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.

postcard168

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!

postcard126

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.

postcard129

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!”

postcard170

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!!!”

postcard171

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.

postcard131a

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?

postcard172

postcard169

postcard132

postcard130

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)!

postcard127

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.

postcard155

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.

postcard156

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.

postcard a movie Wedding Plan

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.

postcard164

The scene from Hearst Castle goes to a castle lover in Minsk, Belarus; and the tiger should be landing in Yaroslavl, Russia.

John cards TIGER 2

Time for a look at some of the back sides: Stamps!  Stickers!  Washi tape!

postcard157

postcard158

postcard163

It’s All About Having Something to Read When You Flip Over that Card: Received from China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Russia, South Africa, & the U.S.

From somewhere in the U.S.: I love this Ghostbusters postcard, torn from a toy box for a swap-bot “up-cycled cardboard” trade.  I opposite-of-love the lack of a message; all the sender wrote was “I hope you enjoy my postcard!  HAVE A GREAT DAY!” This is a postcard with a story, and I wish the sender had told a bit of that.

postcard056

From Japan: Hey, those look like Bugles!  Bugles, the snack–have you had them?  I can’t remember the last time I have, but this makes me want some.  Anyhow, the card came to me via a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag, and the sender writes:

“This is one of my favorite snacks.  It’s made of corn.  I like its crisp texture.  You can see ‘TONGARI CORN’ at the bottom of the card.  ‘TONGARI’ means cone.  So, the name of the snack is ‘Cone Corn!’  It is simple and funny, isn’t it?! =)”

See how exceptionally easy it is to come up with something to say on a postcard created from a package?

From Russia: (from the same tag) That yellow panel from a cereal box, if you turned it over, you would see the sender wrote so much that there was almost no room to include my mailing address, which was jammed down into the lower-right corner of the card.  Here’s just a little bit of the message:

“I adore the packaging of products and my room is full of these things.  I have nowhere to put them, but I can’t throw out another box or jar.  It seems this is a disease!  This packaging is from a cereal called ‘Rye Balls.’  I bought these balls when I first went to the fair in my town last December.  They help me out when I have no time to cook breakfast.  Do you like graphic novels?  ‘Blacksad‘ by Juan Diaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido conquered my heart.  I had to read on the internet, but at the end of 2015, it was published in Russian.  I was so glad!”

That was only about half of the message.  You know, it’s all about having something to read when you flip over that card.

From Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa: That ice cream bar looks pretty good–though I would choose one with chocolate ice cream! The sender tells me about it:

“We absolutely love the Choc Pie ice cream.  Mind you, I love any ice cream.  I even eat ice cream in the winter.”

Well, winter is THE best time to eat ice cream!  After all, it’s loaded with fat, to warm you up.

postcard057

I especially like this next set of 3 postcards.  This structure is artistic & gorgeous.  It’s from China, and the sender tells me it’s a “traditional house…but most of them are become tourist places.”

postcard058

From the Netherlands, the reading man:

“I chose this card because I liked the image of this man.  He has obviously read so much that the letters come off of the pages.  I love to read!  Mostly sci-fi and fantasy.  Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors.”

Terry Pratchett is wonderful!  I’m overdue to read another of his books.

Oh, look at those fierce piranhas.  The sender is in North Carolina, and tells me:

“I visited Myrtle Beach last summer.  The aquarium was unique.  My favorite part was the jellyfish section.  They changed colors.  The alligator adventure animal park was awesome, too.  We also got our picture taken with two tigers and a monkey…”

Okay, that doesn’t sound like conservation.

From Germany, pancakes.  This Postcrosser writes:

“…I love cooking, baking, and good food.  The word on the front of the card means “enjoy!’  My favorites are Spanish, Italian, and Japanese food, and of course, the German food made by my mother.”

postcard059

From Russia: the snow scene is from a brand-new Postcrosser–he tells me this is his first card!  And other than that, a great expanse of snowy-white space surrounding his bit of a message.  I hope he will learn.  It’s the folks who have been Postcrossing or bot-swapping for years, and still can’t manage a message, who make me wonder.

I love that huge fish art installation on the bottom row of the Belfast card.  This came to me from Ireland, of course, and the sender tells me this is where he spent “the holidays.”

Okay, it’s finally time to look at the stamps.  There’s a sideways stamp, from China, showing some flying cranes.  Very nice.

postcard060

postcard061

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.

postcard955

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!

postcard957

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.

postcard956

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!

postcard954

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.

postcard958

postcard959

I See I’ve Left Several Comments on My Blog: Received from Germany, Indonesia, South Africa, & the U.S.

I just grabbed a bunch of cards at random, ones I’ve had for a while, but apparently have not logged before.  They’re not too interesting, so I photographed them a bit differently than usual, just to spice things up.

2016-10-01-20-18-57

Those toys have waited MONTHS for their moment in the spotlight.

On the left-hand side, we have a couple of pieces of recycling.  The “Fisherman’s Friend” box panel was sent to me from someplace in Germany, thanks to a swap-bot trade.  The sender writes:

“Do you like the mint??!  From time to time they are nice, but sometimes they are too strong.”

When I told her that I had heard the name of the product, but was not aware that it was some kind of mint/candy, she expressed surprise.  I mean, it could be anything, right?  A net, rubber boots, intense skin repair lotion…

Look below for the stamps from this card, helpfully annotated by the sender.

The Ouma panel is from a product called “rusks.”  I had to look that up.  And it’s been some time, and I don’t remember, so I’ll look it up again now…

Okay, Wikipedia tells me “a rusk is a hard, dry biscuit or a twice-baked bread. It is sometimes used as a baby teething food.”  Yum!  The sender, a swap-botter in Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa, tells me:

“Ouma is Afrikaans for Grandmother.  We all love these rusks.”  

I think my favorite card this time is the one at top middle: Hotel Preanger (this word means, I am quite positive, “Before Anger”).  I received it through a Postcrossing Forum tag trade, and it’s from a 15-year-old boy in Indonesia.  Reading the message, I feel as if I’ve shared it here before, but I didn’t make any such notation on the card.  These cards are all old, and bear no notation of having previously been recorded here, so who knows.  I know I don’t read this blog!

Okay, that’s not true.  I see I’ve left several comments.

Anyhow, the sender writes:

“I’m new to Postcrossing and I’m enjoying this activity so much.  This activity of course will help me improve my English skill.  Oh yes.  A little info about this postcard pic.  This hotel, Preanger Hotel’ is a luxury hotel for high-class people.  The luxury renowned since Dutch-East Indies Colonial era and still hold its status as the most luxury hotel of its era.”

It’s a pretty fair bet that when I finally make my way to Indonesia, I’ll be staying elsewhere!

The lady who fell asleep reading was another swap-bot trade, this one sent to me from Atlanta, Georgia.  The topic was “what are you reading,” and the sender told me:

“I’m currently reading Criminal by Karin Slaughter.  She’s from Atlanta, which is where I live, so it makes for an extra special read.  She has a great way of building suspense in her books.  I truly love her writing.”

That card at top right, I’m not sure if I put it up at the correct orientation.  It was sent to me from somewhere around San Diego, California, part of a swap-bot “I HATE this Postcard” trade.  Here’s how the sender feels:

“I just don’t get modern art.  I just don’t get it.  🙂  I think this is hideous–but I’m sure other people really like it.  Maybe you do too?”

Nope.

Finally, at bottom right, comes my one regular Postcrossing incoming this time around.  It’s from Stelle an der Saale, Germany.  This man writes:

“I’m from lovely East Germany.  This postcard is about a united Europe in solidarity and democracy–and young people caring about that in my beloved city.  We need facebooklikes 🙂 !”

I apologize to you (but mostly me) if I’ve previously shared any of these cards before.  I can promise you it won’t happen again–but I won’t say why that is.

Oh, yeah!  Have a look at the stamp & sticker highlights!  What do you think of these?

2016-10-01-20-30-38

2016-10-01-20-29-40

2016-10-01-20-30-11

 

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

postcard709a

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:

postcard705

postcard708a

postcard707apostcard703a

 

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.

2016-08-02 11.11.01

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!

2016-08-02 18.18.53

 

Such a Busy Backside: Received from South Africa

Somebody sent me her recycling!

Postcard387

–Just as she was supposed to!  It’s another “chunk of cardboard” trade via swap-bot, & this one came from Brakpan, Gauteng, South Africa.  Really cool to see her country’s Rice Krispies packaging.  I’m pretty sure that’s somewhat different than the character & box design we have here in the U.S.  Yes, I am entertained by that sort of thing, and yes, I DO walk the supermarket aisles when traveling abroad!

There is so much going on, on the flip side of the card, I had to share!  Love the stamps, most especially the fish.

Postcard386

 

 

I should just split the difference & live on the equator: Received from Finland, Germany, & South Africa

Three cards in through Postcrossing!

Postcard377

That onager came from Neukirchen bei Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Germany.  The sender likes that my Postcrossing profile is a profile, rather than a “I want” list:

“I’m happy to write to someone who is not just making commands about the stamp, layout, or something else.” 

Amen, sister.

The smiling children were sent to me from Brits, South Africa, and four beautiful words she wrote are making me feel very jealous:

“It is summer now.”

Sigh.

The images from Nurmes, Finland, come from a Postcrosser in Oulainen, Finland, and as jealous as I am of my correspondent in South Africa, I feel the opposite way toward this guy:

“We have 5 cm. of snow right now…”

Brr.  No snow for me!

Stamps, stickers, & postmarks:

Postcard378

I like all 3 stamps, perhaps especially the top 2!

Donuts are Bad Breakfast Food: Sent to Brazil, Netherlands, & South Africa

Time to send out the recycling again!  It’s another swap-bot “Chunk-O-Cardboard” trade.

Postcard374

This time, all of my postcards were fashioned from a single cereal box, Cap’n Crunch Donut Crunch.  When I saw it at the store, I decided I had to try it.  I don’t know why; maybe I was subconsciously thinking about what cool postcards the box would make.  As for the stuff inside?  TOOOOO SWEEET!  Nobody who tried it could work with it; I ended up dumping it out–probably the best-possible solution.

These lovely cards are already off in the mail, heading to swappers in:

Porto Seguro, Brazil

Heerlen, Netherlands

Brakpan, Gauteng, South Africa

A sampling of the stamps I used:

2015-12-03 07.47.46a