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.


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!


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.


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!”


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!!!”


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.


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?





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)!



Are You Feeling What I’m Feeling? Sent to China, Hong Kong, India, Latvia, Russia, & the U.S.

Still a lot of catch-up to do on the documentation side of things.  Heck, with all the holiday rush-about (yeah, I’ll blame that), now I have a lot of catch-up to do on postcards I am due to send out!


Eagle Huntress went to Laurel, Maryland, for a swap-bot trade of movie/TV postcards.  I haven’t seen this film, but I picked up the card at a local independent theater.

Goosey Goosey Gander’s castle went to Hong Kong, in a Postcrossing draw.

Hula Kitty  (not Hello Kitty) went to Moscow, Russia, the city I drew in Postcard United. The recipient must not have written much about herself, because I went the dastardly route of talking about the weather.  I try never, ever to do that.  It’s like the saying goes: everyone’s talking about the weather, but no one’s doing anything about it.

Entering the black & white postcard zone, all from a book of NYC photography I found at a library book sale.  Some people just love b&w photography.  Me, not so much, at all.  Not that I want my old movies & TV series colorized (I DON’T), but I’m just glad rich full color is how we see things these days.

Grand Central headed off to Shanghai, China.  This is actually a resend: I heard from someone whom I’d tagged in Postcrossing Forum some time ago, asking if I’d sent him the card.  I had, but I still don’t want him to miss out.  He’s a train lover, and I’d previously sent him a Skunk Train card–but I am out, and Grand Central was the closest I had to a train card.  By the way, there is a “train of lights” nearby this holiday season, all lit up, and with Santa aboard.  I’ve taken the ride 2-3 times, but honestly?  Well, look at the pics: all the joy is on the outside!  This is also why all of my holiday decoration efforts are focused on the inside of my home, where I can enjoy the fruits of my labor.
The ship shot was a Postcrossing draw, off to Riga, Latvia.  The recipient must not have written much about himself, because I went the dastardly route of talking about the weather.  I try never, ever to do that.  It’s like the saying goes: everyone’s talking about the weather, but no one’s doing anything about it.

Whoa–I’m feeling all déjà vu-y right now.  Are YOU feeling all déjà vu-y right now?

The Guggenheim Museum went to Beijing, China, thanks to a Postcard United draw. The recipient likes movies, reading, & travel–and so do I!

Barney Gumble from “The Simpsons” went to Mumbai, India, in a Postcrossing Forum tag trade.  The recipient noted that she likes this show, and I remembered that somehow I happened to have this card.  I told her that as far as I can remember, the last time I saw “The Simpsons” was when the movie came out–back in 2007! My favorite thing about that movie was how some 7-Eleven stores were turned into Kwik-E-Marts!

Big Hero 6 & the Unmanageable 8: Sent to China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Poland, Singapore, & Taiwan

I thought I’d wait to share my outgoing postcards until I had sent out a handful or so–and before I knew it, it’d become an unmanageable 8!


The “Southside with You” movie poster card went to Singapore for a swap-bot “movie/TV” postcard swap.  I picked up that card at a movie theater, and was not just pleased to have a movie postcard to share–I was also excited to see the movie!  When it came out, I did indeed go see it, and really enjoyed the entire thing.  I was happy to be able to write about the movie on this card, as this swapper, though she provides a long, long, profile, it’s not about her–but about what she wants, wants, wants.  Sigh.  Well, one thing she wanted was “vintage tickets,” and though the vintage is probably late 1990’s or later, I glued a few arcade tickets onto the card as a divider.  You can see that down below.

Another movie represented in the next card: “Big Hero 6.”  That went out to Mumbai, India, in a Postcrossing Forum Disney tag trade.

Hearst Castle is next.  It went to a castle lover in Hong Kong, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum USA-Asia tag.

By the way, I’ve started sending out more cards via Postcard United!  Astro & the Dogs are headed for Shanghai, China, to a recipient who wrote, “I prefer like: Marvel, Harry potter, Game of Thrones.”  Since I had none of that, I sent her Astro Boy, UglyDoll, Battlestar Galactica.  I’m sure she’ll like it.

The Jetoy cat is also headed out via Postcard United; it’s going to a cat lover in Bergheim-Fliesteden, Germany.  She says she doesn’t like any animals except cats & butterflies.  Oof!

She also doesn’t like to receive religious themes–the exact opposite of the Postcard Uniter I drew in Łódź, Poland, who prefers them.  Since I have none of that, I combed his profile for other possibilities.  Good News: he writes,

“JAPAN and USA: please send me card from your country (landscapes, buildings, culture etc) – I am fascinated by this.”

–I can help with that!  I pulled out the Oakland card, and told him a little bit about that city.

Matisse’s “Woman Before An Aquarium” is for a regular Postcrossing draw, and it went out to an art lover in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Finally, the tiger went to New Taipei City, Taiwan, in a Postcrossing Forum tag trade.  The recipient is a new Postcrosser, an 18-year-old high-school student, and though she provides a list of possibilities for people who really need guidance, she prefaces it with, “no special request for the postcards, they are all surprising gifts to me.”

I just love that.

Okay, have a look at some of the stamps & stuff!





The Drug Store Ice Cream Chain of Command: Sent to China, Germany, Malaysia, Russia, & South Africa


It’s time for another exchange of recycled goods via swap-bot!  The postcard hewn from a Dixie Cups box is headed for Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa.  The Pillsbury Dough Boy is going to live in Kiel, Germany, and as I lamented to the man who will end up with this card:

“…the problem with the Dough Boy’s tubes of refrigerated cookies, breads, etc., is that they all taste the same.  One bite, and, ‘oh, Pillsbury!’

The ice cream cones are actually for a Postcrossing Forum Food Package Postcard trade.  Yes, I love making postcards from boxes of…whatever. I have a whole big stack of them, just waiting to send out!  Just ask, & I’ll send you one.  Anyhow, the ice cream cones: this card is going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and it is from a box of Thrifty brand cones.  I told the card’s recipient about the whole deal with Thrifty Ice Cream:

“Thrifty was a big drug store chain, and at their ice cream counter, scoops were CHEAP!  And then Thrifty shut down, and their ice cream moved to another chain, Pay Less.  And then Pay Less shut down.  Now you would buy Thrifty Ice Cream at Rite Aid.

I ran out of room on the card to tell her this, but the last I heard, Rite Aid was looking like it was going to get swallowed up by Walgreen’s.  Too bad: I’m a CVS guy.

Stepping away from the recycling, the restaurant card in the top center is going off in a regular Postcrossing draw to a young couple in Münster, Germany.  The restaurant is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and as I told them, I don’t know how I got the card (either an unearthed family stash, or sent to me from a swap-botter), but I looked up the restaurant, and it still exists!

Next, let’s go to the funky leopard under the ice cream cones.  Off to Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with that one.  This was for a swap-bot trade called “Think Before You Send.”  My partner likes leopards–that was the first part of the thinking.  The second part was to look up details about the card, and share them.  I’ll just tell you it involved doing some research into the cards’s artist, Kazumi Yoshida, and I will let you do any leg work on that yourself, if you care.

The second (and final) regular Postcrossing draw goes to Kaliningrad, Russia, and it is the b&w pic of Radio City Music Hall.  The card’s recipient says she likes to travel, as do I, and I told her I also like going to the cinema, and that day I planned on seeing (and indeed, I did end up seeing) “A Flying Jatt.”

The California Natural Wonders map card goes out in a Postcrossing Forum trade in which we were to send the person we tagged a card from their favorites wall, and this person had actually marked a card I happen to have!  Off it went to Schiffdorf, Germany.  When I got tagged by the next person in the thread, I did not follow the link s/he provided to the card that I will be receiving from my favorites: I prefer to be surprised!

Finally, tiger goes to Shanghai, China, in a Postcrossing Forum trade to a 19-year-0ld who is interested in landmarks & scenery (those things are indeed behind the tiger, if you look).

Okay, giant stamp, stamp, sticker, & washi tape party at my place:





The Stamp I Very Nearly Tried to Eat: Received from China, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, & the U.S.



Time again to let you poke through my mail a little bit!  We start with some delicious food.

That large serving of siu mai (or a serving of large siu mai?) is from Shanghai, China, via Postcrossing Forum.  This is the same Postcrosser who recently sent me char siu bao, and this time he writes:

“This card shows Shumai also Romanized as siu mai or shaomai. Is a type of traditional Chinese dumpling served as dimsum.  I like to eat.”

Yes, siu mai & I are old friends!

More tasty food: that illustrated sorta-how-to on spring rolls.  Another Postcrossing Forum incoming, this one from Hong Kong, and the sender writes:

“This is Asia cuisine–spring rolls! Very delicious.  I love them.  🙂 Hope you enjoy this card.”

Oh, yes.  AND THE STAMPS!  Look down below & see the four great stamps from this card: 3 birds & a meal.  I especially love the two to the right: the sea eagle & the delicious nasi lemak.  That is a Malaysian dish, but as is printed on the bottom of the stamp, it is a China-Malaysia joint issue.  Very interesting!  I looked it up, and learned this:

As the Chinese saying goes, food is of paramount importance to all of us. By learning more about the food culture of a country, we can gain an appreciation of the customs and traditions of the local people. For Hong Kong’s 13th joint issue with other postal administrations, Hongkong Post and Pos Malaysia are jointly issuing a set of four stamps on local food that can be found in the two places.

These stamps showcase the unique local culinary delights that reflect the distinctive cuisines and food tastes of these two Asian neighbors, including the egg waffle and Poon Choi in Hong Kong and Nasi Lemak and satay in Malaysia. 

I’m so excited about these stamps, I might as well show them right now, so we can get on with the rest of the postcards.


Next up is the shark-surrounded kayaker, which came to me from Germany thanks to a swap-bot “ad/free card” trade.  The sender tells me,

“I found this ad postcard at our local cinema.  It says: ‘no bad surprises.’ Hope you like it!”

A different swap-bot free postcard trade brought me the suitcase, in from Chevy Chase, Maryland. This sender is better at filling out the back of the postcard than most swap-botters I encounter: she actually has a lot to say!

“I’m so glad that summer classes end just last Thursday (man, were those classes hard)!  Fitting with one of the main themes of this card, my family and I will get to travel for the part of next month to many places in eastern Canada for various reasons from reuniting with old friends, seeing the place to taking maple syrup extraction classes!”

Disney/Pixar fact about me: I loathe their movie “Cars,” but really enjoy the Disney California Adventure area Cars Land/Radiator Springs!  The movie is the point where I semi-retired from Pixar. So much more creativity went into the attraction than the movie franchise.  My enjoyment of the California Adventure land caused me to welcome this postcard from Lake Elsinore, California, sent to me in a swap-bot Disney postcard swap.  The sender writes:

“We have Disneyland passes and we really enjoy strolling through Cars Land, especially when they turn on all the neon lights in the evening.”

Finally, and still on the topic of vehicles, we have that dolly behind the wheel, sent to me from a friend in Singapore.  My friend is a real toy nut, and like me, she photographs her toys in fun situations–and sometimes even makes postcards out of those shots!

People on the Go Don’t Freeze Well: Received from China, Germany, & the U.S.

The mail carrier handed me all five of these cards at once yesterday–and look at these awesome top two!

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The bao come from Shanghai, China, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum trade.  The sender writes:

“Greetings from China.  This card shows char siu buns (dumpling with marinated pork).  It is also Cantonese cuisine.”

Love me some Cantonese cuisine!  I have made bao several times.  Hint for people on the go: they freeze well (bao, not people on the go).

I’ve had a lifelong love of the Kliban Cats, and in swoops Avery in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to enable me a little more!  Hey is that a juice box? Oooh, pineapple juice…

I also like all those little figures on the “impressure BEIJIN” card.  Another Postcrossing Forum trade, it was sent to me from someone in Harbin, China, who tells me:

“Our city is famous for ice and snow.  The winter here is beautiful.”


Then comes a bit of recycling from Kiel, Germany, another result of a swap-bot Upcycled Cardboard trade.  Those truffles sure look good.  The sender writes that he works as a teacher, and that he’s on summer break.  Do you know some schools here in the U.S., right now in August’s infancy, have already started back up?  Saddest thing ever.

Finally, another swap-bot trade, this time the “I HATE this postcard,” comes to me from Austin, Texas.  The sender writes:

“This is one of those cards I’ve had for years and can’t seem to get rid of.  It’s almost vintage!  Hope it brings you some joy.  🙂 “

I don’t mind the postcard, but I had to admit to the sender that I DO HATE the stamp:

2016-08-08 19.31.40

What a horrible life for a beast. 

The rest of the stamps (some wonderful ones here, I love the hurdling ram from China), plus postmarks, stickers, & washi tape…

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Sharing the Hate: Sent to China, Germany, Singapore, & the U.S.


Mmm, Thai food–from Thailand!  You know, no Southeast Asian person I know willingly goes to American Thai restaurants.  Oh, they love great Thai food–they just don’t believe it exists in restaurants here! In fact, a Thai cook I know told a group of people who asked about the best Thai restaurant, that she’s never been to a good one.  This is before she taught us all to cook the stuff ourselves.  This postcard came from Thailand, and it’s going to Clarksville, Tennessee, in a swap-bot trade of food postcards.

The train card is going to a train enthusiast in Shanghai, China, in a Postcrossing Forum trade.  I’ve never traveled in a sleeper train here in the U.S., but I have overseas.  Returning from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, Thailand by overnight train allowed me to see some beautiful scenery (before dark took over), and it wasn’t only a cheap way to travel: it also save me from a night’s hotel fee!

I HATE that “Seein’ things at night” card.  It came to me as a part of The Disappointassortment, of course; now it leaves me for a swap-bot “I HATE This Postcard” trade.  Yea! Off to Troy, New York, with that rubbish.

The black & white New York image goes off in another swap-bot trade, called “I don’t live here.” It goes to a swapper in Singapore, and I told her I would not want to live in NY.  To list one main reason: snow.  No, thanks.  It snows in California, but not where I live.  And if it did, well, it wouldn’t be living where I live.

Finally, a regular Postcrossing draw.  The Fairyland post office (no longer a post office) goes to someone in Norderstedt, Germany with an interest in post-related post.

Stamps, stamps, stickers, & washi tape:


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Dogs Don’t Even Have Pockets: Sent to China, Russia, Taiwan, & the U.S.

A bunch of Postcrossing Forum trades this time…


Snoopy!  The World War I Flying Ace heads for Linluo, Taiwan, in a USA-Asia tag.

Those early images of The Little Mermaid‘s Sebastian the Crab go off to Izhevsk, Russia, to someone who had that movie on her wish list of postcards.   She has since tagged me back, and since this is a “Studio Ghibli-Something from Wishlist” tag thread, I should be seeing a Ghibli card from her eventually.  I hope it’s from one of their “cute” movies!

The Skunk Train is bound for Shanghai, China!  It’s a “China Meets the World” tag, and the Postcrosser expressed an interest in railway cards.  Did you know that dogs are allowed on the Skunk Train?  They just have to have a $10 ticket.

Finally, there’s the postcard hewn from a box of Hello Panda.  It’s off to Falls Church, Virginia, fulfilling my obligations in a trade of food package postcards.  Hello Panda makes for wonderful mail art.  Also, the cookies taste good.

Stamps, stamp, sticker, & washi tape:


Japanese Stuff Sent from “Not Japan:” Received from China, Finland, & Taiwan

Wow, there’s a definite theme in the 3 cards I received in one day this week: they all depict something Japanese–and none of them were sent from Japan!


The first card was a regular Postcrossing card, the other 2 came to me through Postcrossing Forum tag threads.

The sushi card came from Shanghai, China, having traveled 6,167 miles in about 25 days.  As you can see, it passed through San Bernadino, California, on the way to me.  Stamps cover half of the writing surface of the card; you’ll see those below.

The lovely image of the Ginkakuji Temple in Kyoto, Japan was sent to me by a Postcrosser in Oulu, Finland, in a “last movie I’ve seen” tag. She recently watched…

“‘The Tourist‘ starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.  First I didn’t like it but at the end…there was a surprise.  Then I realised that this was a movie during which I had fun and never felt bad about anything.  And still it was not total b.s.  The setting took place in Venice where I intend to travel to one day!  Johnny Depp is odd, I’ve always thought so.  The movie was a mix of something really traditional…”

…and then the post office coding stripe at the bottom of the card obscured the other words.

Finally, and speaking of movies, there is the “Howl’s Moving Castle” card, which was sent to me from Taiwan.  This was a tough one.  Here is the full message from the card:

“Hello!  I’m glad that I can send you this card.  Hope you can receive soon.  The weather gets hotter in Taiwan.  How is your country weather?”

Did you notice anything missing?  Here’s my list:

  1. Sender name
  2. Sender I.D./User name
  3. Number/Identifier of trade

Some detective work was in order!  Using little more than the information that this was from Taiwan, and the postmark date, OH, and the fact that this could well have been through a Studio Ghibli tag trade, I combed through my Postcrossing Forum U2U inbox, and deduced — and I can only assume correctly — that it’s from the self-professed “young girl” in Taipei, Taiwan who tagged me in the Ghibli/Wishlist tag trade last month.  I have sent her a conditional thank-you U2U, and am awaiting a reply.

A whole lot of beautiful stamps this time, I think:


Well, I have nothing nice to say about that: Received from Belarus, China, & Taiwan


That’s Tianzhu Peak on the left, and as the caption on the back of the big card describes it, it is “one of the main peaks of Wudang Mount; elevation: 1612 meters.”  The card came to me from Shanghai, China, thanks to a Postcrosing Forum “China to Any Country” tag trade.  The sender asks me, “do you like Chinese food?  I love spicy food most.” Scroll down & have a look at all the beautiful stamps that are on the back of this card!

The other two cards this time are regular Postcrossing incomings; the one with the face came to me from Minsk, Belarus.  The sender tells me:

“I like to read, too.  I prefer paper books.  One day my friend recommended me to read some book I could not find it in the store. So I printed it and made binding.  I liked to do it very much.  Now, I do not buy books.  I’m making it myself.  🙂  Usually I read the book faster than make it.  :)”

Well, I have nothing nice to say about that.

Beautiful stamps, though, go down again & have a look!

The final card comes from Taipei, Taiwan, from a sender who writes in two languages:

“…summer is coming soon.  Here we’ll eat watermelon, ice cream, cold noodles…etc.”

Sounds lovely, I want to go join her!