Giving ‘Em What They Want: Sent to Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, & the U.S.

Some more envelope-making this time, plus plenty of cards, stickers, stamps & washi tape I really like! See anything you like?  Let me know!  Let’s get started.

Tom & Jerry go to Hong Kong, to a Postcrosser who selected this card from those I showed as available…postcard toon Tom and Jerry

…and the bridge view is off to Xi’an, Shaanxi, China, to a Postcrosser who had marked it as a favorite.  So happy when I enter a Postcrossing “favorites” thread, & I actually have a card a member has marked!

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This card from the PEZ factory & visitor center in Orange, Connecticut was chosen by a Postcrosser in Gloucester, Ontario, Canada, who tells me her husband once visited that site & “bought out the store.”  When I went, the items I most wanted were in the display cases!

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The next 2 cards, along with the handmade envelopes that follow (and some other things I stuffed in) went to pen/postcard pals in Hawaii & Japan.postcard a The Food That Makes Us chicken rice

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The California map card is going to a map-loving college student in Hong Kong.

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With All Apologies: Sent to Finland, the U.K., & the U.S.

I’ve recently done some transgressing in my postcard life.

It all started when I signed up for one of the Postcrossing Forum “you choose” threads, in which the person tagging you makes a selection from cards you offer.

And I could not find the card selected by the person who tagged me.

I was SURE I still had the card the person selected.  So I looked for it.

FOR WEEKS, I looked for that card.

It shouldn’t have happened, and it felt bad, but that’s what happened.  I was just so sure it was waiting for me to find it.  In fact, now that I’ve mailed something else to my poor tag-mate, I’m still fairly positive that postcard will jump out and say, “SURPRISE!”

The card she chose was a movie poster, so I sent her both of the movie poster cards I COULD find, plus an otter card since she likes animal cards, a landscape shot since she likes landscape cards, an Elephant & Piggie card since she likes children’s book illustrations, and several stamps, as she–well, you get it.  I crafted an envelope from an old calendar page, & off that went.  Oh, I also included a sticker sheet I had found while attempting to locate the card she actually wanted.

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Then came the swap-bot debacle.

I went on a very nice little vacation recently, and while I was gone, a swap-bot trade for which I’d registered opened up for swapping.  And before I’d returned, the “send-by” date had come and gone–all of this without me realizing it.

At some point, months ago, I had tried to adjust my swap-bot e-mail notifications, so I wouldn’t get trivial emails from them every five minutes (I really don’t want to know, “helpful” mod, every time there is a sale at Joann’s Fabrics.  I DON’T CARE).  It didn’t work; I still get the nonsense emails, but NOT the ones that keep me informed about swap deadlines).

Anyhow, if I had been keeping track of swap-bot, and my own calendar, this would not have happened.  But when I came home to see I had for the first time missed a swap-bot deadline, I got down to business.  I was to have sent each of my two partners a single postcard, but instead I sent them each four, along with extras, using their profile as a guide:

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I also sent each of them a message (and a message to the swap admin, too) to apologize & let them know the actions I was taking.  I got three very kind & understanding messages in return.

Have you ever found yourself on the wrong side of postcarding law?  Feels so bad, am I right?

We Begin with Buns & a Dragon: Received from Australia, China, Germany, India, Poland, South Africa, & the U.S.

NINE (count ’em!) cards to share this time around!  They come via Postcrossing, Postcrossing Forum, Postcard United, & swap-bot.  Let’s start with my two very favorite, one of which is this delicious image of char siu bao!  The card is from Shanghai, China, and the sender writes:

You know the picture of the food on the postcard? It’s steamed bun and it’s a little sweet. You can usually eat it in Guangzhou province in China.

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The beautiful seahorse card is from Australia.  Pretty cool how the postage “stamp” is part of the printed image.  The sender tells me:

The weedy seadragon is native to Australia and are a threatened species.  They are found in seaweed beds along the southern parts of Australia.  They can grow up to 45 cm (18 in) in size.  They are slow moving and rely on their leafy body parts as camouflage in the seaweed.  Although I haven’t seen a seadragon in the wild, I have seen them at Seahorse World in Tasmania, which is a working seahorse farm who have guided tours.  I could have stayed there all day watching them and the seahorses!

Otters!  That one is from Lowell, Indiana, and was part of a swap-bot “recycled postcard” swap, which means this sender received the card from someone else, but slapped a new backing on it & sent it my way.  I like this one enough to keep it around!

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I’d regift this nice couple, though!  The card came to me from Poland, from a Postcard Uniter who tells me she is 20 years old, and she loves to travel and cook.

Still more mentions of food on this colorful night view from Nanjing, China.  The sender asks:

Have you tried a special Chinese snack called spicy dry tofu?  It’s a famous snack in China.  It’s spicy, little sweet and salty.  Maybe you will love it!

Maybe I will!  Since she didn’t include the Chinese name in Pinyin, I couldn’t tell if it’s one of the tofu snacks I’ve tried.

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More scenery, this time from India!  So rare that I have postcards traveling to & from there, so it’s a real pleasure.  The image is labeled as being of the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Gangtok, Sikkim, India, and the sender tells me she picked up the postcard there “when on the Darjeeling-Gangtok-Kalimpong circuit!”

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The gazebo came to me from Virgina, and it’s labeled as being at Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin.

These two avid readers were sent to me by a swap-botter in Germany, and she says:

Well, I don’t know about you, but if I have to choose between the 2 newspapers–I definitely go for the comics!!!”

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I took a hard look at the comics section, and was able to discern the strips printed here: Peanuts, Andy Capp, Blondie, and Prince Valiant.

The last card is made from the panel of a waffle box, and it is not as tall as most of the postcards, but much longer than any of them.  Hard to tell, as it was scanned separately!  It came from a swapper in Brakpan, Gauteng, South Africa.

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Okay, it’s finally time for stamps, stickers, and washi tape!  One of my favorites this time around would be the beautiful sun conure from Australia.  See anything YOU like?

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There are some Russian stamps in this card, because while doing the scanning, I overlooked the fact that I’d already logged the corresponding card.  Oops!  The stamps are still interesting though, so enjoy (again)!

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Aren’t Movie Ads Always Better Than their Movies? Sent to Belarus, Chile, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, South Africa, & the U.S.

Starting with a trio of cards going out in a swap-bot trade.  The giraffe goes to an animal lover in Santiago, Chile; and the lighthouse goes to a lighthouse lover in Newnan, Georgia, U.S.A.

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Next up is an image from the book “Furqan’s First Flat Top,” by Robert Liu-Trujillo. That goes to Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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The “California Has Everything” card went out in a Postcrossing Forum tag to Hidaka, Saitama, Japan.  The Postcrosser said she liked map cards, so there she goes.  Not great for navigation, but I don’t think that’s necessarily what most map card lovers have in mind.

This movie poster postcard is going out to Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, in a Postcrossing Forum “last movie I’ve seen” tag.  Nice when the theater has free postcards for their movies!  Sometimes I like the availability of postcards more than I like the movies I see.  Such was the case with this film.

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I have clicked on Postcrossing’s “send a postcard” button 3 more times, and landed on eastern Europe with each click.  The gargoyle head goes to Bad Säckingen, Germany, and though I’d love to know more about it–including where it can be found–this card is from the Disappointassortment, so zero information was forthcoming.

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The scene from Hearst Castle goes to a castle lover in Minsk, Belarus; and the tiger should be landing in Yaroslavl, Russia.

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Time for a look at some of the back sides: Stamps!  Stickers!  Washi tape!

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Foodie Edition! Received from China, Hong Kong, Russia, & the U.S.

I’ve got some catching up to do, in posting my received postcards, and as I was sorting through the stack looking for a unifying thread, I sure found one: FOOD!  Those are the cards I’ll share this time, starting with my very favorite:

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I’d love to spend some time in that amazing scene.  It came to me in a Postcrossing Forum “Hong Kong to the world” tag, and the sender writes:

“This is the traditional wet market in Hong Kong.  Instead of supermarket, my mother still goes to these traditional market.  People know each other in the market and the owner sometimes gives us ‘gift’ too.”

Now, look at this amazing biang biang noodle poster, sent to me from China in another forum tag:

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The sender tells me:

“Biang biang noodle is the most famous food in Shanxi Province.  The character ‘biang’ features the most strokes in all Chinese characters.”

Yes, go back & look at that!  The character is like a big box full of smaller characters!

Next up, also from China:

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“This card is about the stinky tofu in Changsha, it’s very delicious!”

Have you ever encountered stinky tofu?  It is STINKY!  You always know if you are in a restaurant that serves stinky tofu.  Nevertheless, I did try it once, from a food truck here in the south San Francisco Bay Area.  It didn’t work for me, but do you know who LOVED it, and wished I had bought more?

My dog.

But yes, I do suppose I will try it again at some point.  Grownups aren’t afraid to try new things, and to realize that one taste doesn’t represent the entire food, and also that tastes change.  Speaking of changing tastes, do you know something I liked as a kid, that I absolutely can’t stand now?

Ketchup.  YUCK.

Okay, moving on.  Time for some more deliciousness, this time from Nanjing, China:

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You can read the sender’s brief commentary on the diversity of Chinese food below, in the scan of the flip side of her postcard.

Now we have a bowl of soba, sent to me from Lompoc, California.  This person was assigned my info from Postcard United, which I, until quite recently, thought only assigned international partners.

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The chili peppers are from Russia, and the sender writes:

“You say you like Asian cuisine, so you should like hot chili pepper.  I prefer European food mostly but sometimes I like something hot also.”

That person should also scroll down & read about the diversity of Chinese (never mind Asian as a whole) cuisines.  “Spicy” is by no means a word that unifies Asian cuisines.

Finally–and also from Russia–we have this food package postcard.

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The sender tells me he recently went to a Natalie Imbruglia concert.  I felt like I was stepping into a time machine!

Stamp time!  There are indeed some food stamps down here.  My original idea was to only scan & share the food-related stamps, but I also enjoyed the story-based stamps from China, so I ended up deciding to scan & share everything.  I like the round fruit stamps from Russia, how about you?

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Traveling, Recycling–and Whittling Down the Dissapointassortment: Sent to Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, & the U.S.

I’ve got cards going out to seven different countries, all but one being signees of the Paris Agreement.

Hey, I got rid of one of my Disappointassortment cards!  That heart locket card goes out in a Postcrossing draw to Brasschaat, Flanders, Belgium, to a recipient who said she likes cards with hearts on them.

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The mail-a-sea-lion card goes to a sea-lion-loving family member.  I love sea lions, too!  Scroll down, and you’ll be able to see the other side of this very functional card.

It’s the Grinch!  He and a lot of other offspring of Dr. Seuss’s imagination reside in Springfield, Massachusetts, in the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden.  I visited this site in May, just missing by a couple of weeks or so the grand opening of the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum!  But I did get some postcards, & sent this one to Cindi in Hawaii.postcard128

I also visited the PEZ factory in Orange, Connecticut! What a fun experience.  I bought a lot of stuff–and I also picked up some free postcards they had, promoting their party room.  This one went to North Hollywood, California, for a very specific swap-bot trade: “Free/Ad Card: I picked this up on vacation.”  I just knew these would come in handy.

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The fox went off toward Tokyo, Japan, for a Postcrossing Forum USA/Asia tag.  The recipient said she liked foxes!

There’s a second Disappointment card going away!  These ballet folklórico dancers are not the problem; it’s that the card manufacturers failed to give context for the card, and…oh, just refer to the original post.  The card went off to Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, in a Postcrossing Forum “China Meets the World” tag.  The recipient said he liked cards featuring cultural celebrations for our area, and, well, here in the San Francisco Bay Area, this counts!  I grew up enjoying ballet folklórico in schools, museums, and other settings.

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Something not so easily found in the Bay Area is great Thai food.  Oh, there are Thai restaurants absolutely EVERYWHERE… but just try finding a Southeast Asian person who would want to eat in any of them.  I have finally found two restaurants that break that sad mold, and one is San Francisco’s Kin Khao.  You, I assume, being someone who is interested in postcards, you may love to walk into this restaurant to find a wall decorated with a huge postcard rack, full of food cards yours for the taking!  I’ve mentioned this before; you can see the rack in that post, here.  This one goes to Stetten, Germany for another specific swap-bot trade: “Free Postcard–Restaurant/Coffee Shop.”

Next we have a couple of cards I created from boxes of frozen food, for another swap-bot trade of “up-cycled cardboard.”  I don’t usually buy frozen prepared food, but these two items from my local Indian supermarkets reeled me in.  The Kati sandwiches (card going to Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) seemed like an improvement on Hot Pockets (a low bar; Hot Pockets are nasty), and they were.  As for the other package (going to South Elgin, Illinois), I really like good sambhar.  This was not really good sambhar.  Better stick with home or restaurant-made.  THEY MAKE FOR NICE POSTCARDS, THOUGH!

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This Mickey Mouse card went to Longquan Station, Taiwan, via a Postcrossing Forum Disney card tag.

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Okay, let’s move on to the stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff.  I think there may be some stamps here you haven’t seen before.  Please share your thoughts!

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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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Switcheroo, or Double Switcheroo? Sent to Estonia

The cool thing about Postcrossing Forums is that you get to choose the tags in which you participate.  Do you want to send & receive cards made from food packages?  There’s a tag for that!  Cards from a postcard book?  They’ve got that!  Animals? Islands? Ugly cards? Yep, yup, and oh, yez!  So when I tagged a Postcrosser in Tartu, Estonia, in the Snoopy/Peanuts tag, I knew my card would find a good home.

Or maybe not so much.

In her U2U (internal Postcrossing Forum email) to me to give me her mailing address, the person I tagged wrote, “I´m very thankful, if you will change your cards and send to me fauna postcards.”

WHAT?!?

I went to look at her profile, and asked “WHAT?!?,” again, as I read this line:

“Sry, but i don’t like drawn postcards and also i don’t like postcards with…cartoons…”

HUH?!?  WHY ON EARTH would you enter a themed tag, if you don’t want cards that fit in with the theme?

Further, she wrote to me, “please, if possible, send a card / cards in an envelope.”  Not only against the spirit of Postcrossing, but, as I say in my auto signature on the Forum, I send my cards as the snail mail gawdz intended: written & stamped.

¡Increíble!

Here’s the card I sent:

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A backside?  Yes, this card has one: and as you’ll see, I was able to give her some fauna.

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The Traveler, the Cook, and the Sailor: Received from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, & the U.S.

This time:

  • Snoopy!
  • Disney!
  • “Word lovers” with nothing to say!
  • Falling apart in the post!

 

Let’s start with a great pair of cards I actually got to choose, thanks to Postcrossing Forum offer tags.  This Peanuts postcard, with Patty scratching Snoopy’s chin, came from Japan, and the sender wrote, “I hope you will enjoy this card!”  Well, yes… I did ask for it…

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The sender in Hong Kong tells me about her local Disneyland:

“(It’s) the smallest one in the world, but it’s still popular, especially with Chinese tourists.  Every day the park is crowded with tourists.  😦 and I am not interested in it.”

Ha, when I spent a mere 3 nights in HK a few years back (not nearly enough time to properly see the city), I tried like crazy to avoid Disneyland–but everywhere I turned, there was another image or large advertising display for the place.  I finally gave in, & made a whirlwind early-morning trip, before meeting a friend for a dim sum lunch.  Fortunately, my mid-week, early-morning trip yielded a very uncrowded park, with no memorable waits for any of the rides I chose.  I had a great time!

Speaking of tourist zones, look at this cool 3-D card my pen pal in Tokyo, Japan sent to me when she visited Tokyo Tower!  The fact that they had a special mailbox & postmark tells me that Japan is very much more of a postcard-writing-and-treasuring culture than is the U.S.  Now I did, on a recent road trip, see a general store in a little community that had its own postcards, which it would mail for you for free, should you fill one out to someone & drop it in their basket.  I didn’t take advantage of the offer, as I don’t carry an address book on me.  Guess I could have looked up addresses on my phone email app–but I don’t know how many Gs I was getting in that remote area!

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The soup comes via a Postcrossing Forum food tag from a sender in Yokohama, Japan, who tells me about the photo on her card:

“This picture of Japanese local cuisine ‘Sanpei-jiru.’  It’s Japanese sake less soup with chopped salmon and vegetables.  It’s very good.”

A flying whale from Albany, New York, thanks for a Postcrossing Forum “marine life & sea creature” tag.  I see I made a note on the card quoting a line from this Postcrosser’s profile: “I love words.”  Now, why did I want to remember that?  Oh, I see now: the card was mostly blank space on the back, with the only message being “hope you like this card!  I thought it was pretty cool. :)”

So, that happened.

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The rug-looking card seems to be a piece of cardboard covered in gift wrap.  I’d have guessed contact paper, but this thing arrived in my mailbox flapping apart, attached only at one end.  This has been a bit of a theme recently. This one came to me from Blitar, Indonesia, thanks to Postcrossing.  The sender tells me I am her first match–she just joined the night before!  She also wrote:

“I am 23 years old, living in a small city in East Java province, called Blitar.  I love reading too!  My favourite is about self development, business/marketing and also recipe book because I’m a chef… I am a food consultant here, my clients are spread in Palembang, Jakarta, Surabaya, etc… so I live nomaden sometimes… Hahaha.  I love traveling too!  My fave Asia destinations are Thailand and Hong Kong!  The food is superb!  I hope someday I can go to USA!!!  That’s my dream destination.”

Finally, there’s the St. Petersburg card, another Postcrossing draw, this time from a 16-year-old girl in Checkhov, Russia, who wrote that she’d just returned from Camp Artek, where she was in the sea squad, and had a great time learning knots, semaphore, and much more.

Okay, enough for now!  Here come the stamps, stickers, & stuff.  See anything you like?

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Has Russia Hacked Postcrossing/-cardunited? Sent toGermany, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, & the U.S.

This time:

  • A conspiracy?
  • A Snoopy treasure trove discovered, and cast far & wide
  • Other stuff
  • Tons of stamps & stickers

Let’s start with Good Ol’ Snoopy Brown.  I’ve mentioned many times in this space the lack of Snoopy/Peanuts cards here in the U.S.  Despite being the birthplace of the comic strip, and although Peanuts greeting cards seem to be sold absolutely everywhere (even in supermarkets), the postcards are just not found unless you go to the source: the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.

That being the case, I was thrilled to find a book of 1970’s-era Snoopy postcards on sale online!

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Several have already been dispatched, including to Peanuts-loving pen-pals of mine in Hawaii, Tokyo, & England (I know I didn’t write that trio out as an equal set, yes).  Those cards (and one to Taoyuan, Taiwan, for a Postcrossing Forum tag) went out as postcards should, with a note & a stamp on the back, & dropped into a mailbox.  The next one here went out to a Postcrossing Forum regular in Finland who says that she gives Snoopy postcards to a friend, so she’d like hers in an envelope.  Okay, fine–I made an envelope:

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She also likes to collect stamps, so since I was already throwing stuff into an envelope, I added some stamps from my incoming mail.

The foggy view of Golden Gate Bridge was chosen by someone in Berlin, Germany, in a Postcrossing Forum “show the card you offer” tag.  I’m glad I had something she liked.

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To Berlin & St. Petersburg

Okay, let’s get into the Russia hack scandal story I’ve just made up (or unearthed inadvertently, who knows).  I have fallen way behind on “official” cards traveling out via Postcrossing Forum & Postcard United: between the two sites, I had only 1 card traveling (I think I can have around 30 at this point if I chose to).  Yes, I’m sending a lot of cards out, but it’s mainly via Postcrossing Forum, which offers so many different options that I’ve just found it the more fun way to go.  The problem I have with the main focus of the two sites is that Postcrossing Forum seems to send me constantly to just the same 3-4 countries, and Postcard United’s algorithm is so rough that there are repeat encounters with the same people, and I’m being paired within my own country.

Anyhow, I decided to send some cards out again via the two sites, so started asking to be assigned addresses:

Click 1–Postcrossing: Saint Petersburg, RUSSIA.  Of course.  Decided to try my luck next at the other site.

Click 2–Postcard United: Moscow, RUSSIA.  Why, I oughta…

Click 3–Postcard United: Krasnodar, RUSSIA.  What?!?  I claim shenanigans.  I’m moving back to the other site.

Click 4–Postcrossing: Alkmaar, Netherlands.  Fine.  I then quit while I was ahead.  We’ll see when I click on those “send a postcard” buttons again.  This is supposed to be relaxing.

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A sweetened pickle to the Netherlands, and the rest to Russia.

Moving on from the Eastern European drama… the pair of cards pictured next went off to China, in Postcrossing Forum tags.  The aerial view of Hearst Castle (another card I replenished during my recent postcard-gathering road trip) is headed toward a food safety major in Beijing, who expressed his wishes for anything local to the sender: “local buildings…anything local is welcome!”  If by local, he meant anything in the same state, this place 3 hours or so away from me is local!

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The pancakes, which I received recently from a Postcard Uniter, go to Heifei, Anhui, China, in a food postcard trade.  The recipient is a chemistry student who says he loves travel, and receiving food postcards.

Finally, this multi-zoned California map card (part of my recent haul) went off to Hong Kong, to someone hoping for map cards. I told her that within just a couple of months, I will have traveled to every segment on the left sided of the card within this calendar year.  I do love coastal trips!

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Now a look at stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff–do you have any favorites down here? Behold the new USPS stamp release, Delicioso, which “celebrates the influence of Central and South American, Mexican, and Caribbean foods and flavors on American cuisine.”  And I always love the shorebird & sea shell postcard stamp sets.

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