Reclaiming My Time: Sent to China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Serbia, Taiwan, the U.S. & the U.K.

In my last post, I lamented how attempting to track my postcard comings & goings is claiming too much time. Thanks to some commenters on the post, and some introspection, I have begun to implement a few techniques to chip away at the time suck:

  • Going as I go: I am posting outgoing cards & info in a draft as I go–no more spending time trying to rediscover the information to post. I will be clearing all the shots on my phone & computer that I may or may not have already posted. This is huge.
  • Faster than scanning: I will use the photoscan app on my phone when it seems faster. It’s–inelegant, as you’ll notice below, but it makes things faster!
  • Keep it simple: I have begun editing my scans using PAINT! Just a simple shrink & crop. The free photo editing sites are adding more hoops that suck up time and computer space, so this has made a HUGE amount of difference.
  • –And simpler: However I scan the backs of my postcards, I am trying to do it BEFORE I write them out. This means less editing later to protect recipients’ personal info.
  • Making choices: Moving forward, when I finally make another post of received postcards, I may well leave out the ones I don’t care for so much (though I’d still show stamps I like). This has got to save a lot of time, right? We’ll play that one as we go.

Updates on this project as we go, and your input welcome. OKAY, let’s get on with the cards! When you see repeated cities down below, some may be going to the same person in that city. Sometimes. Didn’t necessarily keep track. See how well I’m doing with this project, already?

First off, there’s a food package postcard going to Ruian, Zhejiang, China. When I requested the recipient’s address, I received a response that this was to be a greeting for her friend’s 18th birthday, that the friend would like a Marvel card, and that she likes two singers no one over the age of 17 has ever heard of. Since this is a food package postcard tag, I sent her this sweet card, with the birthday greeting, and lots of stickers (which you will see, if you scroll down far enough).

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A second panel like this is going to Osaka, Japan.

Cute otters heading to Yonago, Tottori, Japan

postcard a Monterey Bay Aquarium otter mommy and baby

Morro Rock going to Taoyuan, Taiwan

postcard a Morro Bay 1

The evil queen is off to Essen, Germany. This was in a “I’m Offering” tag, and the recipient had at first selected a card I just could not find in my available cards. I apologized, and this was her second choice. It’s just as well: the first choice was a lovely view of Trinidad. This Postcrosser mentions in her profile that she would like to live in the Caribbean, so I have the feeling she doesn’t realize that the “Trinidad” emblazoned on the missing card actually refers to Trinidad, California.

postcard toon Disney Evil Queen at window

Here’s one going to Novi Sad, Serbia

postcard toon Peanuts

More Peanuts, this by request to a Postcrosser in Taichung City, Taiwan.

postcard toon Peanuts Snoopy

This pair of otters was requested by a Postcrosser in Pencoed, Bridgend, Wales:

Postcard A Sequoia Park Zoo Eureka

By request to St. Petersburg, Russia

Postcards a Women in Science Elizabeth Blackwell

The Aladdin card goes off in a Disney tag to Taichung, Taiwan.1529247783241

One of the handmade envelopes I made some time ago takes the hula Jetoy card (my last, I think) off to Novi Sad, Serbia. The recipient asked that the card be written, but in an envelope to “keep it clean,” I think were the words she used. I don’t usually stick my cards in an envelope, and the standard-sized boxed envelopes I have wouldn’t fit the card–but what the heck.1529330809791

The best thing about this Chinese vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco’s Chintatown? FREE POSTCARDS! This one goes to Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. in a food card tag.

Lucky Creation Vegetarian Restaurant SF

Hey, the Disappointmentassortment rears its head again! I repurposed some stamps accumulated via Postcrossing to salvage an ugly card received in a cheap set I purchased. This goes to Englewood, Colorado, U.S.A., to a Postcrosser who wished for collage cards.

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I drew another name in Postcard United; this card goes to a recipient in Nagoya City, Japan.

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She’s a power user: 2,610 cards sent through this service in less than 3 years of membership. She’s also one of those people: the ones who list all of their “expired cards” that have disappeared into the ether (or postal service) without being registered. What purposed does this ever serve? I think many people do it just because they see others doing so. In this case the user realizes that close to half of her 380 expired postcards were sent to inactive members. This is probably why Postcard United is now tracking how long senders go between requesting an address.

Elephant & Piggie are bound for Hong Kong, in a Postcrossing Forum trade of children’s book illustrations…

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…and California’s North Coast should land in Selangor, Malaysia, thanks to another Postcard United draw…and my very next Postcard United draw (a day later) was to Sarawak, Malaysia!

postcard toon Peanuts Mud Pies and Jelly Beans Linus Snoopy

Right after that, I clicked again & came up with Shanghai, China.postcard 338

Back to Postcrossing Forum trades, this Ben & Jerry’s map will go to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The recipient wanted food cards, and Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops are some of my favorite restaurants! Chocolate Therapy, please…

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Time to show some stamps, stickers, & washi tape. New since the last post are the USPS scratch-n-sniff Popsicle stamps (which pair well with the older ice cream stamps), and also many stickers. What do you like?Hawaii 568

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Furry, Fowl–and Foul: Received from Germany & Russia–and Russia

Three in: one from Germany (a Postcrossing Forum “USA to Any Country” trade) (in this situation, Germany being the “any country), and two from regular Postcrossing sends, BOTH from Russia!

I didn’t think that was supposed to happen–two traveling from the same country at the same time–but just days ago, I received two concurrent travelers from another company, Germany!  As I showed in my post at that time, both Russia & Germany are top participants in Postcrossing, but I wish there were either an algorythm or a membership drive to help better distribute the countries from which I receive–and to which I send–cards!

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I looove that Donald card.

Did I mention that I looove that Donald card?  It’s the Postcrossing forum trade, from a sender in Munich, Germany.

From fowl to foul, there’s the “Heavy Christmas” card from Moscow, Russia.  The sender tells me:

“From time to time I draw heavy metal cards for my friends. This year I have a surplus so I decided to participate in postcrossing.  This is my very first letter in this project.”

What a gift to the world.

Finally, from St. Petersburg, Russia, the other Postcrossing card, this one with a friendly hedgehog.  The sender has some recommended reading for me:

“Surely read books Peter Mayle.  It has many books ‘foodie travelogue.’ For example: ‘A Year in Provence,’ ‘French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew,’ ‘A Good Year.” Hope you like this books.”

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Hey, I didn’t even notice that “Little Prince” stamp until I viewed my enlarged scan!

Received from Germany & Russia

More Postcrossing activity…

postcard095Working clockwise from the left:

That little conflict came from Russia, and it traveled 5,894 miles over 27 days to get to me.  The writer tells me there is a lot of snow right now, it is very beautiful, and she hopes I can see it.  I told her, quite honestly, that I fantasize of living in the tropics.

The next card is from St. Petersburg, Russia, and took a mere 17 days to travel the 5,540 miles to my place.  I will write for you the entire message of this card:

Greetings from Russia!

Though I do love the animal stamps on the card (see below), I (as I’ve mentioned before here a time or ten) did not get into this game to collect postcards or stamps.  I do not collect postcards or stamps.  One of my favorite trades over at swap-bot is the “Recycled Postcard” swap, where you get to take a card someone else has sent you, slap a new back on it, & send it along to a new home.  What I want is a little peek into other places, other cultures, other lives.  “Greetings from Russia” leaves me cold.

OH, another thing about that particular Postcrossing user: he provides, in his profile, a long list of cards he would like to receive.  They include cards featuring “Adventure Time,” “House, M.D.,” Ken Kesey, and System of a Down.  There is one thing he makes explicit: “I don’t like postcard with your city.” And this is were I ask you to look again at the card he sent me.

Let’s move quickly on to Berlin, Germany, shall we?  That snowy card at bottom took a long trip of 33 days over 5,662 miles to get to me!  The Postcrosser wishes me a very merry christmas, and asks whether I have any special wishes for 2015.

I wish for another year of fun & frustration in the world of snail mail!

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