Mega TOON Edition! Received from England, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, & the U.S.

13 postcards this time, all toon-related. Still playing catch-up, so while some of these are newly-received, some came in months & months ago. We have a combination of Postcard Forum tags, and incomings from postal pals of mine. Let’s get started, so we can get finished!

I love this Disney duck art, with Christmas greetings in Swedish. It came to me from Finland via Postcrossing Forum. I remember it was a very confusing parcel to receive: an envelope filled with many postcards, each with a tiny message denoting a different Postcrossing tag. This user had tagged me many times in different threads, all at once, did not message me to let me know, and surprised me with all of this. I keep track of whom I’ve tagged (since my memory is not so good), so that I do not overdo tagging the same person. In any case, though, I do love this postcard.

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Hey, Doraemon! The card came to me from Indonesia, and the stamps & stickers tie right in, so you’ll have to scroll down & check them out. The sender writes:

Doraemon is my favorite cartoon too because they are funny and taught us about friendship. My fave character is Nobita & Shisuka.

Peanuts time! Cindi in Hawaii knows that I love the oldest versions of the characters, & she has sent me two of my favorite cards, featuring Pigpen, Lucy, & Schroeder. The scans of the backs down below show a beautiful patchwork of related stamps & stickers.

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An extra serving of Peanuts, from a post-pal in Tokyo, Japan:

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I love Spirited Away. Just saw it on the big screen again a few months ago for one of those two-night return engagements that happen sometimes, and I was blown away all over again. This card came to me from the same postcard pal as the one right above it.

Mickey and his band also came to me from Japan, in a tag in which we were to list the characters we’d like to receive. Horace Horsecollar was on my list, and as you’ll see at the bottom of the post, the card’s sender was surprised by my obscure choices.

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Totoro here came to me from Russia, but the sender isn’t talking about Ghibli:

When I was a child, on TV on Saturday morning showed Disney cartoons. One of my favorites was Chip ‘n Dale.

The postcard teeming with Misters Men & Little Misses came to me from yet another postcard pal, this one in Brighton, England. Don’t miss the matching stamps down below!

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The kitty packing heat was sent to me from Seattle, Washington, and the sender writes:

I don’t know the cat on the front of this card, but Strawberry Shortcake was a favorite of mine, back in the day.

She mentions Ms. Shortcake because she affixed a sticker of that character on the back of the card. You’ll not see her in this post, because by this time I had scanning fatigue, and that kind of thing just doesn’t make the cut. I’ll just share that it was an older version of the character, in shorts, flip-flops, and a floppy beach hat.

This Hello Kitty card did make the cut. It’s yet another card from Japan, and the back has great stickers, stamps & washi tape which, along with the card’s message, you can see below.

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These funny little sea creatures came from Russia. The sender tells me that she loves Kinder toys, and that she used to play with them with her older sister when she was a child.

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That little mouse came to me from Berlin, Germany, and the sender tells me:

I’m a 28 year old Russian girl, moved to Germany recently. Before that I spent 2.5 years in Moscow working as an IT engineer. Now I live in the center of Berlin, Mitte district. My office is in crazy and fancy Kreuzberg! There is a cool graffiti on our office wall: Putin, Obama, and Merkel closing mouth, eyes, and ears!

Hey, I found that piece of street art!

I feel like this came from a more innocent time.

Let’s finally get to the previously mentioned stamps, stickers, washi tape, and messages. So much good stuff!

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I love, love, love that little squirrel sticker. The pair of cats on blue are awesome, too.

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Animal Edition: Received from Canada, Germany, Japan, Philippines, Russia, & the U.S.

Still lots of catching up to do around here! I have enough previously-unlogged cards with animals on them to make that the theme of this post. Here we go.

I’ve got a life-long love of maneki-neko! I actually have a small collection of them, though not all in my collection are small.  This came to me from Japan in a Postcrossing Forum tag, and you can read the message on the back (about maneki-neko) in the scan at the bottom of the post.

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This wonderful humpback whale card is from the Philippines, another Postcrossing Forum tag, and its scanned message is also shared down below.

This next card was NOT received via Postcrossing, Postcard United, swap-bot, or any of that; it’s a thank-you card for donating to Muttville senior dog rescue in San Francisco. Senior dogs are very special, and I donate to more than one organization that specializes in helping them. In fact, right now I am expecting a 2018 calendar I ordered from Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Tennessee.

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This beautiful seal came to me via Postcard United, from Kaluga, Russia. The sender tells me that it’s not far from Moscow, and:

We proud of Cosmonautics State Museum. I love art, music, puzzle, psychology, and to make photos.

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The Elasmosaurus, like the humpback whale we saw earlier,  came my way thanks to a Postcrossing Forum marine life & sea creature tag, this time from a sender in Texas, and she tells me:

Living in delightfully dry North Texas means I don’t get to see the ocean a lot. But I love reading about life millions and millions of years ago, when Texas was nothing but swamps and seas. Did you know they found plesiosaur bones when they started tearing up land to make DFW airport? Awesome!

Then we have this meerkat! As I type this, I think of the meerkats at the Santa Barbara Zoo, which I am POSITIVE get handouts from scofflaw zoo-goers. Every time I visit this beautiful zoo, and come around the corner toward the meerkat enclosure, these little guys become very attentive, especially if I have a bag from the gift shop. People who like to feed wild animals & zoo animals don’t give a damn about health concerns & dietary needs.

Anyhoo, this very tall card is from Biberach, Germany, via Postcard United.

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He seems to be keeping his eye on that hawk, and for good reason. The card is from Canada, received in a swap-bot “currently reading” trade, and the sender tells me:

I am reading H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. Please remember to rate me.

I would have rather heard about the book than had that prompt. I kinda hate swap-bot.

Time for stamps, etc.! I really like that pair of raptors from Canada, so well-paired with the card to which they are attached!
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I think I like this rooster from the Philippines even more! I’m also a big fan of the whale & fish stickers. And what a great shore bird sticker from Japan!

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A Few of My Favorite Things: Received from China, Japan, & Russia

Three wonderful cards to share this time, representing some of my top favorite categories: toons/toys, food, & animals! One of these arrived months ago, the other two just yesterday, all via Postcrossing Forum tags.

First postcard is this very large one from Yokohama, Japan. I love this old-school Astro Boy artwork.

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The sender’s message on the back is intact in the scan below. As you’ll see, she writes of a toy museum in her town. I would love to visit. It made me think of one I have visited, the MINT Museum of Toys in Singapore. It also makes me think I should organize my own toys. Heck, I should organize my everything.

Some delicious food ahead, from Xi’an, China:

They are one kind Chinese pie on this card. There are many tastes: Chinese leek & egg, blanched garlic leaves & egg, Chinese leek & beef, Chinese sauerkraut & carrot. I like the fried taste.

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Love that squirrel, sent to me from a Postcrosser in Russia! She tells me:

I love animals so much! By the way, squirrels are very common animals in Russia.

Time for a look at stamps and washi tape! Isn’t this an interesting trio of toy stamps on the card from Japan? I just looked them up, and they are from Hungary (the sender posted this card to me inside an envelope).

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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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Dogs in & on Water, & a Deer Behind the Wheel: Sent to China, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia, & the U.S.

After being away for some travel time, I got back to the postcards, with a bunch off through Postcrossing Forum trades & swap-bot — and even 2 new sends for Postcard United!  In the interest of finally posting here again–and not wasting too much time–there won’t be a lot of detail this time, but let’s enjoy all of the cool cards, stamps, stickers, & washi tape!

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That beat-up postcard with the beat-up trophy on the beat-up car went off in a swap-bot trade for beat-up postcards.  I was so happy to have the opportunity to send it!

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I’m putting eclipse stamps on most of my mail.  Black circles give way to moons, after a bit of heat is applied (whether by a well-placed thumb, or just hot weather).  In most of these scans, the moon is peeking through some.  By the way, if you live somewhere in or adjoining the eclipse zone, please remember: DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY UP AT THE SUN.  There are many sites full of information on safe viewing; please look those up.

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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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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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