Postal Mishaps & Mystery Liquids: Received from Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Taiwan, & the U.S.

Foghorn Leghorn here is at Magic Mountain in Southern California, but the sender is from Queen Creek, Arizona. She sent the card to me in a swap-bot “cartoon animal postcard” trade, and she writes:

I have never been to Magic Mountain, but this ride looks like a lot of fun!

I have never been there, either. I’ve driven past many times, but when you are in that neighborhood, well, for me the correct amusement park destination is always Disneyland.

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More toons: the caption on the back of this card tells me it is Mr. Muddle:

Poor Mr. Muddle just couldn’t get anything right. Everything he did, everything he tried, everything he said was muddled.

I know the feeling, I do. This is another swap-bot trade–“children’s book illustration postcard,” this time–and it’s from a swapper in Glencoe, Oklahoma. He writes:

My mom is a retired kindergarten teacher. I grew up on Mr. Men & Little Miss books. I enjoyed your movie review blog. I’m glad someone else enjoyed Ra.One!

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Someone from Slavkov, Czech Republic was assigned to me by Postcrossing, and she sent me the Pooh card. Unfortunately, some postal mishap claimed a large section of the message portion–peeled it right off. It’s a shame, because from what I could tell, she was actually writing a very substantive, friendly message. The mostly-blank cards always make it intact.

Another regular Postcrossing draw, this one from a sender in Taipei City, Taiwan who says he likes traveling and photography. Isn’t the idea of a “wind-power park” interesting? I was intrigued–and I really like that piece of crab art–so I looked it up. It’s right by the sea, it’s got recreation & performance spaces, and those 7 windmills generate enough electricity to power the park for four hours after dark. Better still, there are more sea creature mosaic statues! Isn’t it cool to learn new things through Postcrossing?

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That dolphin image is…interesting. I certainly prefer it to a photo of a dolphin in a swimming pool. I received it from Hong Kong, via a Postcrossing Forum trade of sea creatures cards. As we transition into the stamps, stickers, & washi tape portion of this post, let me express my appreciation for the BACK of the last card, which has a lot going on. I was about to express how much I am enjoying that Green Spot soda sticker, but when I initially looked it up, it turned out Green Spot is a booze. That didn’t seem right, so I tried again, & found the soda. So much learning!

I also really like the avocado stamp from Taiwan. Do you have any favorites this time?

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Just Dropped You a Line to Say ABSOLUTELY NOTHING: Received from Indonesia & Taiwan

Two postcards in recently via Postcard United, and that is not the only thing these two have in common.  Before we go further, though, let’s take a look at the front of the cards.

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I love that gateway, and the arch beyond.  The card came to me from Changhua, Taiwan, and its caption tells us this about the scene:

The Gateway to the East-West Cross-Island Highway, Hualien: after passing through the vermilion archway, you will be greeted by the breathtaking splendor of Taroko Gorge

The other card was sent to me from Pare, Kediri, Jawa Timur, Indonesia, and it has some beautiful & interesting stamps on the back (as does the other card).

Oh, yes, the backs of the cards; let’s talk about those, because those are what tie these two cards so inexorably together.  Have a look:

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Oh, look: I could write both of those messages in one Tweet, and STILL have room to add something interesting!

From Taiwan:

Greetings from Taiwan.

Yes.  The stamps, postmark, & photo tipped me off to that.  Thanks for the confirmation, though.

From Indonesia:

I hope you will like this card & stamps

I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt that they selected the cards & stamps in hopes I would like them.

Now, this 2nd person, according to Postcard United, has sent 505 cards.  And on her profile, she wishes everyone a “fascinating and crazy postcrossing”–which is more than she wrote on my card!

What is the point of sending a card if you don’t want to write anything on it?  I’m not fascinated, but it does sorta drive me crazy.  I could rant a lot more, I suppose, but this is just — sad.  Some people do have to work harder to come up with something to say.  For this, Postcrossing does offer some help, offering its answers to the question: “What should I write on the postcard?”

Traveling, Recycling–and Whittling Down the Dissapointassortment: Sent to Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, & the U.S.

I’ve got cards going out to seven different countries, all but one being signees of the Paris Agreement.

Hey, I got rid of one of my Disappointassortment cards!  That heart locket card goes out in a Postcrossing draw to Brasschaat, Flanders, Belgium, to a recipient who said she likes cards with hearts on them.

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The mail-a-sea-lion card goes to a sea-lion-loving family member.  I love sea lions, too!  Scroll down, and you’ll be able to see the other side of this very functional card.

It’s the Grinch!  He and a lot of other offspring of Dr. Seuss’s imagination reside in Springfield, Massachusetts, in the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden.  I visited this site in May, just missing by a couple of weeks or so the grand opening of the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum!  But I did get some postcards, & sent this one to Cindi in Hawaii.postcard128

I also visited the PEZ factory in Orange, Connecticut! What a fun experience.  I bought a lot of stuff–and I also picked up some free postcards they had, promoting their party room.  This one went to North Hollywood, California, for a very specific swap-bot trade: “Free/Ad Card: I picked this up on vacation.”  I just knew these would come in handy.

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The fox went off toward Tokyo, Japan, for a Postcrossing Forum USA/Asia tag.  The recipient said she liked foxes!

There’s a second Disappointment card going away!  These ballet folklórico dancers are not the problem; it’s that the card manufacturers failed to give context for the card, and…oh, just refer to the original post.  The card went off to Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, in a Postcrossing Forum “China Meets the World” tag.  The recipient said he liked cards featuring cultural celebrations for our area, and, well, here in the San Francisco Bay Area, this counts!  I grew up enjoying ballet folklórico in schools, museums, and other settings.

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Something not so easily found in the Bay Area is great Thai food.  Oh, there are Thai restaurants absolutely EVERYWHERE… but just try finding a Southeast Asian person who would want to eat in any of them.  I have finally found two restaurants that break that sad mold, and one is San Francisco’s Kin Khao.  You, I assume, being someone who is interested in postcards, you may love to walk into this restaurant to find a wall decorated with a huge postcard rack, full of food cards yours for the taking!  I’ve mentioned this before; you can see the rack in that post, here.  This one goes to Stetten, Germany for another specific swap-bot trade: “Free Postcard–Restaurant/Coffee Shop.”

Next we have a couple of cards I created from boxes of frozen food, for another swap-bot trade of “up-cycled cardboard.”  I don’t usually buy frozen prepared food, but these two items from my local Indian supermarkets reeled me in.  The Kati sandwiches (card going to Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) seemed like an improvement on Hot Pockets (a low bar; Hot Pockets are nasty), and they were.  As for the other package (going to South Elgin, Illinois), I really like good sambhar.  This was not really good sambhar.  Better stick with home or restaurant-made.  THEY MAKE FOR NICE POSTCARDS, THOUGH!

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This Mickey Mouse card went to Longquan Station, Taiwan, via a Postcrossing Forum Disney card tag.

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Okay, let’s move on to the stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff.  I think there may be some stamps here you haven’t seen before.  Please share your thoughts!

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Has Russia Hacked Postcrossing/-cardunited? Sent toGermany, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, & the U.S.

This time:

  • A conspiracy?
  • A Snoopy treasure trove discovered, and cast far & wide
  • Other stuff
  • Tons of stamps & stickers

Let’s start with Good Ol’ Snoopy Brown.  I’ve mentioned many times in this space the lack of Snoopy/Peanuts cards here in the U.S.  Despite being the birthplace of the comic strip, and although Peanuts greeting cards seem to be sold absolutely everywhere (even in supermarkets), the postcards are just not found unless you go to the source: the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.

That being the case, I was thrilled to find a book of 1970’s-era Snoopy postcards on sale online!

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Several have already been dispatched, including to Peanuts-loving pen-pals of mine in Hawaii, Tokyo, & England (I know I didn’t write that trio out as an equal set, yes).  Those cards (and one to Taoyuan, Taiwan, for a Postcrossing Forum tag) went out as postcards should, with a note & a stamp on the back, & dropped into a mailbox.  The next one here went out to a Postcrossing Forum regular in Finland who says that she gives Snoopy postcards to a friend, so she’d like hers in an envelope.  Okay, fine–I made an envelope:

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She also likes to collect stamps, so since I was already throwing stuff into an envelope, I added some stamps from my incoming mail.

The foggy view of Golden Gate Bridge was chosen by someone in Berlin, Germany, in a Postcrossing Forum “show the card you offer” tag.  I’m glad I had something she liked.

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To Berlin & St. Petersburg

Okay, let’s get into the Russia hack scandal story I’ve just made up (or unearthed inadvertently, who knows).  I have fallen way behind on “official” cards traveling out via Postcrossing Forum & Postcard United: between the two sites, I had only 1 card traveling (I think I can have around 30 at this point if I chose to).  Yes, I’m sending a lot of cards out, but it’s mainly via Postcrossing Forum, which offers so many different options that I’ve just found it the more fun way to go.  The problem I have with the main focus of the two sites is that Postcrossing Forum seems to send me constantly to just the same 3-4 countries, and Postcard United’s algorithm is so rough that there are repeat encounters with the same people, and I’m being paired within my own country.

Anyhow, I decided to send some cards out again via the two sites, so started asking to be assigned addresses:

Click 1–Postcrossing: Saint Petersburg, RUSSIA.  Of course.  Decided to try my luck next at the other site.

Click 2–Postcard United: Moscow, RUSSIA.  Why, I oughta…

Click 3–Postcard United: Krasnodar, RUSSIA.  What?!?  I claim shenanigans.  I’m moving back to the other site.

Click 4–Postcrossing: Alkmaar, Netherlands.  Fine.  I then quit while I was ahead.  We’ll see when I click on those “send a postcard” buttons again.  This is supposed to be relaxing.

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A sweetened pickle to the Netherlands, and the rest to Russia.

Moving on from the Eastern European drama… the pair of cards pictured next went off to China, in Postcrossing Forum tags.  The aerial view of Hearst Castle (another card I replenished during my recent postcard-gathering road trip) is headed toward a food safety major in Beijing, who expressed his wishes for anything local to the sender: “local buildings…anything local is welcome!”  If by local, he meant anything in the same state, this place 3 hours or so away from me is local!

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The pancakes, which I received recently from a Postcard Uniter, go to Heifei, Anhui, China, in a food postcard trade.  The recipient is a chemistry student who says he loves travel, and receiving food postcards.

Finally, this multi-zoned California map card (part of my recent haul) went off to Hong Kong, to someone hoping for map cards. I told her that within just a couple of months, I will have traveled to every segment on the left sided of the card within this calendar year.  I do love coastal trips!

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Now a look at stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff–do you have any favorites down here? Behold the new USPS stamp release, Delicioso, which “celebrates the influence of Central and South American, Mexican, and Caribbean foods and flavors on American cuisine.”  And I always love the shorebird & sea shell postcard stamp sets.

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Keep the Babies Out of the Cabbage, You Monster: Sent to Bulgaria, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, & Taiwan

It’s too easy for me not to keep track of the cards I send, so right now I’ll do the difficult thing, and make note of them (while I still remember, somewhat).

These first two cards (and several of each, by the way) were part of the stash I acquired a few days ago while hitting the state map card jackpot.  Since they are not state map cards, though, I didn’t share them when I wrote about the experience.

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Morro Bay is a pretty good place to see sea otters.

The sea otters are working their way toward Hong Kong, and the Morro Bay card toward Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan. It doesn’t show in my scan, but the flowers & the lettering in the latter card are covered in glitter.  It’s kind of awful, and I really don’t know if I even noticed it at the gas station where I was making my purchase, excited as I was to be filling my hands with dozens & dozens of state map cards so many Postcrossers seem to covet.  The recipient this time around wanted flowers & scenery, and I’m hoping she won’t mind a little glitter along with those things.  Would you?

This diner scene was chosen by a Postcrosser in Köln, Germany, in a “you can choose” thread.

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Hey, I just noticed that row of PEZ dispensers along the ceiling!  Scanning technology is awesome.

I just received this multi-image Belfast card a short time ago, and now it’s off for Sofia, Bulgaria in a swap-bot “recycled postcard” swap, in which we were to put a new back on a card we’d received.

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I REALLY like that piece of fish art.  If I were to visit Belfast, I’d certainly have to go & see that big fish.

The recipient of this card, her profile–well, it’s only a list of wants & don’t wants (leaving me very little to write about–I chose a few lines about the card itself & its provenance), headed by the line–in bold–“I collect only NEW postcards with a REAL photograph on them!”  This very heading makes me wonder why she wants to enter this swap for a no-longer-new-card.  The good news is, once of her big “wants” is touristy card (but she doesn’t like fish, so I may be eviscerated), so I mail this off with fingers crossed.  Oh, swap-bot, why are you so swap-botty?

Next up is a food package postcard headed for a medical student in Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan.  Maybe she will become the doctor who is able to develop a vaccine preventing Cap’n Crunch from tearing up the roofs of peoples’ mouths.

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Even if that never comes to pass, though, this Postcrosser already won me over with this set of horrors she hopes to never find in her mailbox:

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Another cereal, another food package tag, another country: this chocolatey panel went out to Seoul, South Korea.

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Getting into some older, previously-unlogged stuff now… I think they are both regular Postcrossing draws, but what do I know?  The indoor swimming pool from Hearst Castle went off to Taipei, Taiwan, and the bear should have ended up in Tokyo, Japan.

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Time for a look at the stamps, stickers, & washi tape:

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A Burger Topped with Tuna Salad? Received from Germany, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, & the U.S.

I got some cool mail from my post pal in Tokyo, Japan!  And it seems that “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” has been on stage there recently–just look at the envelope she made!

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I love that postcard on the right, Pig-Pen & Peppermint Patty dancing.  It doesn’t show from my scan, but that seems to be a photo of original art.  The piece at a bottom, which I’ll use as a bookmark, was her ticket into the Snoopy Museum Tokyo.  She took some photos to show me, but first, let’s take a look at the back of her envelope.

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Okay, the photos inside the museum–and of her lunch.  Those statues are so cool!

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She told me about her visit (her 2nd time there):

“The theme was ‘Hello Snoopy, Again’ in this season (until April).  Snoopy is good at disguise, so there were many kind of Snoopy art as a vulture, penguin, helicopter, and so on.”

I love the old strips of Snoopy doing imitations. My favorites are when he copies Violet, Lucy, and even Mickey Mouse!

She told me the statue pictured is one of five in front of the museum, and she also told me the food was tasty, but she didn’t tell me what it was.  I asked her, and am still waiting to hear back.  I recognize the fries, & they look good.  Is that a burger topped with tuna salad?  Are those l’il corn dogs?

More postcards, more food!  Especially loving the two cards from Taiwan.  The delicious bowl of noodles came my way in a Postcrossing Forum “Taiwan meets the world” tag,” and the sender wants to talk movies:

“Last week I watched ‘Arrival.’  It’s interesting, really want to know my future, but impossible.”

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The card covered in food illustrations had been in my Postcrossing Favorites, and was sent to me in a forum tag just for favorites.  The sender writes:

“Greetings from Taiwan.  This card shows some of the most representative of Taiwanese foods.  Lucky that you live in California, there are so many Taiwanese immigrants (I was one of them) that offers authentic Taiwanese foods in Cali!  Give it a try! =D”

As I write this, it has been 2 days since my last stop into a Taiwanese food establishment!

The sushi card came to me from Georgsmarienhütte, Germany, via Postcrossing. The sender writes:

“I live with my wife in a small town (35,000 people).  We are both retired and enjoy traveling.  We prefer the sea, mountain hiking, and cycling along rivers.  One of our hobbies is playing pétanque, you know?  Now we are waiting for a nice springtime.”

I learned something!  Pétanque was a mystery to me, and when the description started out by saying it was a form of “boules,” I was more confused, still!  The most helpful description I saw pretty much called it horseshoes, but with balls.

Time for the last set of cards, starting with that lovely lighthouse photo taken by a Postcrosser in Taichung, Taiwan.  This was for a “photo you have taken yourself” forum tag, and the photographer tells me:

“I took the photo in Green Island, a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean about 33 km off the eastern coast of Taiwan.  I love the beautiful place very much.”

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The drawing of the two people came to me from Karelia, Russia, via Postcard United.  The sender tells me the illustration is “of the Siberian fairy tales,” but I’m sad to say that she didn’t tell me which one(s).  If you know something, please say something.

Finally, there’s the San Diego postcard, sent to me thanks to a Postcrossing Forum “last trip/vacation tag.”  Flipping it over:

“Greetings from Arizona! I just got back from a road trip to San Diego. It was a lot of fun and I especially enjoyed the tour of the Midway.  Tons of things to see and explore!”

Time for all of the stamps, postmarks, stickers, & washi tape!  As usual, I’m especially enjoying the beautiful Taiwanese fruit stamps.  I had never seen the stamps on the back of the San Diego card before, and I mentioned it to the sender.  She said that during her trip, she found a stamp dealer who was selling old U.S. postage at below-marked price.  Cool!

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The fish tape is pretty awesome.

Let’s Start Out Nice, Get to the Sad Meat of the Issue, & End with Beautifully Busy Backsides

Yes, I’ve got a little something to whine about, but I’ll put it off for a moment!  This first trio of postcards is awesome.  I love the retro Goofy cartoon cartoon poster, which came to me from Germany in a swap-bot trade of Disney cards.  The sender told me her favorite Disney character is Belle, and asked who mine is.  Such a pantheon, it’s hard to choose, but I do love Chip & Dale, and Donald, and I have a soft spot for obscure characters–such as Grandma Duck & Li’l Bad Wolf!  OH, and April, May, & June!  OHH, and Morty & Ferdie!

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Who’s driving the Peanuts bus?  It came all the way from Hawaii, thanks to “Good ol’ Cindi!” Keep on scrolling down to see the beautiful decorating she did on the back side of the card!

The Little Mermaid card is the product of another swap-bot Disney card trade, and it came to me from a swapper somewhere in Texas who tells me:

“I also love comics.  My husband and I both love the New Archie and I am super into Harley Quinn.”

Okay, let’s take a short break to enjoy something less pleasant.  Another swap-bot trade coming in is one of “free/ad food cards.”  A swapper in Colorado sent me a promo card from a restaurant in Texas she likes. The challenge was that it wasn’t designed to be used for correspondence: it’s printed all over.  She found the solution: to add a sticker to make my address legible.  I’m sad to report she didn’t use the same solution in her message to me; she used red ink, even over reddish brown print, and between that & some creative spelling, I had a REALLY tough time making out the message!   I had to go near a bright light & wag the card from side to side to read the reflection of the words.

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Cool robot sticker, though.

Oh, and someone else this time wrote part of her message in green ink.  Honestly: not all of us can read whatever people write, not matter how they write it. #writeinblackinkplease

Let’s move on!  The statue came to me from Hong Kong, in a “Hong Kong to the World” Postcrossing Forum tag, and you’ll see the back below, very decorated in plenty of beautiful stamps, washi tape, & more.

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A swap-bot “upcycled cardboard trade” is what brought me that panel from a box of chocolate-ish.  I saw it was rum & raisin, & went “oof” a little inside.  The sender, who is in Canada, writes:

I had this box of chocolates for months before actually trying it.  I put it off because I hate rum & raisin flavour…so obviously I didn’t like this chocolate.  Just remembering the taste makes my stomach turn.  It lives a better life as a postcard now.

You see this group contains the front of the card we discussed earlier.  On to the next set!  I love this “Taiwan Bravo!” card.  Apparently I’d favorited it, because it came to me in a Postcrossing Forum thread in which we are to send the person we tag a postcard from their favorites.  The sender tells me, “I’m a social worker.  Work for poor children.  =)”

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I had a really tough time finding out who sent me that Studio Ghibli card at right, so that I could acknowledge its receipt.  The sender did write the tag name, but no name, user name, or date.  Really, there’s a lot of identifying stuff that needs to be written on cards in the trade site game.  Often it’s good to write the important ones twice, as insurance against inky cancellations & machine tears.  I’d entered the particular trade multiple times lately, so used the fact that this card bears stamps from Taiwan to guess at who the sender is.  I sent her a conditional “thank you.” By the way, she wrote: “Ghibli is a nice cartoon.  There are many warm story.”

Last in that set is another from a swap-bot Disney swap.  Those bugs are from The Princess and the Frog, and was sent to me from a swapper in Green Cove Springs, Florida.  She wrote:

I am an avid Disney fan.  I love visiting Walt Disney World whenever I can.  In two weeks I’ll be renewing my annual pass for another year.  I hope you have a magical day!

She used some cool old stamps on her card–and a sticker of Stitch, too.

Last pair of cards: the “CCTV New Headquarter in CBD” was sent to me by a high schooler in Changchun, China. He didn’t note the tag trade thread, but he did write his user name, so that helped me find & thank him.  He wrote:

“Changchun is a city located in northeastern China.  My hometown is famous for winter sightseeing and automobile industry–a city of cars, like Detroit in U.S.  Welcome to China!”

He uses an extremely neat block print.  I should take such care when writing my postcards to be read around the world!

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Last card! It’s thanks to Postcard United, and it’s from Budapest, Hungary.  The sender wrote:

The Hungarian Parliament building is the 3th most biggest parliament building in the world.  It is very interesting, because Hungary is a little country.

So much beauty in the backsides: stamps, stickers, washi tape.  Enjoy!

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Taiwan’s stamps are so beautiful & colorful.

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I really, really like my country’s shorebirds postcard stamps.  I’d love for them to be a permanent offering!

A Post So Action-Packed, it’s Got BULLET-POINTS! Received from Canada, Germany, Macau, Malaysia, & Taiwan

So much going on, I’ll hype in in bullet points right here at the top!

  • Snoopy!
  • Hamilton!
  • Another Postcard United Quirk: In & Outta Macau
  • A Very Special Postmark, & an IDGAF Hand Cancellation!

Okay, let’s get down to it…

First group of cards: STAR POWER!  This cool shaped Snoopy & Woodstock card came to me from Taiwan, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum Snoopy/Peanuts tag.  The back was cool, too, as you’ll see toward the bottom of this post.

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From NYC: the “Ham Across America” card is a thank-you for making a donation to the Planned Parenthood Foundation of America as a special contest/fundraising promotion Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda was promoting.  His mother is on the national board of directors of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  No, I did not win anything, but I was really looking forward to receiving this postcard–and I already have my tickets for Hamilton’s SF run.

Second set of cards: FOOD!  That lovely illustrated recipe came to me from Malaysia in another Postcrossing Forum tag.  The sender writes:

I’ve been to SG, TW, Thailand, Indo but I realized I haven’t tried all the delicious cuisine in Malaysia.  Malaysia is a multiracial country and also a gourmet heaven.  Hope you can come and try it next time.

His country holds the very top slot on my “want to visit” list.

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Spoons!  They’re from Lithuania, thanks to Postcard United, and the sender wries:

I live in the capital city with my family & dog & rabbit.  I love animals a lot.  They always make me smile!  Traveling is my passion.  I haven’t been to US yet, but hopefully I’ll get a chance one day!

The next card is from Nagoya City, Japan, also via Postcard United, and the sender tells me, “I love these Japanese sweets, wagashi.”

Third set of cards: NATURE!  I love this depiction of Malaysian foliage.  It’s yet another Postcrossing Forum tag (can you tell I love those things?), from the same sender as the food card above.  This time, he writes:

Have you ever heard about Terengganu?  It’s one of the states of Malaysia and famous with islands, beaches, and other unmatched beauty.  As a local, normally I went for off-road cycling/jungle trekking/hiking with my friends during the weekend.  There are lots of interesting looking plants inside the wood including the Pitcher plant from the postcard.  The local named it “Periuk Kera,” means monkey pot because they think monkeys drink and eat from the “pot.”  Though playing in the wild was fun, there’s still some rules and taboo you must know before going to the forest and mountain.  It might sound superstitious, but there’s a lot of strange and explainable things that me and my friends encounter before.  But not enough space to write here.

Ugh!  Just when it was getting to the good part!  Well, I hope he tags me again soon.  You know what, though?  Look at that message above.  Such a long, content-filled note!  So much, in a tight, pretty neat, hand.  This is what I just love to see on a postcard.  Cool texture on the card, too–it even shows up in the scan.

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Remains from sea creatures, arranged neatly in the sand…it’s a regular Postcrossing draw from Germany, and I like the way the card’s sender closes her message:

“…let us all hope for peace on earth!!”

Now, I’m no fan of excessive exclamation points, but it’s definitely a good time for us all to hope for peace on earth!!

Those leaves are from A Bug’s Life, and the sender is Melissa, who was writing specifically to try to get me the special Canada Post cancellation from Saint-Valentin, Quebec.  It worked, as you’ll see if you scroll down.  They kinda cancelled out her message, rather than the stamps, but the red ink wouldn’t have shown up well on the red stamps, anyhow.  Scroll on down, and you’ll see the postal worker’s inelegant solution to make sure the stamps couldn’t be reused!

Fourth & final group of cards: MANMADE STUFF!  Taipei 101 is from a Facebook friend in Canada who’s noticed my postcard postings in social media.  He recently took a trip to Taiwan & China, and put out a notice to his contacts to let him know if they’d like him to send them postcards along the way.  Why, yes, please!

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Oh, the Macau card!  I mentioned this situation recently! One day, I clicked on Postcard United’s “send a postcard” link, and was assigned a recipient in Macau–and the very next day, I received a card from that same person!  As I said in my other post, this is not the first time this has happened with old P.U.  Do you have any similar experiences?

The sender of the card is also the card’s artist.  She writes:

I love painting & take photo.  My dream is to send my art works all over the world.

I don’t remember if I noticed at the time I received this card that the sender was also the artist.  Horrible memory, so there’s another reason it’s good I do this bloggy thing with my cards.

The last card is the one with those interesting beach chairs.  It’s a swap-bot trade from Berlin, Germany, and the sender tells me:

This is how a German beach looks like usually.  At least at the Baltic Sea.  And I love how colorful it is.

Time to look at the backs of the cards, with all the stuff I mentioned earlier, & more…

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Cool postmark AND stamps!

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I love the tasty Japanese food stickers.

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The Beautiful Postcard I Had to Toss Back in the Post–AND–No Red Ink, Please: Received from Japan, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan

Yes, I’ve had a “catch and release situation.  We’ll get to that momentarily or so, but first:

LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL POSTCARD!  And the beautiful one next to it!

The Tezuka Osamu crew, with Astro Boy in the center, came to me from Nara, Japan, in a Postcrossing Forum trade where senders show the cards they offer, and the recipients make a choice.  The sender wrote that her favorite here is Mitsume ga Tooru, the Three-Eyed One.

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The “Taiwan Snacks” card came to me thanks to another Postcrossing Forum tag, and is from a sender in Taipei.  She wrote:

“I want to share about Chinese snacks.  Steamed bun is a traditional food.  There are various flavours in steamed buns.  At breakfast time, I often eat steamed bun and drink a cup of coffee or soy milk.  Hope you can try it.”

Have a look at the coooool stamp from the Tezuka card!

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Okay, no more delay; it’s time to talk about the card I loved to see in my mailbox–but had to drop back into the system.

I was happy to see this nicely-illustrated map of Sri Lanka–I don’t think I’ve ever exchanged cards with Sri Lanka–but once I turned it over, I was confused.  The message was written in Chinese– and the address was not mine.

It’s long been a problem in this neighborhood: 1) at least a couple of the streets are numbered the same; and 2) a lot of the postal carriers are rather careless.  Apparently the carrier who spirited this into my mailbox saw a postcard & decided I was the postcard address (for it was delivered to me along with all the other cards in this post), nevermind the fact that the street written in the address field is 2 away from my own.  And so back into the system with it.

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I get to drown my sorrow, though, in merienda–Filipino snacks.  It’s a card I get to keep, and it came to me from Quezon City, Phillippines, and it came to me thanks to a swap-bot trade.  Usually around now, I would share at least part of the note written on the card, and this sender shared some interesting info about when merienda is “taken,” but there was a problem: the message was written in red ink on a brown background. Now, her writing is extremely neat, but the contrast issue…I had to pick up a magnifying glass.  I bought one a couple of months ago at a dollar store, so I could better enjoy the stamps coming in on my postcards, and it saved me with this postcard.  Red ink on a white card is difficult enough, but on brown?  And in the evening… the eye strain was great.  I also notice by lack of bar codes at the bottom of the card that it had to be hand-sorted.  I’m saying colored inks are nice for coloring, but for writing?  BLACK INK, PLEASE!  If you say this is never an issue for you, congratulations & consider yourself fortunate.  End of public service message.

Recycled packaging postcard time! “Ouma” came to me from Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa, in a swap-bot exchange of “upcycled cardboard.”  The sender tells me, “we are still in summer and I can’t wait for some cooler weather.” Where I live, we are still in winter, and I can’t wait for some warmer weather!

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That Fullo looks pretty good.  It was sent to me from Singapore, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag.

Time for all of the backsides.  You will see a bit of the red ink on brown, but please know that my scan not only enlarged the card; it also darkened the ink considerably.  I love these fruit & flower stamps from the Philippines & Taiwan!  All the stamps are nice, actually.

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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?