Snoopy x 3, Mickey, & More! Received from China, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, & the US

Lots of fun stuff this time around, from postal pals, Postcrossing Forum, Postcard United, & swap-bot!  It was an amazing day last week, when I reached into my mailbox to find THREE Snoopy cards!  They’re all so great.

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This big Mickey card arrived on the same day.  He’s pretty awesome, too.  I opted to receive this card in a Postcrossing Forum “you choose” tag.  The sender lives in Germany, and she tells me:

“I’m a big Disney fan (especially of the old ‘classics’ like Beauty & the Beast, Pocahontas, & Aladdin.”

I like those movies too, but I call them modern classics, having been a grown-up by the time they came out!

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I wonder whether that deer know that Hello Kitty is not a kitty.  It’s confusing.

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Don’t miss the back of these cards!  Cindi creates a beautiful Peanuts overload–and I love that Krazy Kat stamp!

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Kitten & bird stamps!  Chipmunk sticker!

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Do you have any favorites here?  I sure do!  Well, practically all of them.

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My Quarters for a Map Card! Sent to England, Germany, Japan, Macau, Scotland, Switzerland, Taiwan, & the U.S.

A dozen outgoing cards to share this time, and lots of variety.  Make sure to check out all of the stamps, stamps, stickers, washi tape, & weather doodles at the end!

But before we end, we begin.  And we begin with some food recently detailed in another post.  This portion went out to Alamo, Texas, in a swap-bot trade of ad/food postcards.

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California’s Grapevine–a very yawny route–went to Macau, in a Postcard United draw.  I don’t remember sending to or receiving from Macau before, but that’s all changed now.  A day after I drew this user’s name, I RECEIVED a postcard from her!  This is not the 1st time that this has happened to me on Postcard United.  Do you use the site, and has this happened to you?

The California state map with the gigantic surfer went to Schiffdorf, Germany in a Postcrossing trade in which we were to send the person we tagged a card from among those they had marked as favorites.  This was my very last state map postcard!  It’s a crying shame, because for some reason, a whole lot of postcarders seem to love & collect map cards.  I even took a day trip to touristy Monterey, California, last week, in part to restock on California map cards.  I popped into SO many stores selling cards–one of them had a huge wall of cards–and I encountered ZERO map cards.  I’ll be taking an overnight trip up the coast this weekend, & see what I find.

Next set of 3!  The “Keep Surfing, Dummies” shark swam off to Lynnfield, Massachusetts, in a Postcrossing Forum trade where partners choose the card they would like from those in an album the previous tagger has posted.  Scroll down & I’m sure you’ll be able to identify the card’s backside, seriously themed with oceany stamps, stickers, washi tape–and even a lurking shark!

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The very bored-looking reader went to Glasgow, Scotland in another favorites tag.  This Postcrosser’s profile mustn’t have given me too much to work with, because I behaved like a scoundrel & wrote about the weather.  To be fair, California weather has been extraordinary lately: 101, a major state highway, was completely closed down in southern San Jose due to flooding.  Heck, animals at the city’s zoo had to be moved.

Peanuts!  That’s off to Dongshan County, Yilan, Taiwan in another Postcrossing Forum trade.  That one was all about cards going to & from that country, so I’m happy to say another Taiwanese Postcrosser will soon be sending me a card.

Next set of 3, and aren’t those otters beautiful?  Every once in a while–and a couple of times recently–a wild otter will hop up to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s great tide pool exhibit, give birth, and hang out for a day or two before hauling back out with her new pup.  This card, and several other otter cards purchased at the aquarium, ended up being the only postcards I purchased during my day trip I mentioned earlier in the post.  This card went to my post pal in Hawaii!

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Kitty in pearls went to Tokyo, Japan in yet another Postcrossing Forum tag.  Yes, I love those trades.  You should check them out, if you never have.

Another beautiful kitty, the tiger, went to Poughkeepsie, New York, for a swap-bot trade of “beachy” postcards.

The last trio of postcards here go out in a pair of Disney-related swap-bot trades.

Beauty & the Beast are on their way to to a trader in Metairie, Lousiana, who might have the most beefed-up swap-bot profile (or any profile, for that matter) that I have ever seen.  Music, books, movies, TV, plus her Hogwarts house AND plenty of writing prompts for would-be correspondents–these are just for starters!  I enjoyed her list of dislikes, perhaps most of all this section:

“misspelling (stationery includes envelopes; stationary means affixed 🙂 and poor grammar (should have; a lot; lack of commas in direct address; don’t even get me started on it’s and its or they’re, there, and their :(“

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Rapunzel’s prison should end up in Sion, Valais, Switzerland; and Snow White & friends went to Brighton, Sussex, England.

Okay, time to look at all of those backsides!  If you look closely, you will see a few changes in weather in the time I was preparing these cards.

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Okay, here comes the back of that shark card I shared…

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Oh, it was really windy when I prepared the Disney cards.  I created a new weather doodle!  Also, a few days before writing these cards, I had been to San Jose’s Japantown, where I bought a sheet of silly sushi stickers, which I used on all 3 of these cards.

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DONE!  What do you think?  What are your favorite cards/stickers/whatever this time around?  And how much do you want to bet I will never see another California map card out in the wild again?

 

 

HEY! I Dove in to Postcard United! Bahamas, Chile, Guyana, & More…

I did it!

I signed on to Postcard United!

I’ve been aware of this Postcrossing-like site for several months, but I’ve resisted up until now.  I was a little suspicious: there are a lot of misspellings on the site, and it’s less than complete, and I was unable to find much independent information about it online.  That is, until several days ago, when Melissa Rose posted Postcrossing vs Postcard United on her blog, The Anxious Canadian.  She sold me immediately, because she is using it smoothly herself, and because of her statement, “due Postcard United’s smaller user count, it is easier to receive mail from rarer countries.” Sold sold sold, sold sold! With 1 out of every 3 of my Postcrossing cards going to or coming from Russia, Germany, or the Netherlands, I’m ready for some variety!  Thank you, Melissa Rose!

I dove in.

I dove in hard: I not only signed up; I also became a supporter!  They said I could send up to 12 cards, so I decided to get to it & send all 12, a task I completed in about 3 days’ time.  Here the assigned countries are, in reverse order.  Some here I have never, ever seen in two years of Postcrossing.

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Yes, I encountered some surprises as I clicked along.  Obviously, there are not a lot of people using the service, because when I got assigned a recipient, then went through the process of reading the profile, picking a card, writing it out, etcetera–maybe puttering around the house actually getting things done in between–often times, when I clicked to get assigned my next destination, only one or two–or zero–numbers had come up in-between the one I’d previously been assigned!

Another surprise: the United States?  What?  In Postcrossing, you have to give permission.  Ah, well.  Also, I was assigned the U.S. (and another country) twice, something that does happen, but more infrequently, in Postcrossing.

Okay, the cards.  My very first assigned addressee is in Gomel, Belarus.  She likes cows, so she gets my cow card here.

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Next up: Chile!  My first card to–or from–that country.  The Cayucos beach scene goes to a 29-year-old in La Serena, Chile, who lives so near the beach that she goes about 4 times a week, after work. She loves touristy postcards, and she asks people to forgo the envelopes (“let’s not waste paper”).  And she, like me, likes having something to red when she flips over a postcard:

“Don’t know what to write? You can tell me about your day, a project you are working on, your dreams and plans, the current book you are reading or something interesting about your city or country, even a nice quote will make my day 🙂 Of course, this are just suggestions and you can write about whatever you want, but please write something on the postcard.”

My third draw brought up Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a rare but always welcome sight on that other site.  This Postcard Uniter (is that the correct way of referring to one another on this site?) has a happy-looking profile shot, and a lot to share about herself; she enjoys:

  “…listening to music, correspondence, collecting stamps and postcards, photography, creative writing, arts, cooking (the list goes on :)) I love nature and so, I love travelling, but it was the thing that I’m not able to do often. I love to learn about other culture in the world, lifestyle, food and unique traditions that colors the existence.”

I thought she would be interested & pleased to see the pair of zebras cuddling next to California’s Pacific Coast Highway.

That extreme jaguar is going not to a person, but to a country!  Georgetown, Guyana is the destination.  The nation set up a temporary Postcard United account in celebration of their Golden Jubilee–50th anniversary.  They’re hoping to get more mail between now & the end of October, and if you’d like to learn more, you can find out here.  I chose the jaguar because it’s their national animal.  I wished them a happy anniversary, and also peace & prosperity.  Not the approximate 13 lines of blahblahblah I usually fit onto a card, but it’s hard to come up with much you want to say to an entire nation (or its publicity arm).  This was very interesting; I’d say most people know exactly one thing about Guyana.

Speaking of not much to say, my next draw, sadly, was this non-uniting Uniter in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, to whom I send the sad little horse.  The entirety of her “profile” is this: “Hello! I love tourist and animal postcards!!! Postcards only please! No photos, folded greeting cards etc, ad cards etc. No religous cards! Thanks!!”

UGH.  Now, should we do her the favor of assuming the fact that she has, as I write this, been a member only 15 days, mean that she just is in the process of writing an actual profile, and she’s here for more than just the swag?  I wrote to her, in text a little larger than usual:

“Greetings from California, U.S.A.!  I’m new on Postcard United, too–a couple of weeks newer than you.  I have been on Postcrossing for a couple of years, though.  I’m not interested in collecting postcards–for me, it’s all about learning a little more about other places and people. Cheers–“

Inoffensively stated, I think.  Also, I do love getting mail.  And also, despite the fact I don’t collect postcards, I have amassed a lot that I love & plan on keeping.  But that’s not why I’ve taken to this somewhat time-consuming hobby.  Anyhow, onward… the Big Sur postcard is winding its way toward a Uniter in Schweiz, Switzerland–another rare Pokémon!  The recipient is a 43-year-old woman who enjoys photography, as well as collecting, reading, & studying books.  She says she enjoys postcards with nice views, and nice views are what Big Sur has to offer.

On to the second set of six cards, and not straying so far from Big Sur, there is the elephant seal in San Simeon.  And it goes to: Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.A.  WHAT, THE U.S.?!?  Over at Postcrossing, same-country sending is an opt-in thing, and I just assumed… well, I headed over to the FAQ, and found out this.  FINE, let’s not get hung up on this, there are so many cards to send & record…okay, the Marylander is a medical student, interested in postcards of strange animals, and she says she thinks of postcards “as a way to help other people relax at the end of a long work day, make a bad day better, or to be kind.”

Tiger goes to Nassau, Bahamas!  My first-ever postal contact with this country (and not my last, as you may have already noticed).  The recipient, says she is retired, married, and the parent of two young adults.  Lots of personality in her profile:

“I love to read, quilt, Travel and Paper Crafting. I AM A COLLECTOR OF COLLECTIONS. So I have cookbooks, pens , pencils, matchbooks, postcards, stamps, Gift cards, Business cards, Hotel room cards, Tea bags, Tea cups,teaspoons, plates, and aprons. I keep almost everything.”

Postcard themes she said she likes include Disney & fairytales, so I thought she’d be amused by the magical tiger.  She also writes:

“But will be happy with the postcard of you choosing.Currently there are only two of us from my country registered on this site, my niece and I. It has been fun each time I get her address. All the best and may each day bring you lots of postcards, smiles and happiness.”

Hold on, wait a minute: does that mean that the very next person I drew–yes, also in Nassau, Bahamas–is this person’s niece?  Here, minus her postcard wishes, is the entirety of her profile:

“Hello, I am looking forward to getting a lot of postcards.”

Ugh. And she’s been a member for about a year and a half.  I grabbed that California map–she did say she’d like map cards–and wrote:

“Greetings from California, U.S.A.!  I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, quite close to San Jose on this map.  I have just signed up for Postcard United, and am in the midst of sending out my first batch of cards.  I have been Postcrossing for 2 years, though.  I enjoy learning about other places & people.  Cheers–“

Too subtle this time; she probably won’t get it.

It’s really a joyless thing, when people leave no profile, or an “I want this, I want that” non-profile.  I’m in this for the joy.  I love sending people things, but… nevermind, let’s continue on.

Stamp Collage with Sheep went off on its way to a 39-year-old man in Wysokie, Poland who says he likes stamps. He also describes himself as wheelchair-bound & lonely, and writes:

“I would like to know postcrossing a lot of interesting and cool people, so I do not feel that I’m lonely. Thank you for all the cards from around the world that are sent to me, I’ll be thankful for everything. I am a person, quiet, a lot of people say that quickly make contact, so if you want to know me, then you can go ahead and write it down. Remember to love people because it quickly away.”

Pretty heart-breaking stuff.

Medan, Indonesia is the destination of Stamp Collage with Ice Cream, and it goes to a stamp collector who doesn’t say too much in her profile, but she does describe her city as “A CULINARY CITY NEAR LAKE TOBA.” Well, being a food traveler, that intrigued me, and I looked it up, and Wikipedia tells me:

“Medan is inhabited by many different ethnic groups, mostly Malay, Batak, Javanese, Padang, and Chinese. Malay people are the natives of the Medan area, and have deep roots in Medan. They began ruling there during the Deli empire (Kesultanan Deli) until now. The empire has many lands and property of heritage in Medan, such as Istana Maimoon, Mesjid Raya Medan, Sultan Deli Pool and many more.  The Javanese are transmigrants. Many of them were forced to move there by the government during transmigration programs.

Because of its multiculturality, Medan has wide variety of cuisine which originated from Malay, Bataknese, Chinese, Indian, Minangkabau, Javanese, Arabs, and Western cuisines.
This city is known as culinary heaven of Indonesia which prominent for its street hawkers offering a great variety of cuisine which often serves cheap local delicacies.”

Oh, you had me at “street hawkers!”  Then I found this delicious food blog entry, 10 Reasons Why Medan is Food Heaven!  Well, until I can make it there, I’ll be looking up some of these recipes!

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It was time, then, to draw the very final recipient of my First 12, and–my home country, again.  The last card goes to Newburyport, Massachusetts, U.S.A., to a man who says he likes cards that are “WEIRD! The Weirder the better.”  Also, he likes “Risque or ‘mature’ cards – pinups,” and I think this “GIRL Crossing” card covers both bases.  I ripped it out of the Klutz Press book, “The World’s Tackiest Postcards,” (published in 1987) which I found at a library book store.

Now that I’m maxed out, I just have to wait for my cards to hit their destinations–and then see the reactions, and the cards that should be coming in my direction!  Updates to come.

A sampling of the stampling follows.  Do you have a favorite stamp from those shown below?  I like all of them, but it’s the Spoonbill I love.

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Some, I assume, are good people: Sent to Finland, Switzerland, & Taiwan

3 new Postcrossing draws:

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The foggy view of California’s Big Sur is headed for Caotun, Taiwan, who says she is a high school senior, & very bad at grammar.  I don’t know if she means English grammar, or Chinese.  If she’s learning her English from the internet, she is definitely in trouble!

The beautiful tiger is on its way to a tiger lover in Helsinki, Finland. She identified herself by her astrological sign & her Myers-Briggs score, but I am sure she is a nice person, anyhow.

A Dragon Ball lover in Galgenen, Switzerland is getting that Dragon Ball card.  She is a mail carrier, so she may even deliver this card to herself!

Received from Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States

What a haul!  Five cards arrived in one day, including one of my favorite cards I’ve ever received (I’ll give you a hint: it’s Astro Boy)!

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The gnomes on the beach came to me from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in a swap-bot “alter a postcard” trade (I shared the altered card I made here a few days ago). This piece was made by the person who created the trade, and I thanked her for both the card & the trade, which was a lot of fun.  I’m going to slap a new back on this card & mail it to a friend in San Francisco, California, who for some reason loves gnomes.  Share the wealth!

Lawzy, but that Astro Boy card is awesome.  Can’t tell it from the scan, but it’s got muted colors & a matte finish.  It was the first card coming out of the mailbox to catch my eye, and for the rest of the cards–even the funny gnomes–this was an impossible act to follow!  It came to me from Tokyo, Japan in a Postcrossing Forum “Japan-world” tag thread, in which one sender comes from Japan, the next someplace else, the next Japan, the next someplace else, etc.  This is a real keeper!

The spices came to me from Switzerland via Postcrossing.  Did you know Switzerland’s country code is CH?  I had to look it up to see what that was all about.  No, it’s not short for chocolate.  The country’s official name is  Confoederatio Helvetica.  There is a story behind that, but I’m only explaining why the country code is CH.  As you might be able to tell, this is my first postcard received from Switzerland.  The sender’s message made me laugh:

“I don’t like water, sea, lake, whatever. I prefer the winter with a lot of snow. 🙂 And I like eating, but not cooking.”

I laugh because there is no way that she & I would run across each other in real life!

The dunes are in Lithuania, but the card was sent to me from Netherlands, thanks to a swap-bot “not my country” trade.  The sender tells me, “I also like vacations with water and coasts, so we often go to islands.”

Lastly, there are the dolphins, part of a swap-bot “book lovers” trade, and mailed to me from West Virginia.  The user lists some favorite books: The Rosie Project, Drowning Ruth, Wild, Half Broke Heroes, Gone Girl, Caught (by Harlan Coben),Molokaʻi, mysteries by Steve Hamilton, and We Are Liars.

Stamp party!

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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 Germany, South Korea, and the United States

Two more of my Postcrossing cards have been received–in fact, two cards I mailed on the same day were received on the same day!

My card to Munich, Germany traveled 9 days and 5,866 miles; and

my card to Lucerne, Switzerland traveled 5,835 miles in those same 9 days.

Time now to send out more cards!

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Two of my recipients are very lucky! The third gets the ghost card.

My tiger cards go out to Hamburg, Germany (Postcrossing always has you with a card out to Germany, and one to Netherlands, it seems), and to Chungnam, South Korea.  The card to South Korea is headed for an American who has been living there for two years, teaching English.  So cool!

That ghost card–picked from my big box ‘o’ old book cover postcards seen so often on this blog–is going to Sandwich, Illinois.  Yeah, you read that right.  Do you want to know what that city is named for?  Sandwhich, New Hampshire. Seriously, I looked it up.

The card is part of a swap-bot “postcards through the alphabet: G” trade, and I started to tell the recipient that I am not interested in reading about ghosts, but then I remembered the Topper books by Thorne Smith.  Funny stuff.  Have you ever read them?  Or perhaps you’ve seen the movies or TV series.

Sent to: Germany & Switzerland

Two of my Postcrossing cards have been received:

To Russia, traveling 27 days and 5,543 miles;

and to Netherlands, traveling 8 days and 5,462 miles.

Some difference in travel time, huh?  The struggles!

Now I get to mail out two new postcards, and the locations I have been assigned are Munich, Germany, and Lucerne, Switzerland.  These two people have both been specially-selected to receive–

–“The Usual!”

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Very, very lucky people!