“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.


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.


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!


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.”


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?





The Beautiful Postcard I Had to Toss Back in the Post–AND–No Red Ink, Please: Received from Japan, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan

Yes, I’ve had a “catch and release situation.  We’ll get to that momentarily or so, but first:

LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL POSTCARD!  And the beautiful one next to it!

The Tezuka Osamu crew, with Astro Boy in the center, came to me from Nara, Japan, in a Postcrossing Forum trade where senders show the cards they offer, and the recipients make a choice.  The sender wrote that her favorite here is Mitsume ga Tooru, the Three-Eyed One.


The “Taiwan Snacks” card came to me thanks to another Postcrossing Forum tag, and is from a sender in Taipei.  She wrote:

“I want to share about Chinese snacks.  Steamed bun is a traditional food.  There are various flavours in steamed buns.  At breakfast time, I often eat steamed bun and drink a cup of coffee or soy milk.  Hope you can try it.”

Have a look at the coooool stamp from the Tezuka card!


Okay, no more delay; it’s time to talk about the card I loved to see in my mailbox–but had to drop back into the system.

I was happy to see this nicely-illustrated map of Sri Lanka–I don’t think I’ve ever exchanged cards with Sri Lanka–but once I turned it over, I was confused.  The message was written in Chinese– and the address was not mine.

It’s long been a problem in this neighborhood: 1) at least a couple of the streets are numbered the same; and 2) a lot of the postal carriers are rather careless.  Apparently the carrier who spirited this into my mailbox saw a postcard & decided I was the postcard address (for it was delivered to me along with all the other cards in this post), nevermind the fact that the street written in the address field is 2 away from my own.  And so back into the system with it.


I get to drown my sorrow, though, in merienda–Filipino snacks.  It’s a card I get to keep, and it came to me from Quezon City, Phillippines, and it came to me thanks to a swap-bot trade.  Usually around now, I would share at least part of the note written on the card, and this sender shared some interesting info about when merienda is “taken,” but there was a problem: the message was written in red ink on a brown background. Now, her writing is extremely neat, but the contrast issue…I had to pick up a magnifying glass.  I bought one a couple of months ago at a dollar store, so I could better enjoy the stamps coming in on my postcards, and it saved me with this postcard.  Red ink on a white card is difficult enough, but on brown?  And in the evening… the eye strain was great.  I also notice by lack of bar codes at the bottom of the card that it had to be hand-sorted.  I’m saying colored inks are nice for coloring, but for writing?  BLACK INK, PLEASE!  If you say this is never an issue for you, congratulations & consider yourself fortunate.  End of public service message.

Recycled packaging postcard time! “Ouma” came to me from Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa, in a swap-bot exchange of “upcycled cardboard.”  The sender tells me, “we are still in summer and I can’t wait for some cooler weather.” Where I live, we are still in winter, and I can’t wait for some warmer weather!


That Fullo looks pretty good.  It was sent to me from Singapore, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag.

Time for all of the backsides.  You will see a bit of the red ink on brown, but please know that my scan not only enlarged the card; it also darkened the ink considerably.  I love these fruit & flower stamps from the Philippines & Taiwan!  All the stamps are nice, actually.



Chock Full O’ Peanuts, with a Hint of Veggie Bacon: Sent to Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, & Taiwan

Over the past couple of days, I’ve prepped cards to send off in several Postcrossing Forum trades–including the nearly-always-dormant (but currently moving) Snoopy/Peanuts thread!  And though that only accounts for one of the four trades here, there are several Peanuts lovers in the bunch.


Lucy is pounding sand on her way to Dongshan Township, Taiwan.  This user wanted senders to draw a cute picture for her, so I did, as you will see below.

Those “bacon strips” are a vegetarian product from Morningstar Farms, and something I’ve been buying & enjoying for years.  The card is on its way to Singapore for a Food Package Postcard tag, and as I told that recipient, I just used some of that bacon this week in a veggie BLT with avocado.  She’s a dalmatian lover, and you’ll notice that I tried to please her when I adorned the back side of her card.


Let’s go with Lucy, a born leader!  That’s from a series of Peanuts character cards printed for the political season.  As I told this card’s recipient, who lives in Selangor, Malaysia, I do not think Lucy would make a good President–but I can think of at least once person who would be worse.

Finally we come to the postcard that shows us the time Linus attempted to sell Violet some bogus cat toys.  That’s the one that is going off in the Snoopy/Peanuts tag, and it is going to Yokohama, Japan.

Time to show off the backsides of the cards, each one a real party!  The stamps I pre-ordered quite some time ago finally arrived this week: they are the Lunar New Year stamps, and also the seashell stamps, which I love.  I’m also a huge fan of the shore birds postcard stamps, which I’ve had for quite some time.  I’m going to have to rework my stamp math now that the Forever stamp rate has come up; my first attempt, with one Forever stamp plus two postcard stamps, runs a couple of cents over the $1.15 international rate.




I Hate Ketchup, & I Don’t Like Having to Play Catch Up: Received from Canada, China, Greece, Italy, Singapore, & the U.S.

It’s a silly thing, isn’t it?  I don’t want to have to post huge lots of postcards at a time (like the 8 here today), nor do I want to have to post too often–but I do enjoy having at least one postcard waiting for me when I check my mailbox each day!  I really just need to get over myself.

I just love the first postcard, depicting Singapore‘s Haji Lane.  I love it so much, I asked for it!  I received it in one of the Postcrossing Forum “you choose” tags in which I’ve been participating lately, where we post the cards we have available, and the person tagging us chooses which one we are to send.

I love it so much, because I’ve stood there, myself!  I took this photo:


That mural is on the side of a Mexican restaurant.  Yup, a Mexican restaurant in Singapore.  I can’t tell you how the food was, because I didn’t try it, but I sure did love the mural!



The card’s sender asks:

“Can you tell me what is your favorite food in Singapore?  I like Hainan Chicken Rice and Hokkien Prawn Mee.”

I ate an awful lot of wonderful food while I was in Singapore, but I told her that one meal that stood out as a favorite was the buah keluak at Daisy’s Dream Kitchen.  An interesting fact about buah keluak: it’s a nut, that in its natural state, contains cyanide. It must be treated before it is eated.

The card beneath the Haji Lane card is of Hainan Dongshan Ridge in China.  It comes to me via a Postcrossing Forum China Meets the World tag, and the sender writes:

“Hainan is the southwest province in our country.  It is very beautiful.  I have been there when I was 12 years old.  Maybe you can travel there when you visit China!”

Next up is the reindeer, which is the last card of 3 I received from somewhere around Hartford, Connecticut in a swap-bot trade of modified postcards.  I was pretty proud of the ones I sent out.  At first, I didn’t realize this postcard had been stamped up–and then I noticed the muddy penguins.

Let’s look at the touristy cards next.  The Greetings From Canada card is a surprise from Melissa, and the Lago di Garda is a regular Postcrossing send from Brescia, Italy.  The sender tells me about herself:

“I live near a beautiful lake.  I love painting and I am now studying the Japanese painting.  I remember a beautiful Japanese garden in San Francisco.  🙂  “


I find that “Hello from Cape May, N.J.” card very odd.  Never mind that font reflected off the water: it seems as if the entire thing were pasted together.  Do you think the bird & boat were originally in the photo?  I sure don’t.  This is from a swap-bot “postcard roulette” trade, and the sender writes:

“I saw that you like beaches so I am sending this PC.  It is one of my favorite sunset beaches.  I checked out your flickr photos and must say, I LOVE your toy photos…very creative and fun.  When I’m geocaching, I take photos of a small stuffed bear but the toys are great.”

The next card, depicting a butterfly brooch, is also from the postcard roulette trade, and came to me from New Orleans, Louisiana. What I love about this card is what is on the BACK: 2 old bird stamps & a puffy Snoopy sticker.  You’ll see all that down below.


The last card comes from Greece, & was hewn from a box of cigarettes.  It’s another swap-bot trade, this one of “upcycled cardboard,” and then sender tells me more than I ever wanted to know about cigs:

“We sell cigarettes in our shop.  These superslims came out a few years ago.  People can buy a carton or 1 pack.  In England they have 10 or 20 in a pack.  We only have 20’s.  Wishing you health, happiness & faith.”

I chuckled at that last part, about health.

Okay, time for stamps, postmarks, stickers, & washi tape.  Lots of good stuff down here.




Accio Postcards: Received from Singapore & the U.S.

I finally received a Harry Potter postcard from the Singapore Philatelic Museum!


It’s been 4 months since I drew a pic of Harry Potter on a postcard for their special exhibition, & mailed it off.  I was beginning to think they weren’t going to write back!  Perhaps they were waiting until their new Potter exhibition opened before responding, but they did send the card!  You can read the note they wrote me in the scan below.  You’ll see the museum has its very own postmark.  Cool!  Can’t wait for the next chance to correspond with them–but to be honest, this isn’t as fun as their Peanuts exhibition.  🙂

The other 2 cards are from a swap-bot “modified postcard” trade I recently entered.  The elephants came to me from Greenville, South Carolina, and the super-retro mountain card from San Antonio, Texas.  I think the latter of the two is especially well done.  Still waiting for one more on this trade, but apparently I couldn’t wait to share.

By the way, one of the trees on the mountain card fell off, and I’ve already applied it to an outgoing postcard.  It’ll be showing up again here, eventually.



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!






Six More Off into the World: Sent to Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, & the U.S.


Lucy & Schroeder are headed off to a Postcrosser in ‘s-Heer Arendskerke, Netherlands.  This sounds like a TINY place!  As Wikipedia lists it, “two circles of houses around a Protestant church, on a single main road with an obsolete village hall.”  All that, & no railway station since 1928.  The recipient says he enjoys funny cards that will bring a smile to his face, and this “HEY!!” card certainly does that for me.

The Jetoy cat is on its way to Pepinster, Belgium.I looked up Pepinster, and learns that it lies at confluence of the rivers Hoëgne and Vesdre.  Here’s a beautiful river view one might enjoy in Pepinster. What’s interesting about this Postcrossing draw, is that it’s the account of a man who’s been on the site for over 8 years, but right now is having cards sent to his daughter and her girlfriend, who are engaged to be married next June.  So I guess he is still sending out cards, and then having his daughter register the incomings?  Dunno, but I hope they enjoy this postcard!  It’s been a while since I’ve sent out any Jetoys.

Skipping around to get all the regular Postcrossing draws in at once, the monarch butterflies of Pismo Beach are destined for Reutov, Russia, which I learned is a “science town.”  The card’s recipient says she was born in Siberia, but moved to the Moscow area for school 17 years ago.  She appreciates cards that tell her about attractions she should visit if she visits the senders’ countries.  I told her there are many monarch groves along the California coast, but that the one in Pismo Beach may just be my favorite.

The beach scene is going out in a Postcrossing Forum trade, and it’s off to Singapore. In his profile, this Postcrosser said he might especially like for senders to share something unique, perhaps landscapes, from the places where they live, or from a place to which they’ve traveled (actually the topic of this specific trade).

Now, let’s talk about the recycling!  These are bot for a swap-bot trade of “upcycled cardboard,” and I love participating in these.  Hello Panda will land in Oceanside, California (isn’t the name inviting?  It’s near San Diego).  Cap’n Crunch goes to Kiel, Germany, which the Cap’n may just love, as the city is a major maritime center & home to Kiel Week, the largest sailing event in the world.  Ahoy!

OH–take a look at the stamps, washi tape, & stuff.  You may be able to tell I’ve made a recent Daiso trip.

Do you have any favorites among the cards, stamps, & tapes here?




Food & Toons Make the World Go ‘Round: Received from China, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, & the U.S.

What a spread–I love these cards!


Budda Jumped Over the Wall from Taiwan, thanks to the Postcrossing Forum “Far East to America” tag trade.  The sender writes:

“This is one of my favorite food.  I really love it, but didn’t eat it often, just when new year or some important party just have this food, I thought because it’s not so cheap.”

I’d love to stroll through that marketplace at the bottom of the card!

I guess you can’t tell from the scan, but that Snoopy card has the most amazing 3-Dish effects I think I’ve ever seen!  The action seems to be taking place on at least 7 different planes.  It’s from a post pal in Tokyo, Japan, and she tells me:

“I’m in Tokyo Skytree now.  And I write you this special postcard at Postal Museum Tokyo.  I can study history of Japanese postal like stamps, postboxes and their works.  How interesting!  After this, I’ll go up the Tokyo Skytree.  I’m excited but it would be scared.  Might as well!  I have to.”

Today I Learned there is something called the Tokyo Skytree–and that it’s the tallest tower in the world, and also the primary television & radio broadcast site for Japan’s Kantō region.  I also learned it’s home to a Pokémon store!

I love Jay Ward cartoons, so that fairy from Rocky & Bullwinkle’s Fractured Fairy Tales made me audibly gasp when I saw her card in my mailbox!  It’s a pleasant surprise from a friend in San Francisco.

WHOA–the Tezuka Osamu-ful postcard is incredible–so many of his characters, all in one scene!  It’s also from my post pal in Tokyo.

The card next to it also sports a Japanese character, but the card is from Israel, thanks to a swap-bot “think before you send” trade, in which we were to tell our partner about the image on the card.  The sender writes:

“So as you probably know, the character on the cover is No-Face from ‘Spirited Away.’  No-face is also called in Japanese ‘Kaonashi,’ meaning ‘Faceless.’  Its Japanese name is also on the cover!”

The green folk with the little durians are from a friend in Singapore who is both a toy addict & toy photographer.  What a place to sit!

Finally, one more bit of food, this time from Chongqing, China.  It’s via a Postcrossing Forum USA-Asia tag, and the sender tells me about the food:

“The postcard shows the most famous food in Chongqing, hot pot!  You can see from the pot, the middle is without pepper, it’s for people who don’t eat that hot.  And the edge is filled with pepper.”


What’s your favorite card here?

Stamps, postmarks, & stickers:



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!