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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Infinite Crisis: Received from Japan, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, & the U.S.

This time:

  • How do you slap a new backing on a received card (catch & release)?
  • Postcrossers not living in the country Postcrossing think they live in
  • An “inner-national” piece of mail via Postcard United
  • Not covered at all down below, but I recieved two pieces of mail (one a week for the past two weeks) for that house that is not on my street
  • And other stuff

Let’s do this.

Hey, look at this travel poster-themed card from Cindi in Hawaii!  She tells me the art is by Nick Kuchar, who I see has been doing some good work over there for a little while now.

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Some more beautiful art now, this one an original piece made for me by a swap-botter in Pennsylvania for a “Earth Day Upcycle Postcard Swap.”  She really got into the theme!  She tells me:

“I’ve always loved this holiday.  I was president of my school’s ecology club, and now I spend a lot of time hiking and camping in nature.  I want future generations to enjoy the same beautiful places as well.”

The line about hiking in nature reminds me of my Facebook friend who always posts a status of “taking a walk” when he is at a mall.

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Next up is Hello Kitty, who of course–as you know, if you follow the news–is not a cat.  That’s from Japan via Postcrossing Forum, and I’m not going to transcribe the message, because it’s part of the scan down at the bottom of this post.  Some fun sticker work there, too!

The big red star is a regular Postcrossing card, sent to me from Moscow, Russia by someone living there for the last 5 years. She says she was born in Belarus.  Her member registration is BY–meaning she still tells Postcrossing that she lives in Belarus, and thus officially, I received this card from Belarus.  But I didn’t.

I love that not-snowman beach scene, from a Postcard United member in Jeju Island, South Korea! She tells me the writing on the card translates to “I hope your dreams come true.  Keep it up.”

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The Mount Hood card was sent to me from the Medford, Oregon area for a swap-bot “recycled postcard” swap, in which we were to slap a new backing on a card we’d received & send it to our swap partner.  Now, when I do this, I grab a chunk of cardboard (usually from a stamp order), glue it to the back, & cut it to size. Very chunky, heavy, & inelegant.  This sender had some sort of thin white sticker printed with “POSTCARD” across the top, “Please deliver to” on the address side, and “This card handstamped by _________” on the bottom of the message side.  I can see through the sticker that there is writing underneath–but I can’t see it all that well.  I guess I should scan this side of the card so you can see exactly what I’m talking about, but it’s early in the morning as I write this portion of this entry, I’m curled up on the end of the couch with my 1st cup of coffee, and I’m feeling too lazy.  This takes up too much of my time, anyhow!  In my thank-you message to the sender, I suggested I’d like to know about the special (lightweight) backing–but now word back as of yet.  Do you think she designed it herself to print on some Avery sticker paper?

Pooh is from Taiwan, via a Postcrossing Forum tag trade.  Scroll down to enjoy a whole lot of wonderful stamps!

The two recipe cards here arrived blank, in an envelope, along with a signature written in an odd Easter card (no message, just “Happy Easter!,” a signature, & Postcard United ID).  It was sent to me from Chicago, Illinois.  What?  I thought we were only supposed to receive cards from other countries!  Consarn it.  Well, I know there are people who would like to receive these cards.  In fact, I’ve already mailed one out–but those details can wait for a future post.

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Time for stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff.

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I love this huge-man-in-a-little-airplane stamp from South Korea!

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A Successful Hunt: Postcard Shopping Along the Interstate

Okay, neither of the roads I’m talking about–officially California State Route 1 and U.S. Route 101–are part of the Interstate system, but let’s not facts get in the way of a decent title.

I written a few times here about my complete failure to find any California map cards to replenish my depleted stock.  I see in people’s profiles & tag requests that map cards are often what they want, but recent trips to areas such as Monterey and the state’s northern coast have netted me absolutely nothing.  Well, a whirlwind day trip to San Luis Obispo County after a short morning work shift earlier this week put me in the pink again, state card-wise!

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I think I ended up with over 80 cards, buying multiples of these and a couple of others that bear photos.  I bought them at three places where I usually buy postcards in the area: a tiny “super” market, a Rite Aid, and–the primary source, as always–a gas station!

The best news, considering the quantity I’ve purchased, is the price: I bought more than 60 at the gas station, and those were 35 cents each.  Expensive!  I mean, at the Rite Aid, where I bought fewer than 30 (I think), they were only 25 cents!

So what I’m saying is, I’m stocked up on state map cards again.

 

 

Lost in Translation: Received from China

I was listening to my NPR One app today, caught a piece entitled Finding A Pedicure In China, Using Cutting-Edge Translation Apps–and I remembered that I have a story to share.

Not so long ago, this postcard from China dropped through my mail slot, thanks to Postcard United.

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Oh, how nice.  It was when I turned it over that I did a triple-take.

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Well, this is a first!  The official language of Postcard United (and Postcrossing) is English (how very convenient for us native English-speakers).  While I’ve received many cards with a word or several in the sender’s native tongue, I’d never received a card with NO English (“Happy Postcard United” doesn’t count)!

Off I went in search of an app that might do a visual translation for me.  That found, I took a shot of the card’s message, & sent it through:

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Did you catch that?  Let’s review:

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I… don’t think that was a good translation.  And you ought to have heard the app speak it out!

I decided to post the pic of the card on Facebook, since I know a lot of Chinese-speakers.  One Taiwan-born friend reported back:

This is my rough translation from the poem:

I am like a bird in a forest, struggling to free myself towards the sky, boldly spread my shoulders and close my eyes, distant horizon is only short steps away, I am just like that tiny bird in a forest, without existence and aiming for the moon, my wings are stained in blood and any setback will not stop me from flying higher.

Oh, a poem!

I thanked my friend, who said “I am glad my grade 8 Chinese came in handy.”

Have you had any experiences along these lines?

The Card that Stalked Me

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We kept meeting.

Tinne asked me, “How did the story end with the postcard that kept returning to your mailbox, even though it was not for you?”

This is a good question!  I’d dropped the topic of the postcard that was delivered to me 5 times in just over a 2-week period, even once being removed from my mail slot’s “outgoing” clip, & stuck right through again!

Here’s what’s new since then: I finally took the card into my local post office, and talked to the clerk.  She rolled her eyes, made some comment about how ridiculous the situation was, and said she’d speak to the route supervisor.

And I haven’t seen the card since.

Of course, I have no idea if the card ever reached its true addressee!

 

#wemisdeliverforyou  #failmail

Is My Postman Trolling Me?!?

This is no postcard; it’s a BOOMERANG.

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This postcard is not addressed to me, but my mailman seems to think I should keep it.  I’m really frustrated, after what happened today.  Let’s update the timeline:

February 28: I received a card meant for the same house number, 2 streets over

March 2: I dropped it into a post office mailbox

March 4: The card found me a 2nd time

March 5: I dropped it into a mail box in front of another post office

March 8: I’ve received the same card, for the 3rd time!

March 9: I dropped the card into a mailbox in a different county.

March 15: The card was delivered to me, for the 4th time.

March 16: I attached the card to the outside of my home mail slot

March 16: I came home to find the postman had STUCK IT RIGHT BACK IN.  5th delivery.

This last bit doesn’t even make sense.  Does the postman not know what street he’s on?  How does ANY of my mail make it to me?  How does any of these other people’s mail find them?  I mean, assuming it does…

I’m going to try to find time tomorrow to take this to the local post office & have a conversation with the clerk.

 

Here’s the Mail, it Sometimes Fails…

Ah, you again.  I am haunted by this piece of mail that is not mine.

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A revised timeline of our ongoing saga:

February 28: I received a card meant for the same house number, 2 streets over

March 2: I dropped it into a post office mailbox

March 4: The card found me a 2nd time

March 5: I dropped it into a mail box in front of another post office

March 8: I’ve received the same card, for the 3rd time!

Tomorrow I plan on dropping it into yet another mailbox, on the opposite side of the San Francisco Bay.  Do you think the card will come back to me?  This could be the series of incidents that finally has me filing a formal report with my local post office.

Can We Please Trade Mail Carriers–OR–We MISdeliver for You!

Lastertime, I overshared about the card misdelivered  to me. So here’s a li’l recap/update in timeline form:

Tuesday: I received a card meant for the same house number, 2 streets over

Thursday: I dropped it into a post office mailbox

Saturday (today): I GOT THE SAME CARD AGAIN!

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This lovely card may never reach its rightful home.

This evening, I tucked it into a mailbox in front of a different post office.  Do you think it will be delivered to me a 3rd time?  It may be time to lay odds.  Place your bets, and keep in touch!

It’s a Business Doing Pleasure with You: Received from Australia

This envelope arrived in today’s mail, completely intriguing me…

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Whom could this be from?  Someone I know?  The return address is Annandale, New South Wales, Australia.  The sender certainly went to a lot of trouble, with all of the stamps.  I really love that rose coneflower, with reminds me of a sea anemone.  I love protea in general.

I open the envelope, and inside there seems to be a postcard & a letter.  I really wonder who sent this to me!

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No trees seem to grow here, but the concrete sure does reach for the sky.

Flipping over the postcard, it seems the sender did not write on it…oh–wait:

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And this is where everything went sideways.

Oh, wait: the sender printed something & glued it to the card.  Why do that?  Why not write?  And then I look closer still.  Oh.  Oh.  He’s advertising something.  This person has a business, selling postcards.

How did he get my address?!? Then I saw the Postcard United i.d.  He’s using his account (and one on Postcrossing) to fish for clients & suppliers of images.  Obviously pumping out these messages as fast as he can get new postcard IDs, and just dropping in names & ID codes into a standard message.  Foulness.  So what’s this piece of paper?

Oh.

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If a person’s email address begins “store@,” chances are they are not here out of friendliness.

Front & back, with his needs.

This reminds me of the time, long, long, ago, when I was job hunting & was called to an interview.  It was in the evening, and a lot of people were there to be interviewed.  We were all called into a room, and–given a pitch for a pyramid scheme, AKA multilevel marketing (like Amway or Mary Kay).  I told off the herders, letting them know it’s crass to deceive people who need real work, and then I left.

It’s so disappointing to have this happen on what’s supposed to be a fun, interactive hobby site. What a horrible thing to happen on Postcard United.

I mean, if I wanted to have a bad time, I’d log onto swap-bot.

 

OH! And swap-bot did give me a bad time today.

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If you liked it, then you should have put a heart on it.

I sent this dog lover a dog postcard, with a dog stamp & dog sticker, among other delights. How much more “extra special” does it get than that? I really do think I need to start taping cash to my swaps.

To be fair, I did get a wonderful postcard today, one I really love, with a beautiful stamp & a nice food-related message…but I’ll save that for another post.  I’m having way too much fun grousing right now to spoil the mood by sharing that card.

 

 

An Angry Fist Repeatedly, Repeatedly–Undeservedly–Shaking in My Inbox: Postcard United Update (Part 2)

Lastertime, I started sharing my first lot of cards received as a new “Postcard Uniter.” I’ll share 6 more today, plus the big inbox-busting trouble for which the site is currently apologizing.  For now, the cards.

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The tasty-looking shrimp came to me from Malaysia, and the reading cats are from Gelnhausen, Germany.  The sender of that latter card writes:

“I hope you enjoy fall, my favorite season of the year!”

I can’t wait for spring’s return.

The card at top right is from Hong Kong, and the text printed above the image reads, “Cafe. Waiting. Love. Will you suddenly appear at the corner coffee shop.”  The sender’s message:

“I’m a coffee lover.  I like Illy cafe and cappuccino.  I drink 2-3 cups of coffee per day.  Cheers!”

The next card is from Luxembourg:

“My hobbies are art, photography, cars and traveling to Paris (only 2 hours by high-speed train)

A New Yorker cover!  That’s from Seoul, South Korea, and the sender shares a quote with me:

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” — George Adair

Finally, this time, from Göttingen, Germany, there’s the Einstein card.  The sender assked me if I knew of him.  Sigh.

Stamps, stickers, & washi tape: I love the otter stamp, because I love otters.

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OH!  The angry fist, right!  Well, Postcard United started sending out emails with the subject line “Inactive account and late or non registration of Postcard.”  In pairs.  Multiple times.  I was starting to take it personally, but the message DOES begin “General Mail to All Members.”  Still, you know?

What follows is a scold-y missive reminding people to register the cards they receive, and some other stuff, with the added news that inactive members may find themselves removed from the site.  There is a good amount of there/they’re confusion, making it harder to follow; the leads at Postcard United are not fully comfortable with the English language, but neither are many people raised in that language and no other.

Anyhow, apparently users don’t like receiving constant repeats of this message over 4 days, because Postcard United has posted an apology on the front page of their site:

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I’d forgive them more easily if they’d invest in a proofreader.