Hey Postcard Designers: Leave Room for Stamps! Sent to Austria, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, & the U.S.

We’ll get to the “room for stamps” bit shortly, but first: 17 postcard sends represented this time, so let’s get to it!

I clicked on “send a postcard” on Postcard United! This California map is bound for Longhua, Shenzhen, China. A second click sends another copy of the card to a map lover in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.

California Map Greetings from the Golden State w mermaid sea lion orca

Another click on Postcard United sends this card to a map lover in JiangSu, China.

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The Queen of Hearts is going to Foshan, Guangdong, China

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Ursula is off to Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan.

Pig Pen–the dirty candidate who is in fact innocent–is going out by request to Taichung City, Taiwan.

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Another card going off by request: this view from Hilo, Hawaii’s Merrie Monarch Festival is destined for a Postcrosser in Yonago, Tottori, Japan.

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Whoa… Lucy & her balloon are off to a rare county for Postcrossing:  this is on its way to Melben, Austria.

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Still more Peanuts: this one is going to Hong Kong.postcard toon Peanuts Snoopy

This octopus is attacking the San Diego Central Library. One thing to know if you are a postcard lover: the Friends of the Library store here is a great place to go postcard shopping! I sent this one out to a post pal in Hawaii.

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Another copy of the card is going out in a Postcrossing Forum library tag to a recipient in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. Sadly, the design of the card’s back does not leave much room for anything larger than the smallest of domestic first-class stamps. No room for a larger stamp (like our round international stamps, among any number of others); no room for multiple stamps; no room for the postmark, which so often obscures a sizable chunk of real estate on the back of a postcard.  It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if the people designing the address side of cards were also people who send & receive postcards, themselves.

I recently popped into the Charles M. Schulz Museum, on the way home from somewhere else, just long enough to do a little postcard shopping! Poor Charlie Brown is going to a Postcrosser in Gunma, Japan.

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I also bought this new postcard, one copy of which is on its way to East Jakarta, Indonesia.

Schulz Museum My Favorite Peanuts

This image from The Princess & the Frog was requested by a frog-lover in Beckum, Germany.

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Another Art of Disney card–this one of Lion King’s Pride Rock–is going to Taichung, Taiwan.

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This beautiful sea otter is going to Foshan, Guangdong, China.

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And finally, why are hard taco shells so popular? One bite, and the whole thing falls apart. Give me fresh corn tortillas! This box panel from “white people taco night” goes to Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.

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Okay, are you ready for a huge party of stamps, stickers, & washi tape? Here you go! Any favorites this time?

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Let’s Just Agree to Ignore One Another: Sent to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Poland, & Thailand

A mere 10 postcards this time! What’s the story with the title? We’ll get to it, but not too much into it–later.

Elephant & Piggie are going to Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan.

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The recipes from a box of cake flour went to Niigata, Japan. Do you ever try the recipes on a food package? I have, from packages of chocolate chips & cocoa powder. I heard from the card’s recipient, and she does not cook anything from the recipes printed on food packages.

Off to Bangkok, Thailand, in a “marine life & sea creatures” tag, goes this sun star from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I tell the card’s recipient I enjoy visiting aquariums when I travel, and have been to her local, Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World.

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Piedras Blancas Lighthouse goes to Saitama, Japan. I go to the area often, but never to the lighthouse; in fact, I just learned you can get a tour! For me, the draw of Piedras Blancas is the thousands of elephant seals. As it happens, on the very day I wrote this postcard, I took a little day trip down there to see the current denizens of the beach.

California Coast Highway 1 with Piedras Blancas Lighthouse

Far, far north of Piedras Blancas are Northern California & its coastal redwoods. This card goes out by request to a Postcrosser in Lublin, Poland, who noted, “blank in an envelope, please.” I’ll ignore that like she ignored my notation that I send my cards stamped and written, as the snail mail gawdz intented. And as I suspected, her “profile”is nothing but a list of cards she wants.

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For a food tag, this goes to Jakarta, Indonesia. I may have already mentioned that this vegetarian Chinese restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown isn’t the best representation of its genre–but I sure liked getting free postcards!

Lucky Creation Vegetarian Restaurant SF

Aladdin, Jasmine, & Abu are off to Hong Kong in a Disney tag.

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This cool Totoro card should end up in New Taipei City, Taiwan.

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Franklin is off by request to Taichung, Taiwan. I sure wish he–or any of the Peanuts characters–had won that election!

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More Peanuts: Li’l Lucy is headed for Yokohama, Japan.

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Before stamps, stickers, & washi tape, let’s look into my Postcrossing Forum U2U inbox. I just got a thank you from an earlier send to Taichung City, Taiwan, with a little museum report:

Thank you so much for the beautiful cards! They arrived at the same time 😀 We don’t have a lot of museums in Taiwan. There are two in my hometown, the science and art museums. But the museums are small and do not have a lot of works contained. I once took my foreign friend there and she said it was boring compared to those in her country. Thank you for always using great stamps 😀 Have a great day!

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Peanuts Schroeder Snoopys Home Ice

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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

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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.

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Here’s one going to Novi Sad, Serbia

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

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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!

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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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We Begin & End with Fish: Sent to Japan, Netherlands, Taiwan, & the U.S.

It’s a good time to try to think of pleasant things.

I have some catching up to do!  Let’s start with these cool new postcards I bought, two of which have long-since gone out to post pals in Japan & Hawaii.

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This mermaid smells like a wet dog.  And fish.

Later, I made envelopes to send more stuff to the same two people.  This one I made from a photocopy of an old comic book cover, & sent off to–can you guess?

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Yes, Hawaii!  And here’s the back-side of the envelope.

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Inside went some stickers, a note on a postcard, and an old brochure I unearthed.

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That piece of advertising has to be 35 years old, at minimum.  When I unearthed it, I had to do some online research to see if the place still exists.  It does!  Here’s the rest of the brochure:

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I asked my friend if she’d been there.  She has, to the restaurant–it’s a cheap place to eat!  I’ll have to remember that, the next time I’m in the neighborhood.

Here comes the other envelope I made, this one for my friend in Tokyo:

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I enclosed another sheet of those Peanuts stickers, plus a note on this postcard:

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Here are more postcards that went out, these for Postcrossing Forum & swap-bot exchanges.  Off they went to Hoofddorp, Netherlands; Goleta, California; Taichung City, Taiwan; and Tsukuba, Japan.

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Finally, have a look at the stamps, stickers, and washi tape!  I think it might be time for me to restock my stash of fish stickers!

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Stupid & Cats Like High Places: Received from Japan & Taiwan

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Astrooooo!  That beautiful Astro Boy card came to me from Saitama, Japan, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum tag trade.

The Snoopy Tokyo Station cards at top & bottom right are both from a postcard pal in Tokyo, Japan, and they act as sheet 1 & 2 of a little letter she wrote me.  She had recently visited the Tokyo Skytree, and tells me:

“I saw a crowded city from a height of 450 m.  This city has a lot of buildings & houses.  Cars are like a miniature of a car like ‘TOMICA.’ A part of the floor is made of glass.  I couldn’t stand on it, I was too scared! My mom told me I was stupid, and I had to stand on it.  Of course, she was right, but ‘stupid and cats like high places’ is a Japanese proverb.  Do you like high places?”

I was lucky enough to get TWO Kiki’s Delivery Service postcards, both I think from Studio Ghibli/wish list tag trades on Postcrossing Forum (I send to people providing their non-Ghibli wish list, since I have no Ghibli cards to send).  Both from Japan: Fukuoka and Tokyo.

One more card, one more PF tag trade: that’s the Great Pumpkin card, and it came to me from Fengyuan District, Taichung, Taiwan.

Here come the stamps, stamps, and washi tape.  I love the Doraemon stamps, and the animal stamps, and the dragonfruit, and the Kiki stamp–and that l’il mail ninja!

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A 227-Day Borscht! Received from China, France, Russia, Sweden, & Taiwan

I’ve received my first Postcrossing card from Sweden–and it’s meerkats!  I love those li’l guys.  The card’s sender lives in Stocka, Sweden, and she writes:

“One of your favorite cards had a suricate, so I hope you like this card too! 🙂  I’m 66, retired, and living with my husband at the Swedish eastcoast (+-300 km N of Stockholm).  We live in a small village at the seaside and enjoy very much the beautiful nature and the quietness.  🙂 “

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The mountainous scene is from Yangzhou, China, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum trade. The sender tells me about the art:

“This series of postcard is about Chinese ancient poems and paintings.  And this one mostly expresses flash of time, and homesickness.”

Next comes another Postcrossing Forum card from the same country: the map watercolor came from a sender in Fuzhou, China, who told me a bit about herself:

“I like to read too.  I like detective novels and of course, manga.  XD  I enjoy my summer holidays now.”

Aren’t those basset hounds great?  It’s a regular Postcrossing receipt from an elementary school science teacher in Taichung, Taiwan, who writes about the food stamps you’ll see below:

“The stamps show the delicious Taiwanese street food: Ba-wan, stinky tofu, and sugar apple.”

The aubergine borshch is another Postcrossing card, and it came to me from Kazan, Russia, and, WHOA!  IT TOOK 227 DAYS TO GET TO ME!  Postcrossing card assignments expire after 60 days, clearing the slot so the sender can mail off another card.  If another, uh, 138 days had passed, I wouldn’t have been able to register it!  Where do you suppose the card was, that whole time?  Nothing revolutionary in the message, just a 16-year-old writing that she hopes I will like her traditional cuisine.  I don’t know if I’ve had this exact soup, but there is a restaurant near me that serves a tasty Hong Kong-style borscht!

Finally, the toon card, another regular Postcrossing incoming, is from Paris, France (well, in her profile, the sender says, “I live in Paris, but not in Paris”).  The sender tells me she purchased the card “when I was in the UK at the beach.”

Stamps, postmarks, & stuff: I love the delicious top line of stamps here:postcard737

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We Eat Ham and Jam and SPAM a Lot: Sent to Estonia, Germany, Indonesia, & Taiwan

And so it came time to draw more Postcrossing names!  Oh, and enter another Postcrossing Forum tag trade.  Of note today: I have mailed out 2 of my very last “Postcards from Puffin” children’s book cover cards!  This is the box that was all I had when I initially began Postcrossing, and now I have one single card from that set left.  Oh, the box is full–as I’ve purchased other cards to use in my snail mailing, they have gone in–but there is only one of the original cards left to go out.

 

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The beautiful tiger is bound for Taichung, Taiwan–to a classroom full of students! An English teacher at a language school has been Postcrossing with her students for over 5 years.  She writes that they range in age from elementary school to college.  I tried to write very neatly, since I was aiding in a language exercise.

We’re Knights of the Round Table
We dance when e’er we’re able
We do routines and gory scenes
That are too hot for cable
We eat ham and jam
We eat ham and jam and spam a lot

— Spamalot

These knights are off for Gelsenkirchen, Germany, to a woman who wasn’t sure what to write about herself, so she copied & pasted her city’s Wikipedia entry, instead.  Actually, though she didn’t write a LOT about herself, she did much better than many profiles I’ve seen: for instance, her hobbies include baking, biking, cooking, reading, skiing, and traveling–and those details are just for starters (although that is most of it)!

Have you read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books?  I haven’t, yet, but I have seen a couple of the movies.  Oh, and I have the bendable toys.  The card is making its way to Viljandimaa, Estonia, to someone who actually wrote less about herself that my German friend above, but wrote enough about the postcards that she’d like that I feel I actually know… the postcards that she’d like to receive!  She did write that she has “a special interest in books,” saying, “anything related to that will make me glad,” so I gave her this, one of my most special book postcards.

Oakland for Yogyakarta, Indonesia!  This card was part of a “what did you do today” Postcrossing Forum tag trade.  Seeing as I tend to write my cards early in the morning, I wrote about what I did the day before, which is visit Kehoe Beach along the Point Reyes National Seashore.  I’ve made a lot of day trips to different spots in Point Reyes.  It’s quite far from me–2 hours-ish–made all the farther by the fact that it’s all so remote and wind-y.  It’s all justifiable, though, thanks to an exceptional ice cream shop in the general region.

It’s a great day for stamps, stamps, sticker, & washi tape:

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Cinephile Edition: Sent to Austria, Taiwan, & Ukraine

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I picked up that postcard for “The Meddler” at the lovely Guild Theatre in Menlo Park, California.  The Guild is a single-screen cinema dating back to 1926, and the service is so personal: in fact, before the movie begins, a staff member walks to the front of the auditorium to welcome you & remind you of the rules.  Now, when a real person has come out to talk about niceties, you’ve got to be one mad jackass to pull out your cell phone during the screening!  Of course, people who do that are unstable, to begin with.

I mailed the card out to Taichung, Taiwan in a Postcrossing Forum “last movie you saw” thread.  The most recent movie I saw was not what I saw when I picked up this card at the Guild (I saw “A Hologram for the King,” which I do not recommend); I was at a different theater, and the movie I saw was “24.”  It’s a Kollywood movie, a sci-fi time-travel piece, where the lead plays three roles (as opposed to the 24 you may have guessed).  I go to Indian movies pretty frequently (mostly Bollywood); I really enjoy them.  Most of the big chains in my area play at least 1 or 2 a week, but I especially love to go to my local Bollywood cinema–the snacks are better.

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The other 2 postcards are regular Postcrossing draws.  The pickly one goes to Kharkiv, Ukraine (“Kharkiv, or Kharkov, is the second-largest city in Ukraine.The city has a population of about 1.5 million people.” –Wikipedia).  The recipient is a vegan who calls herself an epicurean, & says she would like postcards depicting tasty foods & drinks, so I decided she might like this first card I am sending from a brand-new box of food-related art cards.

Finally, the book card (one of the remaining few from a box of book cards that was all I had when I began Postcrossing) goes to a book lover (and soon-to-be-librarian)  in Neumarkt im Mühlkreis, Austria.

Stamps, stamps, & washi tape:

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Beautiful Creatures: Sent to Indonesia & Taiwan

I like this animal batch going out.

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The manatees–the last of the postcards I received from last year’s renewal of my Save the Manatee membership–are off to Bekasi, Indonesia, in a Postcrossing Forum Marine Life & Sea Creatures tag.  I hope I get another set of cards for this year’s renewal!  As I told the card’s recipient, I have never seen a manatee in the wild–only in aquariums.  I also saw the manatee’s Asian cousin, the dugong, during a visit to the Singapore Zoo.

The kitty is going out for another Postcrossing Forum trade, this one called “Taiwan Meets the World,” and it’s on its way to Taichung City, Taiwan.  This user, with whom I have traded before, notes on her profile that she likes cat cards.  See how accommodating I am?

Finally, a regular Postcrossing draw!  I was excited to see Taiwan come up, but deflated when I see the Postcrosser has not written a profile. Well, the wonderful tiger is off to Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, and I hope that receiving a card with a 14-line message (not including formatics like date & greeting), inspires this user to tell her fellow Postcrossers a little that would inspire them as they go about preparing mail for her!

Stamps:

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Beautiful & (somewhat) historical: Sent to Germany, Taiwan, & Thailand

I was down to only 3 cards out via Postcrossing–gotta send out a few more!

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The butterflies are migrating to Bangkok, Thailand, to a recipient whose list of likes includes beautiful gardens, traveling abroad, seeing different cultures,architecture, museums, people, and national parks.  I think she may love this card.  I forgot to mention to her that when I visited her city this year, I visited an enclosed (indoor/outdoor–an enclosed outdoor space) butterfly garden in a huge park.

The Jetoy cat is on its way to Taichung, Taiwan, to someone who indicated another Jetoy card as a favorite among postcards she’s received.  I like this statement from her profile:

“Receiving postcard from other country, from people i don’t know is a special experience. Just like open a gift you never expect. Postcrossing color my daily life. Hope people who receive my postcard feel happy and surprised.”

The tiny post office is going to Ingolstadt, Germany, to a Postcrosser who is interested in ancient & historic architecture & sites.  I swear this is the closest I’ve got!  The building is about 65 years old, and Walt Disney visited this location way back when he was planning on building a family amusement park.  Super historic!