Blast Off to the Eclipse! Sent to Canada, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Poland, South Korea, & the U.S.

Here comes another post that I started, but shelved for some reason. I had pretty much finished this one, but did have to go back & fill in a little detail here & there. You can tell it’s been sitting in the fridge here for a couple of months or so, seeing as it relates in part to that well-hyped eclipse, now pretty far in the rear-view mirror. Read on, & enjoy!

This great work of art is from 10 Little Rubber Duckies by Eric Carle, and I picked it up at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.  The card went off in a Postcrossing Forum tag to Saitama, Japan, to a recipient who enjoys picture book art.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the post, you’ll see there is more picture book art on the back of the postcard: Green Eggs and Ham washi tape, purchased at the Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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To a cat lover in Echizen, Japan, I sent this Jetoy postcard.  It also goes out in a Postcrossing Forum tag, and since the recipient says she likes reading, watching movies, & traveling–and I do, too–I told her about my last read, last movie attended, and last trip taken.

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Next up, the card on the left (a scene from the Hearst Castle gardens) went to Chantilly, Virginia; and the Rocky Mountain National Park scene went to Chicago, Illinois.

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Another Postcard United draw: this reading kitty went to Räyrinki, Finland.

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And ANOTHER Postcard United draw–this one went to Seoul, South Korea–and I like that this user offers writing prompts:

*If you don’t know what you should write me, here are some hints 🙂 May 2017 question :> Pick one and answer it please! 1. “Why some people are fascinated with vampires?” 2. “If you can get a superpower, would you like to be a superhero or a villain? and why?” Backside ideas :> -your favorite book / writer -your favorite movie / series -favorite animal, have you got a pet? -favorite food -favorite quote -your hobbies -your love story 🙂 –

One of the types of postcards she wanted was movie-related, so I sent her this l’il movie poster picked up at a local cinema.

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The next trio of cards are hewn from food packaging, all sent off in the current round of a swap-bot “Chunk O Cardboard” trade.  Babu’s Kati–Masala Pizza flavor–was okay, but too sweet, I think.  Needless to say, it was munch better than any Hot Pocket.  It’s on its way to a swapper in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Instant update on Babu’s Kati!  The card has been received:

Hi there! Thank you so much for the Masala Kathi chunk o cardboard. I especially like the orange price tag on the front, and particularly the postage you used. The postmark situated itself just between the spaceman and the solar eclipse! Was very fun to receive, and brightened my day!

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The gardening tips went off to Topeka, Kansas.  They are from a box of off-brand Chex cereal.  Actual quality cereals do not have room for gardening tips; they use all of that space telling you what cool toys are inside the package.

The DeliChoc panel landed in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada.  I don’t remember where or when I got this stuff, but doesn’t it look delicious?  I love these dark chocolate/biscuit combos, like the LU Little Schoolboy.  Mmm.

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BraveStarr here went to Budapest, Hungary, to–well, I just don’t know whom. I was assigned this user when I clicked “send a card” on Postcard United, and the user had absolutely no profile at all. I wrote a friendly note:

Greetings from California, U.S.A.! I was sad that you have no profile. Most of the fun here is getting to know a little bit about other people. Maybe soon?

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Another Postcard United, this one to Rybnik, Poland:

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Stamps, stickers, & washi tape time. Do you have any favorites?

 

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Here comes the scan that gives this post its title.  I’m glad I finally found a use for these spacey stickers I bought quite a long time ago.  If you compare this scan to my previous post, (or if you’re lazy, even just the moon stamp that appears right above this text block), you will see that in the day between those scans and this one, the temperature in my house (and of course, out) has risen considerably.  These heat-sensitive stamps are showing their full moons. At the very bottom of the post, you will see a colder version of the stamp.

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She Collects Sugar Packets: Received from Czech Republic, Germany, South Africa, & the U.S.

Robots! I chose this card from a Postcrossing Forum offer tag, and it was sent to me from Germany, where the sender tells me the card reminds her of the movie “Wall-E.”

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More machines, also from Germany, but this time via a swap-bot “chunk of cardboard” trade. The sender tells me the card is “made from the cover of a government’s brochure about work.”

The beautiful views come to me from the Czech Republic via a Postcrossing tag of national parks. The sender tells me:

Here at the border with Poland, there is our oldest national park Krkonoše (giant mountains). They raised already in Palezoic so they are much older than the other high European mountains (Alps and Carpathians). The slopes are no more very steep and on the tops, there is a central plateau with peat moss lakes. The countryside remind of the north of Scandinavian and sometimes is called as an island of tundra in the middle of Europe. The highest peak is Sněžka  (snowy mountain) 1,602 m. At the same time, it’s the place with biggest altitude of whole country.

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That reflective scene came to me through regular Postcrossing, from  Gelenau, Erzgebirge, Germany, and the sender tells me:

Gelenau is 7km with one of the longest villages in Germany. An Alpine Coasterbahn, wild reserve, heated outdoor swimming pool and many sports clubs are in the village.

More rusk from Brakpan, Gauteng, South Africa. I remember the first time I got a recycled bit of rusk box from this user in a swap-bot “upcycled cardboard swap, I had to look up what rusk is. Now that I kind of know, I kind of wonder WHY it is!

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The sand dollar card is another one I received via swap-bot, this one from Florida in a “mishap” trade, in which we were to send cards that had somehow become messed up.  There was a bit of a coffee stain on the back of the card, but I think the most messed-up thing is actually that bit of fiction printed on the front.

Last postcard, this one from Russia via Postcard United. The sender writes:

In my childhood I used to collect Kinder toys (my favorite were series with lions and moles). Now I have a daughter, but when I bought her Kinder toys she was not interested at all. So we stopped it. =(

When I went to register the postcard, I leaned one more thing about this sender: she collects sugar packets! Very interesting. I wonder if she empties them, how she displays them…  Once upon a time I had a roommate who spent way too much time at Taco Bell.  The extra sauce packets they toss through the drive-through window ended up in a fishbowl–a great big fishbowl. They were used for at least one craft project before finally being sensibly tossed.

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Stamp time! I love these cuddly little creatures, and the flower next to them.

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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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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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Do You Ever Come Unglued? Received from Austria & the U.S.

(In which I hear from two people with definite fixative issues)

I really enjoyed this collage made by a swap-botter someplace in California.  She was pretty proud of her Inuyasha art–but was mortified when I told her that it had come apart in my mailbox.

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Here you can see the front & the back of the card: the insides, which only she was supposed to see.  We seem to have some sort of tablet package, and a calendar page.

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She wanted to make me a new collage, but there was really no need for that, as the collage itself was fully intact, and the card had miraculously waited until it reached me to fall apart.  I did recommend to her that Mod Podge may be good as collage lacquer–but it’s no glue.

I think the sender of this next card may have used the same product.  This was supposed to be a Postcrossing Forum food package tag.  It’s from Graz, Styria, Austria.

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Now, I love how she crammed as much writing as she could onto the card, even including a recipe.  But flip it over to see the food package, and all you see are shiny streaks:

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Yes, I let her know.  She deserves to know.  According to Postcrossing, she’s been registered for 8+ years.  She’s sent fewer than 10 cards, I think, officially, so I assume she’s mostly been on the forum, as I have been lately.  Don’t know how many cards she’s been making herself, but she deserves to know that this product is a danger.  That gloss: do you think she used Chapstick?

UPDATE: I heard back from this sender, and she says she used a glue stick.

Have you had any issues like these?  Even glue sticks concern me, sometimes.  It’s worth at least putting a dot of 70 of tacky glue along the corners or edges.

Keep the Babies Out of the Cabbage, You Monster: Sent to Bulgaria, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, & Taiwan

It’s too easy for me not to keep track of the cards I send, so right now I’ll do the difficult thing, and make note of them (while I still remember, somewhat).

These first two cards (and several of each, by the way) were part of the stash I acquired a few days ago while hitting the state map card jackpot.  Since they are not state map cards, though, I didn’t share them when I wrote about the experience.

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Morro Bay is a pretty good place to see sea otters.

The sea otters are working their way toward Hong Kong, and the Morro Bay card toward Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan. It doesn’t show in my scan, but the flowers & the lettering in the latter card are covered in glitter.  It’s kind of awful, and I really don’t know if I even noticed it at the gas station where I was making my purchase, excited as I was to be filling my hands with dozens & dozens of state map cards so many Postcrossers seem to covet.  The recipient this time around wanted flowers & scenery, and I’m hoping she won’t mind a little glitter along with those things.  Would you?

This diner scene was chosen by a Postcrosser in Köln, Germany, in a “you can choose” thread.

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Hey, I just noticed that row of PEZ dispensers along the ceiling!  Scanning technology is awesome.

I just received this multi-image Belfast card a short time ago, and now it’s off for Sofia, Bulgaria in a swap-bot “recycled postcard” swap, in which we were to put a new back on a card we’d received.

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I REALLY like that piece of fish art.  If I were to visit Belfast, I’d certainly have to go & see that big fish.

The recipient of this card, her profile–well, it’s only a list of wants & don’t wants (leaving me very little to write about–I chose a few lines about the card itself & its provenance), headed by the line–in bold–“I collect only NEW postcards with a REAL photograph on them!”  This very heading makes me wonder why she wants to enter this swap for a no-longer-new-card.  The good news is, once of her big “wants” is touristy card (but she doesn’t like fish, so I may be eviscerated), so I mail this off with fingers crossed.  Oh, swap-bot, why are you so swap-botty?

Next up is a food package postcard headed for a medical student in Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan.  Maybe she will become the doctor who is able to develop a vaccine preventing Cap’n Crunch from tearing up the roofs of peoples’ mouths.

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Even if that never comes to pass, though, this Postcrosser already won me over with this set of horrors she hopes to never find in her mailbox:

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Another cereal, another food package tag, another country: this chocolatey panel went out to Seoul, South Korea.

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Getting into some older, previously-unlogged stuff now… I think they are both regular Postcrossing draws, but what do I know?  The indoor swimming pool from Hearst Castle went off to Taipei, Taiwan, and the bear should have ended up in Tokyo, Japan.

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Time for a look at the stamps, stickers, & washi tape:

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It’s All About Having Something to Read When You Flip Over that Card: Received from China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Russia, South Africa, & the U.S.

From somewhere in the U.S.: I love this Ghostbusters postcard, torn from a toy box for a swap-bot “up-cycled cardboard” trade.  I opposite-of-love the lack of a message; all the sender wrote was “I hope you enjoy my postcard!  HAVE A GREAT DAY!” This is a postcard with a story, and I wish the sender had told a bit of that.

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From Japan: Hey, those look like Bugles!  Bugles, the snack–have you had them?  I can’t remember the last time I have, but this makes me want some.  Anyhow, the card came to me via a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag, and the sender writes:

“This is one of my favorite snacks.  It’s made of corn.  I like its crisp texture.  You can see ‘TONGARI CORN’ at the bottom of the card.  ‘TONGARI’ means cone.  So, the name of the snack is ‘Cone Corn!’  It is simple and funny, isn’t it?! =)”

See how exceptionally easy it is to come up with something to say on a postcard created from a package?

From Russia: (from the same tag) That yellow panel from a cereal box, if you turned it over, you would see the sender wrote so much that there was almost no room to include my mailing address, which was jammed down into the lower-right corner of the card.  Here’s just a little bit of the message:

“I adore the packaging of products and my room is full of these things.  I have nowhere to put them, but I can’t throw out another box or jar.  It seems this is a disease!  This packaging is from a cereal called ‘Rye Balls.’  I bought these balls when I first went to the fair in my town last December.  They help me out when I have no time to cook breakfast.  Do you like graphic novels?  ‘Blacksad‘ by Juan Diaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido conquered my heart.  I had to read on the internet, but at the end of 2015, it was published in Russian.  I was so glad!”

That was only about half of the message.  You know, it’s all about having something to read when you flip over that card.

From Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa: That ice cream bar looks pretty good–though I would choose one with chocolate ice cream! The sender tells me about it:

“We absolutely love the Choc Pie ice cream.  Mind you, I love any ice cream.  I even eat ice cream in the winter.”

Well, winter is THE best time to eat ice cream!  After all, it’s loaded with fat, to warm you up.

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I especially like this next set of 3 postcards.  This structure is artistic & gorgeous.  It’s from China, and the sender tells me it’s a “traditional house…but most of them are become tourist places.”

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From the Netherlands, the reading man:

“I chose this card because I liked the image of this man.  He has obviously read so much that the letters come off of the pages.  I love to read!  Mostly sci-fi and fantasy.  Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors.”

Terry Pratchett is wonderful!  I’m overdue to read another of his books.

Oh, look at those fierce piranhas.  The sender is in North Carolina, and tells me:

“I visited Myrtle Beach last summer.  The aquarium was unique.  My favorite part was the jellyfish section.  They changed colors.  The alligator adventure animal park was awesome, too.  We also got our picture taken with two tigers and a monkey…”

Okay, that doesn’t sound like conservation.

From Germany, pancakes.  This Postcrosser writes:

“…I love cooking, baking, and good food.  The word on the front of the card means “enjoy!’  My favorites are Spanish, Italian, and Japanese food, and of course, the German food made by my mother.”

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From Russia: the snow scene is from a brand-new Postcrosser–he tells me this is his first card!  And other than that, a great expanse of snowy-white space surrounding his bit of a message.  I hope he will learn.  It’s the folks who have been Postcrossing or bot-swapping for years, and still can’t manage a message, who make me wonder.

I love that huge fish art installation on the bottom row of the Belfast card.  This came to me from Ireland, of course, and the sender tells me this is where he spent “the holidays.”

Okay, it’s finally time to look at the stamps.  There’s a sideways stamp, from China, showing some flying cranes.  Very nice.

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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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Let’s Start Out Nice, Get to the Sad Meat of the Issue, & End with Beautifully Busy Backsides

Yes, I’ve got a little something to whine about, but I’ll put it off for a moment!  This first trio of postcards is awesome.  I love the retro Goofy cartoon cartoon poster, which came to me from Germany in a swap-bot trade of Disney cards.  The sender told me her favorite Disney character is Belle, and asked who mine is.  Such a pantheon, it’s hard to choose, but I do love Chip & Dale, and Donald, and I have a soft spot for obscure characters–such as Grandma Duck & Li’l Bad Wolf!  OH, and April, May, & June!  OHH, and Morty & Ferdie!

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Who’s driving the Peanuts bus?  It came all the way from Hawaii, thanks to “Good ol’ Cindi!” Keep on scrolling down to see the beautiful decorating she did on the back side of the card!

The Little Mermaid card is the product of another swap-bot Disney card trade, and it came to me from a swapper somewhere in Texas who tells me:

“I also love comics.  My husband and I both love the New Archie and I am super into Harley Quinn.”

Okay, let’s take a short break to enjoy something less pleasant.  Another swap-bot trade coming in is one of “free/ad food cards.”  A swapper in Colorado sent me a promo card from a restaurant in Texas she likes. The challenge was that it wasn’t designed to be used for correspondence: it’s printed all over.  She found the solution: to add a sticker to make my address legible.  I’m sad to report she didn’t use the same solution in her message to me; she used red ink, even over reddish brown print, and between that & some creative spelling, I had a REALLY tough time making out the message!   I had to go near a bright light & wag the card from side to side to read the reflection of the words.

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Cool robot sticker, though.

Oh, and someone else this time wrote part of her message in green ink.  Honestly: not all of us can read whatever people write, not matter how they write it. #writeinblackinkplease

Let’s move on!  The statue came to me from Hong Kong, in a “Hong Kong to the World” Postcrossing Forum tag, and you’ll see the back below, very decorated in plenty of beautiful stamps, washi tape, & more.

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A swap-bot “upcycled cardboard trade” is what brought me that panel from a box of chocolate-ish.  I saw it was rum & raisin, & went “oof” a little inside.  The sender, who is in Canada, writes:

I had this box of chocolates for months before actually trying it.  I put it off because I hate rum & raisin flavour…so obviously I didn’t like this chocolate.  Just remembering the taste makes my stomach turn.  It lives a better life as a postcard now.

You see this group contains the front of the card we discussed earlier.  On to the next set!  I love this “Taiwan Bravo!” card.  Apparently I’d favorited it, because it came to me in a Postcrossing Forum thread in which we are to send the person we tag a postcard from their favorites.  The sender tells me, “I’m a social worker.  Work for poor children.  =)”

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I had a really tough time finding out who sent me that Studio Ghibli card at right, so that I could acknowledge its receipt.  The sender did write the tag name, but no name, user name, or date.  Really, there’s a lot of identifying stuff that needs to be written on cards in the trade site game.  Often it’s good to write the important ones twice, as insurance against inky cancellations & machine tears.  I’d entered the particular trade multiple times lately, so used the fact that this card bears stamps from Taiwan to guess at who the sender is.  I sent her a conditional “thank you.” By the way, she wrote: “Ghibli is a nice cartoon.  There are many warm story.”

Last in that set is another from a swap-bot Disney swap.  Those bugs are from The Princess and the Frog, and was sent to me from a swapper in Green Cove Springs, Florida.  She wrote:

I am an avid Disney fan.  I love visiting Walt Disney World whenever I can.  In two weeks I’ll be renewing my annual pass for another year.  I hope you have a magical day!

She used some cool old stamps on her card–and a sticker of Stitch, too.

Last pair of cards: the “CCTV New Headquarter in CBD” was sent to me by a high schooler in Changchun, China. He didn’t note the tag trade thread, but he did write his user name, so that helped me find & thank him.  He wrote:

“Changchun is a city located in northeastern China.  My hometown is famous for winter sightseeing and automobile industry–a city of cars, like Detroit in U.S.  Welcome to China!”

He uses an extremely neat block print.  I should take such care when writing my postcards to be read around the world!

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Last card! It’s thanks to Postcard United, and it’s from Budapest, Hungary.  The sender wrote:

The Hungarian Parliament building is the 3th most biggest parliament building in the world.  It is very interesting, because Hungary is a little country.

So much beauty in the backsides: stamps, stickers, washi tape.  Enjoy!

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Taiwan’s stamps are so beautiful & colorful.

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I really, really like my country’s shorebirds postcard stamps.  I’d love for them to be a permanent offering!

Here is Really No Fun: Received from Canada, Germany, Greece, Japan, & the U.S.

I love this postcard of Astro Boy (AKA Mighty Atom) & friends which came to me from a sender in Tokyo, Japan, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum trade in which the person tagging looks at the recipients favorite cards, and sends one they think would be appreciated.  I do appreciate it, and I love the Doraemon stickers on the back, too!  Scroll to the bottom of the post to see those.  This card’s sender tells me:

“I have a 3-year-old son and a newborn daughter.  I work as a software engineer.  I sent you this card of ATOM!!  Wishing you peace and health from Japan.”

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I love, love, love that Astro postcard.

Then comes the Japanese food–NOT sent to me from Japan.  It’s from Riverside, California, in another Postcrossing Forum “see my favorites” tag, and the sender writes:

“I hope that you are having an especially lovely day today.  This card gives me a serious sushi craving.  I love a good rainbow roll.  Surprisingly, there are some great sushi places here in the desert.”

This Snoopy nengajō is awesome.  It’s another card from Tokyo, in a Postcrossing Forum Peanuts tag, bringing me “best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year.”  Wonderful Doraemon stamp on the back, too!  Nengajō: why, why, why is this not a thing here in the U.S.?  No new years greetings, and not much of an emphasis on the Lunar New Year… which reminds me of an NPR interview I heard this weekend with 97-year-old Chinese cuisine icon Cecilia Chang:

(NPR’S NEDA) ULABY: But as much as Chiang loves the Lunar New Year, she misses being in countries where everyone is celebrating it.

CHIANG: Here is really no fun.

Y U P !

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Then we have–donuts?–from Friedberg, Germany.  Sounds appropriate!  This comes my way thanks to Postcard United.  The sender tells me:

“I live here with my 74 year old mother and I take care of her.  I wish you all the best.”

More food, thanks to a swap-bot trade of recycled cardboard.  It came to me from Greece, where the sender wrote:

“Bye Bye 2016!  This is my last postcard for 2016 and that’s good.  Besides the famous people who died, I lost family & friends.  It’s been a lousy year for death.  On the other hand, we made a profit during ‘the season,’ we aren’t hungry and going further into debt.”

So there’s that.

COFFEE TIME! That came to me from Virginia in a swap-bot trade, and  it got me wondering as to whether Chase & Sanborn Coffee still exists, so I looked it up–and it does! It is now owned by the same Italian company that also bought up Chock full o’Nuts, and the company website taught some stuff about that brand:

“Chock full o’Nuts coffee houses are very widespread, especially in the Northeast of the United States. They serve top quality, 100% Arabica coffee, as well as the well-known date nut bread and a wide range of refreshing drinks.”

I HAD NO IDEA.

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Finally now, a card from another WordPresser! Melissa in Canada sent me a very Canadian card, indeed: flag on the front, hockey player stamps on the back!  You can see them, plus Doraemon, and all the stamps, stickers & postmarks below.

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