There & Here: Sent to Czech Republic, Germany, Taiwan, & the U.S.

A year ago this week, I was in Thailand, and I wish I were back there right now!  I loved the balmy January weather, the wonderful street food, and the freshest, cheapest, most abundant & perfectly-ripe fruit I think I’ve ever had.  And that’s what I told a couple of swap-bot members in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany and Rohnert Park, California.  The latest trade had us choosing cards representing a place we’d rather be, and writing about it.  Fortunately, I still had a couple of cards I’d stashed from my trip!


Closer to home, the California cards went to Postcrossers in Tainan, Taiwan, and Úpice, Czech Republic. Now, I was just tripping around these locales one week ago.  San Simeon’s Hearst Castle is famous, but the real treasure in that neighborhood is down at sea level: the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas!  Right now there are appear to be thousands of them, and little crying, nursing baby ones everywhere.  Check out the webcam!  I wish I were back there again, too.

Moving on to the stamp & washi tape portion of our presentation:


Tough as Napped Leather: Received from Finland, Germany, & Italy



That little rat who is cooking is actually supposed to be a bear.  The card comes from Uusikaupunki, Finland, and that is Turpo.  “Urpo & Turpo,” this Postcrosser tells me, is “a fanny animation.”  Let’s assume she means “funny,” okay?  Okay.  She goes on: “they are toy bears who want to do things when nobody is home.”

The card with all of the little Roman peeks is from Rome, Italy, and this Postcrosser tells me:

“I’m always so happy to write to someone in USA, a big big travel in your amazing country is one of my dreams!  :)”

Underneath those two cards is a swap-bot chunk-o-cardboard, and this one came to me from Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany.  The sender tells me all about Nappo:

“It is a very sticky nougat in diamond shape.  You get them in red, blue and green and they are yummy.  🙂  It is a traditional sweet from 1920s and never changed the package or recipe.  My grandpa used to say it is as tough and soft as napped leather.  What do you think?  Worth a try or better not?!”

Better not.  If I’m going for candy, I’ll skip the candy and go for chocolate!

Stamps, stickers, postmarks:


My German correspondent tells me that as a child, she always wanted to live in a lighthouse.  I might like that, too: if there were a LOT of room inside, and if I didn’t actually have to operate the thing!


To H*ck with Trader Joe’s: Received from Germany, Japan, Mexico, & the United States


Look at that coooool Snoopy postcard from Japan (& stay tuned for the awesomeness on the flip side)!  It came to me from Tokyo, Japan, part of a Postcrossing Forum USA-Asia tag, and based on this card & everything attached to the back of it, the sender must have been studying my profile & favorite cards.  She writes of the card, which says “Happy New Year”:

“I send this card though it’s a little early.  🙂 Japanese have a custom of sending New Year’s Day cards, nengajo, to greet their friends and relatives.  It’s similar to the Western custom of sending X’mas cards.  I already bought some cards including this card!”

That makes so much sense to me, sending New Year’s Cards–and in fact I have sent them in the past.  The difficulty here in the U.S. is that in order to do so, I have had to buy blank cards & write in “Happy New Year” (or on occasion, have some custom-printed.  That should change–or I should go card-shopping in Japan.

Okay, here is the back of the card (text removed).  Look at that Astro Boy stamp!  Look at everything else!  Or just skip down to the rest of the post; I will never know unless you tell me.


I recognized the colors & swirl right away on the card from Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany, sent as a part of a swap-bot chunk-of-cardboard swap.  I can’t show the back, as it is covered in text, but it is printed with a design of Kinder Surprise (or “Überraschung”) eggs–in fact, it is so covered in text, the sender even wrote over the darkest parts of the design, leaving part of her message to me undecipherable.  I was able to make out at least this much, though:

“I spend lots of pocket money on this! Ü-eggs, just to get the little toy inside & I give the chocolate to my brothers or sister.”

I do not eat Kinder chocolate, either, but I do not give it to poor, unsuspecting people.  The fact is, the stuff tastes awful (and that is putting it kindly).  I would rather put the toys in my mouth.  I just trash it as I am unwrapping the eggs.

Speaking of things that scare me: Trader Joe’s!  It’s another chunk of cardboard, this one from Atlantic Beach, Florida.  The sender writes:

“Trader Joe’s is one of those organic stores.”

Yeah, and judging by the shoppers at my local stores, its fans are vicious!  Do not get between them and the sampling station, I’ll tell you that!  A couple of months ago, I was pulling an item off of the shelf, and an old lady came along & rammed her cart into my rear end–and did not say a word!  Not, that is, until I slowly turned my head & gave her The Look.  The Look can be very effective.  I wish it would work when people block the path with their carts, though.  What happens to common sense & courtesy in that space?  That’s it: I’ve just decided that when I need to go to Trader Joe’s, I’m going to go to Sprouts, instead.

Hey!  I have received my first-ever swap/crossing card from Mexico (and only my second from all of Latin America, the first being from Brazil)!  It’s that funky gymnast.  Doesn’t that look like a character from that creepy Tom Hanks series?  No, not Toy Story, the other one–Da Vinci Code. Anyhow, this is from a Postcrosser in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, who tells me at the end of his message to “have a great day/week/month/year…