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.


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

postcard a Pismo Beach butterflies

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:


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:

Saving a sexier island-neil cover (Final).indd

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!




A Full, Homemade Envelope: Sent to Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

I’m not really into sending postcards in envelopes, but this time it’s different.

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This is for a swap-bot trade in which we were to send another user 7 postcards in an envelope.  My partner is in Reading, Pennsylvania, and I sent her 10!  And though it was marked as “not profile based,” I did read her profile, and was sure to send a few that seemed to match some things she mentioned.  To that end, there is a Disney card in here, a cat card, some old-timey stuff, and a “Christmas motif.”  And then, I took some gift wrap & washi tape, & fashioned an envelope:

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And yes, now I do have those “swap-bot nerves.”  I’d better go take a pill now!


Leaving an Impression, & Also Jane Gluster: Received from Germany, Hong Kong, & the United States

Three interesting ones today, so sayeth the me:


I was immediately impressed with that chunk of cardboard that came to me from Saint Paul, Minnesota, via swap-bot.  The cereal that was once inside the box probably had fiber, but this card has texture!  The sender writes:

“I’m having fun with my embossing machine.  I like the dangling ornaments.  It’s cheery.”

I like it too!  You’ll probably be able to make out the design better in the second of the two images I’ve posted.

I also really like that Hong Kong postcard.  I’d identified the city from the street signs, before I even noticed it says “Hong Kong” right there on the upper-left corner.  Wish I were there right now.  Well, unless it’s cold.  I don’t want to me anywhere cold, including where I am right now.  This card, and the cool stickers on the back, came to me thanks to a Postcrossing Forum “Hong Kong to the World” tag trade, in which I am “the World” half of the deal.

That super-colorful Nutcracker card was sent to me by a Postcrosser in Regensburg, Germany. She writes to me about books she enjoys reading.  I thought she was telling me about someone named “Jane Gluster,” but after getting in a rather heated argument with Google, I decided what she wrote must have actually been Jane AUSTEN.  Oh, believe me, you would have made the same mistake; some of her writing is very curly!  Let’s try to get through the whole “book” part of her message:

“I’m love reading too.  My favorite genres are historical or mysterious novels, and I’m a great fan of Jane Austen! I’m waiting for the new book from Libba Bray, in Germany it will appear shortly before Christmas.”

Stamps, stickers–and also perhaps a better look at the embossing:


Hey, that postcard has a HUGE Chip on it!

Books take you places. So do buses & boats! Received from England, Hong Kong and Malaysia

An interesting one in here–a bus-in-bag!  Read on.


The “create your own story” card was sent to me from just outside Manchester, England, for a swap-bot “what are you reading” trade.  The sender tells me she is “currently engrossed in the ‘Star-Crossed‘ series by Rachel Higginson…fabulous book and very well written. Full of action and emotion.”

The big red bus (“Chinese zodiac bus-Year of the Pig 2007”) was from a Postcrossing Forum “Hong Kong to the World” tag (I sent a card to HK, and then someone from HK sent a card to me). What is very interesting is that this card came to me in a neat plastic bag.  I flipped it over, expecting somehow to see the stamp & postmark on top of the bag, but, no–it was all on the card, inside the bag!  I had to ask what that was all about, so I contacted the sender:

“I’m very interested in the plastic bag: do you mail it in the bag, & someone at the post office takes it out to cancel the stamp? Or perhaps you take it to the post office personally to be hand-canceled before you bag it? I need to know!”

The sender responded:

“I just finished all and put the postcard in the bag,HK postman are very friendly dont canceled my bag ,but I try do it in China not successiful ,only HK can ,ha ha !!”

Have you ever received a card in a bag–or sent one?  I am still pretty fascinated!

The Thailand card, depicting the floating market in Rajburi (“a trading place for small sampans with fruits and vegetable from outlaying area,” according to the caption) came to me from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, part of a swap-bot “not my country” postcard exchange.  The sender says she recently made her second visit to Bangkok:

“I’ve always liked the atmosphere and the people there. The stuff and food are cheap, there are just too many things to offer.  The weather is really humid, though.”

Stamps & stuff; I really like the Malaysian stamps, and the Snoopy tape on the Hong Kong card.


Water-related fun: sent to Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, & the United States

Apropos of nothing, let me share that I am re-watching “Spider-Man 3” as I log this, and it may actually be far worse than I remember it–and I remember it as being an awful mess.


The first card is my one regular Postcrossing draw this time around.  It’s the view of Morro Bay, California, and it goes to Berlin, Germany. The recipient says she loves “…to be outside and roam in nature whenever the weather allows it.”  While some people have very specific lists of cards they want & do not want, this user writes:

“…I don’t have special wishes. I’m glad to share a piece of your life, so just pick a motif you would also like to receive and write whatever you would like to tell me.  I’m always happy to get an insight on people’s lives around the world, and I’ll be glad to hear from you!”

I told her about how I enjoy the beautiful nature in & around Morro Bay, and some of the things she might be able to see, were she to visit.

The flying fish are going to Decatur, Alabama, for a swap-bot “what are you reading?” trade.  Since I am still making my way through the last book I wrote about here, I won’t mention it again!

The next two cards are going out on tag trades via Postcrossing Forum.  The first card–a boy & his dogs at the beach–is headed for Kasukabe, Japan, as part of a “USA-Asia” tag.  There is a bit of this Postcrosser’s profile that made me feel she might enjoy this card:

“I like to see the beautiful scenery. But, there is no experience of traveling abroad. So, I want to see the beautiful scenery of the country in which you live. I love manga! “

The last card goes to Hong Kong, in an “anime/manga” tag. The person I tagged had written a list of anime/manga likes that included Crayon Shin-chan 蠟筆小新–and there he is, in all of his (very typical) glory.

Received from Australia, Malaysia, and the United States

TONS of cards coming in lately.


The painting is Peasant Wedding by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (known to his confidantes as “Marblez”). The card was sent to me by a Postcrosser in , in a trip that took 7,877 miles and 26 days.  The sender writes:

“It is the beginning of Autumn here now.  I love the cooler evenings, and the myriad colours of the leaves on the trees.  I love to read too, mostly historical novels, such as Ken Follett’s ‘The Pillars of the Earth‘ and ‘A Tale of Two Cities‘ by Charles Dickens”

The agricultural scene depicts, as the back of that card states, “hand-clipping the tea bushes at Cameron Bharat plantation.”  This postcard was sent to me from Ipoh, Malaysia, and the sender drew a little sun with “34C” next to it, which my metric-to-U.S. translator tells me equals 93.2 degrees Fahrenheit!  It’s no surprise, then, when this swap-bot member tells me, “we occasionally drive up to Cameron Highlands for a cool retreat.”  Lonely Planet tells me that in Cameron Highlands, “the temperature rarely drops below 10°C (50F) or climbs above 21°C (69.8F); practically cool enough to make you forget you’re in Malaysia.”  Brrr!

The last card comes to me from Maryland, in a swap-bot trade called “squeeze it in,” and this guy was able to manage about 18 lines of text.  I’ll share the fact he is reading Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic’s First-Class Passengers and Their World, by Hugh Brewster (known by his lacrosse buddies as “Brew Hughster”).

Stamps!  Uh-oh, be careful: I spy, with my little eye, that O.D.B. James Cook!  The flowers & birds are nice, though.


Received from Canada and the United States

Three different swap-bot trades:


The dolphin card was sent to me from someone in North Carolina in a “read in March” exchange, and she tells me her best recent read was The Martian by Andy Weir:

“I knew nothing else about the book going into it, other than it’s very popular.  It was so good, I ended up staying up all night listening to it because I couldn’t turn it off.  It was fantastic!”

Makes me want to check it out!

The scene from Finding Nemo was sent from a swapper in Ontario, Canada. It was part of a book lovers’ swap, but I cannot share her list of favorite books with you, as the washi tape affixing it to the postcard tore off the text.  It did spare the message underneath telling me in part that she lives near the Great Lakes, a beautiful area but with long winters–but she loves winter.

Those frogs, with their disgusting habits, made their way to me from someplace in the United States, from a retired nurse!  I see on her profile that her favorite-ever author is Dr. Seuss, but this was a “creatures great and small trade” rather than one focused on reading.  In lieu of a message, she leaves me with this unattributed quote:

“Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Received from the United States

Both of these are from swap-bot trades…


The stamps are for a homemade “stampcard” trade (mine is here), and this comes to me from Oregon.  My very favorite is the guava!  The sender tells me, “I’ve never been outside of the United States, but I get a little thrill with each international letter I get.”

The bookshelves came my way from Alabama, part of a “book read in March” swap.  The sender recommends Submerged by Dani Pettrey: “This is the 1st in the Alaskan Courage series & is a nice balance of inspiration, fiction, & romantic suspense also including some historical info re: Russia & Alaska.  I will read more in this series.”

Sent to the United States

Two going out in a swap-bot “read in March” trade.


I told both recipients about a book I finished in March: Return to a Sexy Island, by Neil Humphreys.  I described that book earlier, in a previous post.

“The Puffin Puzzle Book” card is on its way to Cary, North Carolina.  My big box ‘o children’s book cover postcards, as I call it, is not all that far from used up.  When I started on swap-bot and Postcrossing just 8 months ago, they were all I had!  Don’t believe me?  Just head to the beginning of my blog.  When the cards were still numerous, I was able to find some component of each cover to match most users’ wish lists.  For today, a book cover postcard is a natural choice for a book-themed trade.

The Jetoy kitty on the toilet card is bound for Oregon City, Oregon.  I’m still dealing with the odd vertical orientation of these Jetoy cards, as I described earlier–I told this card’s recipient I hope the post office machine doesn’t cancel her address!

Do you send Jetoy cards, or any other oddly-oriented cards?  Do you go with the flow, as dictated by the card’s printer–or do you somehow force it into standard post office-dictated format?  I’m really considering doing some flipping on future sends, plus a slapping-on of an address overlay to overcome this situation.  When these first 3 cards I’ve sent reach their destinations–IF these first 3 cards I’ve sent reach their destinations–I will breathe a bit easier.

Sent to Israel and the United States

I bought a small load of Jetoy cards a month or so ago; today, I sent out my first two, as a part of a swap-bot trade.


I like the hula-hula cat best.

These cards are have a different layout than cards here in the U.S.: the orientation is vertical, with a place for the stamp on the left-hand side.  I’m afraid the post office will have a fit!  I would ignore this design, but for the fact that doing so would result in dark vertical lines through my writing.

This was a “book lovers” trade, in which one option was to list the last five books we read.  Here are mine (not necessarily in order):

1) Agent to the Stars, by John Scalzi

2) Desert Exile, by Yoshiko Uchida

3) Coyote, by Linda Barnes

4) The Shadow Hero, by Gene Luen Yang

5) Return to a Sexy Island, by Neil Humphries

Oceanside, California is the destination of the top card, to a swap-botter who says she is a huge reader, and even remembers being a small child reading side-by-side with her mother (each with her own book) on the family couch.

The coconut kitty under the palm is headed for Ramat Gan, Israel, to a trader I have been matched with several times.  Her list of favorite books includes two each by Neil Gaiman and Jane Austen.

I got a little more interesting than usual with the stamps:

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