A Chocolatey Center! Received from China, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, & the U.S.

Quite a few to share this time; let’s move clockwise-ish, beginning at the upper-left, and ending in the center.

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ASTRO!  That cool card came to me from Omiyaku, Saitamshi, Japan, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum USA-Asia tag trade.  The sender tells me, “He becomes a manga artist and is the 70th year this year.  So there is a commemorative event in Japan.”  I don’t know, can’t find anything on this…

TOTORO!  Another Postcrossing Forum tag trade, this one Studio Ghibli-Wishlist.  In this trade, I always enter during the “wishlist” phase, wherein the new tagger needs to send the previous user something from thier wish list.  This would be because: 1) I enjoy receiving Studio Ghibli cards; and b) I do not have any to send out.  The sender of this wonderful card is somewhere in Russia, and she writes, “I like Ghibli anime, too.  Almost all.  🙂  What anime do you like more than others?  What anime are you watched latest?”  I told her I like the cutesy stuff, like Totoro, Ponyo, and Arrietty.  Spirited Away, I love that.  The latest I’ve seen is Miyazaki’s latest (and allegedly final), The Wind Rises.

We have a couple of chunks of reused food packaging here: the pizza box is from a swap-botter in Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa.  She even put a puffy pizza sticker on the back!

The orange bars are another Postcrossing Forum trade, this one of food packaging, of course, and came to me from the Netherlands.  This sender and the previous have more in common than just sending me their recycling; they both also write about the weather!

Speaking of the weather, next up is that rainy shot captioned “A Small Southern Town.”  The sender is in China, and he sent me the card the same way most of this batch’s senders did, through a Postcrossing Forum trade.  He writes, “I went to California this January.  It was really a perfect place!”  I’m very interested in knowing what places he visited!

From a small town to a big city: this card is my only regular Postcrossing card received in the batch shown, and it comes to me from Beijing, China–even though it bears an Australian ID code!  The sender explains: “I’m an international student in Australia and today is the last day of my winter vacation.  Tomorrow I’ll back to school.  I’m now stay in Beijing China which is my hometown.”

Finally, we have a chocolatey center!  It’s a swap-bot “recycled postcard” swap, and it came to me from not-all-that-horribly-(I guess)-far-away Rohnert Park, California.  The sender, as required, slapped a new back on a card she had received in the mail.  Now, when I do this, I take a piece of cardboard & glue it firmly back there, but this sender had some kind of light adhesive on hers, & I was able to peel it back and discover that she had received it in a “touristy postcard” swap-bot trade from a sender in Pennsylvania.  The Hershey Visitors Center seems interesting: they have a “tour ride,” which, as far as I can tell from viewing their website, is more like a Disneyland experience, and NOT an actual view of factory operations.  Speaking of Hershey visitors centers, there used to be one a bit outside the SF Bay Area, in Oakdale, California.  The visitor center got shut down in an overabundance of caution following 9/11, and several years later, the entire factory got moved to Mexco in an overabundance of something else entirely.

Some great stamps & stuff this time!

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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!

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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:

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