would most like to adopt would be the Akita!

That very nice Christmas tree closeup comes to me thanks to Postcard United, and is from a member in Tolbert, Groningen, Netherlands.

Look at that awesome Japanese Christmas postcard featuring Snoopy & friends!  It’s from Cindi in Hawaii, who really gave the card a spectacular back (scroll down).  Why doesn’t the U.S.–home of Snoopy–have Peanuts postcards, for Christmas, or for whatever?  I’ve railed about this more than once before, and will continue to do so. As the Peanuts kids would say, SIGH.

Okay, another pair from a single sender, this one from the Philippines, via Postcard United.

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Yum.

Yum. Now I want both of these dishes.  I’ve cooked adobo more than once, but you know, practice makes perfect.  Have you made (or eaten) either of these?  The sender split her message over the two cards.  She wrote:

“Kamusta Ka?  (How are you?) Like you, I enjoy Asian food–which is fortunate for me coz I’m living in Southeast Asia.  I do enjoy trying new dishes every now & then.  Currently I’m crazy over Korean grilled meat, & salmon sashimi!”

The beautiful animal stamps on the back of these are wonderful, too–there’s a pangolin!  Well, just scroll down now & look at all the stamps, stickers, washi tape & stuff.

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Sooo much awesomeness.  This is a card I could display with either direction facing out.

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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!