22 Postcards, and Most of them Headed to Japan: Sent to China, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan, & the USA

Have you ever sent someone the exact same card twice? I have.

postcard toon Disney Evil Queen at window

It wasn’t until I’d fully addressed, stamped & decorated this evil queen card, that I’d suddenly realized I’d sent the person the same card–perhaps only a week before. This is part of a Postcrossing Forum Disney card tag, by the way, to a recipient in Shanghai, China. You can see the previous (same) card I sent her, by the way, in my recent post before this one.

The good news in realize what I’d done before I’d written the message was that I could start with an apology. Also, I promised to send her a different Disney card in a couple of days–which I did. Hence the Mickey dots here.

postcard toon Disney Museum Mickey

Another copy of the same card went to a different Postcrosser in Shanghai, in a “you choose” tag. He chose.

Coit Tower went off to České Budějovice, Czech Republic, to a recipient requesting postcards with famous places & cities in the U.S. When I worked in S.F., I used to frequently climb the hundreds of steps to get to this monument. The edifice itself wasn’t the goal–it was the beautiful, lush private gardens all the way up–a real escape from the dingy city.

Postcard457

Frisco’s Chinatown when to Taoyuan, Taiwan, in a “see my favorites & surprise me” tag. This recipient seems to like a lot of stylized, touristy cards.

The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas went to Renkum, Netherlands. That Postcrosser said she liked cards with “special buildings,” and this gateway out in the middle of nowhere leads to a really great Chinese vegetarian restaurant! So special, it’s worth the very long drive from anywhere. Okay, so there may or may not be a better one or two near me, but the remoteness, and authentic spirit–I mean, there are peacocks and deer on the grounds–make it pretty precious.

Postcard458

Bigfoot went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to someone originally from England who said he liked anything cute/weird/scary.

It’s REALLY good, sometimes, to be able to say a lot about the image on a postcard. For instance, when a Postcrosser gives you nothing to say to them personally:

“Hallo, I am looking for nice cards, as collecting postcards is one of my favourite hobbies. Preferring cards showing towns, castles, bridges or buildings, I also like cards of train stations or unusual tourist cards …. Thanks a lot and have fun”

I mean, what could I write to relate? “Hallo, I, too, am in this just for the postcards, and not the interactive element of the pastime! I enjoyed learning nothing about you from your non-profile!”

So I did find a “castle” postcard, and wrote about how what’s even better is the thousands of elephant seals down on the beach. I sent the card off to Gundremmingen, Germany.

Postcard460

I have nothing to say about pineapple-ring guy, which was requested in a tag by a Postcrosser in Köln, Germany, so I think I wrote something about my weekend. I really need to consistently photograph the backs of my outgoing cards.

Postcard462

Next we’ve got a couple of cards for coloring, sold by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The first card depicts the museum itself; I don’t recognize the bridge in the second card, but it’s the flowers I like. The cards go to postcard pals in Hawaii and Japan.

Postcard465

Mushu from Mulan goes to Crewkerne, Somerset, England, in a regular Postcrossing draw. The recipient is a young French person teaching her language at a prep school, and she likes Disney, sushi, and turtles. Based on that information, I’m sure you will be able to identify the card’s backside below.

Postcard468

This California map was requested by a new Postcrosser in Taipei, Taiwan, outside of any assignment or trade. She had seen me post my stash in an “offers” thread, saw one she liked, then taken a look at my favorites & discovered she had a couple of them. This card is on its way, and I am trusting there is one from her heading my way, too!

postcard a map 5a

The next postcard is cut from a food package, and it’s off to Osaka, Japan! Hodo Soy is based in Hayward, California (in the SF Bay Area), and is sold in local Asian supermarkets. I’ve had the tofu veggie burgers a couple of times, and really enjoyed them.

Postcard472

It’s a good thing Franklin & Linus are getting along, because they’ve got a long trip ahead: off they go to Kobeshi, Hyogoken, Japan.

Thanks to a USPS catalog I got in the mail, I learned that they are selling books of postcards to go with their Disney Villains stamps! Yes, I snapped some right up. Here goes the first round: Maleficent to Tokyo, Japan; Snow White’s Mommy Dearest to Shenzhen, Guangdong, China; and Cap’n Hook to Tomiya, Miyagi, Japan.

Postcard471Postcard470

Okay, that all might’ve been a bit too exciting, so I’ll bring down the room a bit before moving on to part two of the post. These last two cards are regular Postcrossing draws, and are going to Barcelona, Spain; and Climbach, France.

Postcard476

Okay, time for the backsides! Stamps, stickers, & washi tape. See if you can spot Snoopy looking rather guilty.

Postcard477

 

Postcard463

Postcard461Postcard459Postcard456

Postcard464Postcard466

Postcard467

Postcard469

Postcard473Postcard474Postcard475

Advertisements

Of Local Connections, Banana Stickers, & “Lifestyle Bloggers:” Received from China, Japan, Russia, Serbia, Spain, & the U.S.

This beautiful flower postcard was sent to me from Japan, and it wasn’t originally meant as a postcard! The sender explains:

This card is famous souvenir cookie’s box from Hokkaido–the northernmost prefecture in Japan.

postcard 382

The onions are an actual postcard, rather than from a box of souvenir onions or something. The card was sent to me from Kaluga, Russia, by a sender who writes that her town is not far from Moscow, and:

We are proud of Cosmonautics State Museum. I love art, puzzles, psychology.

The child-on-cattle card came from China, and the sender explains:

This kind of painting is called shuimo, an old traditional kind. There’s a kid riding on the back of a cattle, farm cattle. Guess you know the importance of cattles to ancient Chinese people. Also, there’s a poem written in ancient Chinese characters. The poem dated from 2500 years ago.

postcard 383

The Indian Court card came to me from Wisconsin via Postcard United–Postcard United does that thing, pairing a person with someone from their own country. It also does stuff like this:

Postcard United

That is correct: as of the moment I am writing this, I have received 36 more postcards than I have mailed out. This embarrassment of riches points out the fact that other people out there are getting screwed over.

One more thing of note about that card: the man who sent it decorated it with a couple of banana stickers. Scroll down, you’ll see.

This sketchy little village is also from the U.S., but via a swap-bot trade. The sender, who lives somewhere near San Diego, is just the first person in this post who spent some time living not far from me:

Hello! I grew up in Hayward, lived there until I was 20. Not too far from you. 🙂

postcard 384

The Japan card came from somewhere in–guess what country–via Postcard United. The sender tells me she, too, lived quite close to me for a time:

I spent a year in Oakland, CA as an exchange students & almost every weekend I visited S.F by myself. It was about 30 years ago (!!) But still I ❤ Bay Area and I’m so happy to write to you. My host mother used to work your place as a teacher.

Speaking of true callings, and professions of high purpose & service to humanity, this next card came to me from a self-professed “full-time lifestyle blogger.”

She lives in Belgrade, Serbia, and took time out from her busy schedule to tell me about the card:

You can see “the face” of the Statue of Victory, one of the most known sights in Belgrade. It’s the symbol of our city. You can Google it and see what it looks like in nature. Hope this will help you find out more about our country.

postcard 381

The card next to the last one looks like death, and it was sent to me from Spain, in a Postcrossing Forum “last movie I’ve seen” thread. She tells me about “My Life as a Zucchini:”

…a French animation film for adults that is just one hour long but the impression it makes lasts for a lifetime. I was deeply moved by it and cried buckets. So if you have not seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

I want to see “Coco,” but I’m not sure if they’ve removed the 21 offensive opening minutes I keep hearing so much about. I would have to adjust my arrival time.

This headphone-wearing letter C is from a Postcrosser in Xinyu, Jiangxi, China. He had a standard message translated into English and printed on a rubber stamp, as you’ll see toward the bottom of this post.

postcard 385

I end with the “NORMAL” postcard, which I may or may not have shared many moons ago–but it’s not marked as having been logged, so there we have it. This was received from Bonnie Jeanne

This was from Bonnie Jeanne of Postally Yours, who had an “orphaned postcard project” in which she logged the postcards in her personal collection, and people like me would “claim” a card to which they had a personal connection (a place they were from, a favorite place to visit, etc.). She would send us the card in an envelope, and we would write on it, about the card/place, and send it back to her. Her website would share those stories. I participated twice, and really had fun with it. It seems she has moved on to other things. I wish her all the best.

Stamps & stamps & stickers follow. I especially loved this one stamp from Japan, so I made sure to show an enlargement (for my own enjoyment, if for no one else’s).

postcard 387apostcard 388postcard 387postcard 386

Toons & Travelogues: Sent to China, Malaysia, Spain, & the U.S.

First, a couple of Postcrossing Forum sends!  I saw the Tom & Jerry card in the favorites of a ‘crosser in Madrid, Spain, so off this goes.

postcard139

The Giant Pacific Octopus card went off in a Marine Life & Sea Creatures tag, to a recipient in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

postcard a Pismo Beach butterflies

Butterflies!  There are a lot of monarch butterfly groves along the California coast, resting places where these guys stop on their winter trip to Mexico.  The one in Pismo Beach is my favorite, because it’s super-concentrated: a lot of butterflies, quite close–and docents there to provide binoculars & telescopes!  Check it out.  This one headed out in a regular Postcrossing draw, and will end up with a high schooler in Quzhou, Zhejiang, China.  She really wanted to know good places to visit, so I told her to seek out butterfly groves.

Speaking of beautiful places to visit in California, we have these two scenes from the northern coast:

postcard138

The cards went out to Lacey, Washington & DeFuniak Springs, Florida, for a swap-bot “The Book I’m Reading Right Now” trade.  The book I’m reading right now:

Saving a sexier island-neil cover (Final).indd

Saving a Sexier Island, by Neil Humphreys.  It kept me busy on a couple of long flights lately!  Actually, I have since misplaced the book.  One sure way to find it: buy a new copy!  Speaking of losing nice things, in this book, Humphreys–English born & raised, but living in Singapore for many years now–explores some of the overlooked & threatened treasures in his adoptive home, and humorously sings their praises.  I recommend his series of “sexy island” books, I’ve learned a lot & laughed a lot!

Okay, check out those backsides now!

postcard141

postcard140

 

Sent to China, England, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Spain, & Taiwan (Part 2)

Last time, I ended up just showing off the backsides of these eleven postcards I’ve sent out recently.  Time to flip them all over!  Most of these went out in Postcrossing Forum tag trades–if anything else is the case here, I’ll make note of it.

These three presidential Peanuts characters went out into the world along with my recommendation that each of them would have been a reasonable choice for my nation’s top office.  The worst I could say was that Pig-Pen may be dirty–but he’s certainly not the kind of dirty we are becoming used to!  That candidate went out to Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, and Charlie Brown (“He is kind & fair to everyone,” I wrote) went to Tokyo, Japan. The third candidate, Franklin (“Oh, how I wish Franklin had run! He’s such a good guy, who studies hard & is always fair”) went to my Peanuts-crazy postpal in Peacehaven, East Sussex, England.

2017-02-08-08-44-01-aaa

Peanuts 2020.  Because we’ve proven we’re not against cartoon characters holding office.

Okay, now that we’ve seen the would-have-been candidates, let’s rush through the rest of the cards, four at a time.  Which are your favorites, this time?

2017-02-12-11-21-10-aaa

The Met Museum: Sevilla, Spain (Postcard United draw)

Tiled Peanuts gang: Yokohama, Japan

Marching ducklings: Udupi, Karnataka, India

Flying crane: Neuss, Germany

2017-02-10-13-05-13-aaa

Monterey Bay Aquarium octopus: Shenyang, Liaoning, China

Pismo Beach butterflies: Selangor, Malaysia (Postcrossing draw)

Matisse-Still Life with Pomegranates: Kaohsiung, Taiwan (Postcrossing draw)

Matisse-The Divan: Weifang, Shandong, China (Postcard United draw)

“Hey, What Do You Want from Me? I Don’t Know You!” Received from Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, & Spain

Bert & Ernie! Bert & Ernie!  Bert & Ernie!  Hey, I got a Sesame Street postcard!

Yes, a handful of cards received in one day, and it’s the Sesame Street card that has me doing the happy dance (though I really do like the crashing surf one shown right next to it here).

POSTCARD638c

My Muppet friends came to me from a Postcrosser in Haelen, The Netherlands (12 days/5,542 miles traveled).  Not much of a message here, but it does intrigue me: “hello, a postcard from our national cartoons ‘Bert and Ernie.'”  What?  Does she think that B&E are Netherlands creations (heck, does she think they are cartoons)? This pair, plus Elmo, Big Bird & company, are global imperialists–and they were born right here in the U.S. of A., da**it! But it’s in the Nethers that they got their own stamps.  But WAIT: news to me, but there was a Sesame Street stamp in the U.S., too!

Moving along to the beautiful splashing surf, which came to me from a Postcrosser in Łańcut, Poland (21 days/6,002 miles traveled).  The sender tells me this card depicts the Baltic Sea, and she also tells me she enjoys living in southeastern Poland:

“My city isn’t big but I like living here.  We have a beautiful park and a historical museum-castle here.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to watch NBA games (you know, different time zones).”

The drawing–and the packed beach next to it–came to me thanks to a Postcrosser in Ciudad Real, Spain (8 days, 5,847 miles).  The sender gives me a lesson in Andalsian Rock:

“The origin of this music is very curious.  In the 7o’s Spain was a bad musically country.  American soldiers had military bases in some cities like Sevilla and Cádiz.  There, young people exchanging music and met the hippie movement.  Then the influences of Janis Joplin or Hendrix mixed with the Spanish folk music and a new psychedelic rock emerged.”

 

Finally, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum “USA to Any Country” tag, there’s the “De Oude Markt” postcard.  The sender lives near Seraing, Belgium–but not for long:

“…this summer we will be moving back to France… I have been in Belgium for 9 years and loved it.  Belgian people are really kind, they love to have fun, drink beer, and party!  They easily speak to people they don’t know, that is what surprised me the most when I arrived.  I was like ‘hey what do you want from me, I don’t know you.’ :-/  I will miss my life here but I am very happy to move to a quieter place, in the French countryside, in a house with a garden and see the horses when I get up.  I can’t wait!”

Stamps, postmarks, sticker, washi tape: it’s interesting, but the postcard from Poland (the one with the beautiful crashing surf painting) somehow arrived in my mailbox with no sign of a stamp or postmark!  How do these things happen?  I asked the sender whether she knew, but no reply as of this posting.

POSTCARD637

°Dentalsmile°?!?!? Received from Belgium, Czech Republic, & Spain

Three more Postcrossing arrivals!

Postcard361

That happy li’l toon is Večerníček, or “Little Eveninger,” and he came to me from Brno, Czech Republic. The senders who share this Postcrossing account tell me that the character “is on Czech national TV channel every day to introduce short evening story for kids.  He is 50 years old.”

The mitten is from Aarschot, Belgium, and it came to me in an envelope, because the sender wrote so much (and in a very tight hand) that it filled the entire back of the postcard–yes, address-side, too–and another postcard-sized sheet of paper she taped to the bottom.  It was quite the read: I get the impression she is quite young, because she uses a lot of internet-type asides after nearly every sentence.  The difference, though, is that instead of inanities like “LOL,” she writes, well, quite a variety of things, including the somewhat-common °laugh° (these odd little circles are all hers) and °smile° , to the more rare °blush° and °sparkle° (whatever that is), to the off-the-charts what-the-heck, often-repeated throughout her missive:  °dentalsmile°.  EEK!  What is THAT?!?  I assume it must mean something along the lines of “toothy grin,” but it just sends shivers up & down my spine.

–just give me a second to shake that off, & finish up here–

The Madrid postcard comes from Madrid, Spain, from a sender who says, “I love to travel, to watch movies and TV shows.  I love reading and animals.  I have one guinea pig but soon I’ll have another one, they like company.”

Stamps!

Postcard362

 

 

Oh, the GAUL! Received from Australia, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain

Mostly Postcrossing here, with a bit of Postcrossing Forum & swap-bot… Oh, who cares about the postcards–let’s skip straight to these stamps!

postcard324

Not sure what I think of that ink-stamp impression in the lower-right quadrant: “Thank you Mr. Postman; have a nice day.” First, maybe it’s Ms. Postperson; and second, to be able to notice this enough to read it, s/he is clearly ignoring polite society’s rule about minding one’s own business. How about a version that says, “Hey Mister or Miz Post Person: if you can read this, get your attention back to the address!”

The upper right, the upper right!  What a cool Asterix stamp!  Now, there is another guy with unfortunate facial hair on the bottom row, but I am not so impressed with that one. I think all of the stamps from Australia are wonderful, too.

So, three of these cards are from Russia, two from Germany, and then one each from Australia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.  Not that these even all arrived in the same month, but today is clearly Eastern Europe Day.  And also Spain.  Plus Australia, which isn’t even close to Europe, but does have its certain ties.

Okay, here are the front sides…

2015-10-04 17.35.28

Received from Indonesia, Netherlands, Spain, and the United States

Four in a day…all are Postcrossing, but for the bit of packaging you see, which is swap-bot.

postcard166c

On my favorite card of the batch, those beautiful foods came to me from Semarang, Indonesia, marking my very first card from that country.  The sender tells me some tales of the local foods:

“Many foods here are influenced by the Chinese who came here around the 15th or 16th Century.  Lumpia…is a kind of spring roll with minced bamboo shoot as its filling…a husband and wife who invented lumpia once were rivals who sold their typical lumpia.  The husband was Chinese, while the wife was local Javanese.  People here love to eat quail eggs.  It’s so delicious, though it has 3640 mg of cholesterol.”

Moving from delicious foods on to coffee & tea, that Folger’s panel, another swap-bot “chunk of cardboard” acquisition, came my way from Florida.  The sender tells me, “I love a good cup of coffee in the morning, nothing gets me smiling better.”

Back to Postcrossing, and some tea & sweets to go with that coffee, comes that note card from Didam, Netherlands. The sender made use of all the extra writing surface by telling me a lot about herself, such as the fact she bakes almost every week, and she shares her favorite quote(no idea whose it is):

“Kindness makes you the most beautiful person in the world, no matter what you look like.”

Finally, from A Coruña, Spain, comes the pendant.  Knowing I’m a lover of the coast, the sender tells me, “I love beaches.  In Coruña, there are a lot of beaches and I like all of them.  In summer I’ll go to all of them because they are so special.  In winter, I usually go to walk on the beach.”

Stamps…

postcard165

I really like the stamp from Indonesia. I wish I were there right now, enjoying these beautiful flowers in person!

Received from Hong Kong, Spain, and the United States

After a week of just about nothing, I received three postcards in one day!

postcard160

That cute one on the left came from a Postcrosser in Hong Kong–and in all the months I’ve been on Postcrossing (coming up on 7, I think), this is only the second Doraemon card I’ve received!  The first one, which was from Taiwan, is here.  The new card traveled 10 days & 6,925 miles to get to me from HK, from a young sender who tells me she loves “reading, drawing and eating delicacies like chocolates…”

The sunset view came to me from Madrid, Spain (in a trip of 5,786 miles over 24 days), from a beach-loving Postcrosser who has a dog named Janis, because she & her family love Janis Joplin music.

The card with the cartoon nuns comes from Switzerland, but not directly.  It is part of a swap-bot “not my country” trade, and the sender of the card (who acquired it from a pen-pal), actually lives in Colorado, U.S.A.  She notes that, like me, she loves listening to Public Radio.  Speaking of which, as I started to log all of this, I was attempting to drink coffee while also listening to Dame Edna being interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition.  A very dangerous thing to attempt!

Stamps and stuff:

postcard161

I love that Year of the Ram stamp from HK.

Sent to Finland, Germany, Malaysia, Spain, and the U.S.A.

A busy postcard day, with cards flying off for both Postcrossing & swap-bot.

postcard119co

I made that Oreo postcard from a box of you-know-what; it’s for a swap-bot “create a postcard” trade, & it’s headed for Everett, Washington.  I’m a little concerned.  The person assigned to me as the recipient is very specific that she hates everything I love in life:

“…I’m really not a fan of cutesy, cartooney or animated things…I have very few dislikes…anime/kawaii/sanrio/cartoon themes, stickers…”

Just about everything–okay, absolutely everything–that inspires me to go crazy with a glue stick is cartoony in nature; even when I dress up a simple package, as I normally would have with this Oreo panel, it is with something cutesy & cartoony.  You may have seen my past efforts on this blog:

postcard099postcard26

postcard24 postcard7

So like I was saying, this lady makes me sad.  I picture her in her home crafting studio, with lace, flowers, rusted metal & a soldering iron, picking up my charming Oreo postcard, & rushing to swap-bot to give me a poor rating.  Ohhh, those swap-bot ratings & the terror they bring to peoples’ hearts.  Are you a swap-botter?  Do you know the terror of which I speak?

Onward…

The next two cards, both images of Italy, are for a different swap-bot trade, one called “not my country, not your country.”  The first goes to Redlands, California; the second to Muar, Johor, Malaysia.  Speaking of Italy & Malaysia: some people dream of going & eating pasta in Italy; you know where I want to go & gorge on noodles?  Malaysia. And that’s what I told the recipient of that card.

Not far from Malaysia is Thailand, a country where I was eating noodles just a couple of weeks ago.  I picked up some postcards there, including the Chiang Mai one above that I just sent off to a Postcrossing match in Heinola, Finland.  Her profile mentioned loving travel, so I thought she might enjoy this..

OH, time for another problem case!  Now, I am sure most people on Postcrossing are, like me, delightful people, but every once in a while, you run across someone who seems to care about nothing more than the specific postcards they expect to receive–nay, demand to receive. Take this user in Barcelona, Spainpor favor! Now, knowing that Postcrossing community guidelines state, “You can not make demands for specific postcards,” read this user’s profile:

“The postcards that I want in my collection are from cities (monuments, things that are in your city as beaches, mountains, and things that are in your city).  No old blank postcards in black please. Or anything other than cities.  I do not like other post, I do not post advertising or handmade. “

That’s it.  Postcrossing can be a wonderful way to learn about other people, other places, other cultures–but all I learned about this person was her postcard demands.  I feel like an unappreciated Santa Claus.  I have been assigned such a profile in the past, & it made me feel sad then, too–I even checked whether the site offered reassignments or waivers.  Anyhow, I  sent this user the card with all of the views of California, and I felt sad sending her something so nice.

Finally, back to the delightful people!  One of whom lives in Witten, Germany, and she says she loves books and animals.  That prompted me to dig back into my long-neglected big box-o-book-cover postcards, where I found this cover of The Hundred and One Dalmatians.  I told my fellow Postcrosser a dog story: how I took mine to the beach yesterday.

Sorry I didn’t have much to say today, it was a really uneventful postcard day.  I’d like to hear about your so-called uneventful postcard days & swapping frustrations, too!  Share!