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.

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

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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:

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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:

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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!

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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.

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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?

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

Tiled Peanuts gang: Yokohama, Japan

Marching ducklings: Udupi, Karnataka, India

Flying crane: Neuss, Germany

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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).

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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.

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

Three more Postcrossing arrivals!

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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!

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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!

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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!

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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!

Sent to Belarus & Hong Kong

Two more of my Postcrossing cards have reached their destinations:

My card to Kiev, Ukraine made the 6,134-mile trip in 10 days; and

The card I sent to A Coruña, Spain arrived after traveling 5,473 miles in 16 days.

Now, I’ll send off two more.

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The kitty on the beach goes to Hong Kong’s Western District (Sai Wan), and the art by Coplu goes to Vitebsk, Belarus. The man in HK says he likes to travel the world, and the woman in Belarus says she likes to swim in the beautiful blue lakes in her area.  It all sounds good to me!

Sent to Germany, Spain, & Taiwan

THREE of my Postcrossing cards have reached their destinations!

My card to Hamburg, Germany arrived after 9 days and 5,523 miles;

The card I sent to Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada found its destination after going 1,030 miles in 17 days.  I have got to wonder if the recipient was on vacation when it arrived!  That is the thing about the stats–we often don’t know quite why one card takes twice as long to travel 1/5th the distance of another.

And finally, my postcard sent to Nagasaki, Japan found its way there after a trip of 10 days and 5,733 miles.

Now I get to send out three more.

postcard042Working clockwise from the top right (and the short explanation of how I made these selections is that each recipient’s profile made me think they would like the card I chose):

Tiger card goes to Taipei, Taiwan.

Famous foods of the Shilin Night Market, often considered to be the largest and most famous night market in the city: Fried chicken steak, “Small bun wrapped in large bun,” Fried buns, Peanut candy, Oyster omelet, Tempura, Lemon aiyu jelly, Pearl milk tea, Stinky tofu, & Oyster vermicelli. — Wikipedia

Morro Bay card is on its way to Dortmund, Germany.

Dortmund is known as the state of Westphalia’s “green metropolis”. Nearly half the municipal territory consists of waterways, woodland, agriculture and green spaces with spacious parks such as Westfalenpark and the Rombergpark. This contrasts with nearly a hundred years of extensive coal mining and steel milling within the city limits. — Wikipedia

COPLU card (a different one was seen here quite recently) goes to A Coruña, Spain

A Coruña is the site of the Roman Tower of Hercules, a lighthouse which has been in continuous operation since possibly the 2nd century AD. It has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is surrounded by a large public park with a golf course and a former Muslim cemetery. The lighthouse features as the main emblem of the city’s flag and coat of arms. — Wikipedia