The Traveler, the Cook, and the Sailor: Received from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, & the U.S.

This time:

  • Snoopy!
  • Disney!
  • “Word lovers” with nothing to say!
  • Falling apart in the post!

 

Let’s start with a great pair of cards I actually got to choose, thanks to Postcrossing Forum offer tags.  This Peanuts postcard, with Patty scratching Snoopy’s chin, came from Japan, and the sender wrote, “I hope you will enjoy this card!”  Well, yes… I did ask for it…

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The sender in Hong Kong tells me about her local Disneyland:

“(It’s) the smallest one in the world, but it’s still popular, especially with Chinese tourists.  Every day the park is crowded with tourists.  😦 and I am not interested in it.”

Ha, when I spent a mere 3 nights in HK a few years back (not nearly enough time to properly see the city), I tried like crazy to avoid Disneyland–but everywhere I turned, there was another image or large advertising display for the place.  I finally gave in, & made a whirlwind early-morning trip, before meeting a friend for a dim sum lunch.  Fortunately, my mid-week, early-morning trip yielded a very uncrowded park, with no memorable waits for any of the rides I chose.  I had a great time!

Speaking of tourist zones, look at this cool 3-D card my pen pal in Tokyo, Japan sent to me when she visited Tokyo Tower!  The fact that they had a special mailbox & postmark tells me that Japan is very much more of a postcard-writing-and-treasuring culture than is the U.S.  Now I did, on a recent road trip, see a general store in a little community that had its own postcards, which it would mail for you for free, should you fill one out to someone & drop it in their basket.  I didn’t take advantage of the offer, as I don’t carry an address book on me.  Guess I could have looked up addresses on my phone email app–but I don’t know how many Gs I was getting in that remote area!

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The soup comes via a Postcrossing Forum food tag from a sender in Yokohama, Japan, who tells me about the photo on her card:

“This picture of Japanese local cuisine ‘Sanpei-jiru.’  It’s Japanese sake less soup with chopped salmon and vegetables.  It’s very good.”

A flying whale from Albany, New York, thanks for a Postcrossing Forum “marine life & sea creature” tag.  I see I made a note on the card quoting a line from this Postcrosser’s profile: “I love words.”  Now, why did I want to remember that?  Oh, I see now: the card was mostly blank space on the back, with the only message being “hope you like this card!  I thought it was pretty cool. :)”

So, that happened.

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The rug-looking card seems to be a piece of cardboard covered in gift wrap.  I’d have guessed contact paper, but this thing arrived in my mailbox flapping apart, attached only at one end.  This has been a bit of a theme recently. This one came to me from Blitar, Indonesia, thanks to Postcrossing.  The sender tells me I am her first match–she just joined the night before!  She also wrote:

“I am 23 years old, living in a small city in East Java province, called Blitar.  I love reading too!  My favourite is about self development, business/marketing and also recipe book because I’m a chef… I am a food consultant here, my clients are spread in Palembang, Jakarta, Surabaya, etc… so I live nomaden sometimes… Hahaha.  I love traveling too!  My fave Asia destinations are Thailand and Hong Kong!  The food is superb!  I hope someday I can go to USA!!!  That’s my dream destination.”

Finally, there’s the St. Petersburg card, another Postcrossing draw, this time from a 16-year-old girl in Checkhov, Russia, who wrote that she’d just returned from Camp Artek, where she was in the sea squad, and had a great time learning knots, semaphore, and much more.

Okay, enough for now!  Here come the stamps, stickers, & stuff.  See anything you like?

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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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Snoopy Treasures Fit for Framing: Received from Japan

Look at what I received from my pen pal in Tokyo, Japan!

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Two of my favorites would be at the bottom center of this scan, because I love Pig-Pen & Franklin.  Of course, the 2nd one in on the row above that is great, too.  And the 3rd & 4th ones in the row above that.  And all the rest of them, as well!

Unless you are viewing this on a phone, I think it’s safe to say each of these little cards are smaller than they appear on your screen.  My friend tells me what they are:

HANAFUDA.  It’s one of cards game in Japan.  Honestly, I have never played it.  Moreover, I’m not sure how to play.”

This is most of the cards, but not all of them; I only laid them out until my scanner glass was full.  I took a couple of shots of the box, too:

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Aren’t they beautiful?  Here’s what I’d like to do: FRAME THEM.  I’d take them to a framing service, but every time I do that,  it costs an awful lot of money.  Do you have any framing tips for these?  I’ve only scratched the surface of online search results, as I write this.

My friend’s note was written on this postcard…

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And she bought the gift at Snoopy Town–something we just don’t have here in the U.S.

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Her packages always look so nice:

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Cool, huh?  Remember, if you have hanafuda-framing tips, I can’t wait to know about them!

Tea, Honey, & Flying Vermin: Received from England, Germany, Japan, & the U.S.

Some incomings this time via Postcrossing, swap-bot, & a post pal–let’s start with the post pal, who is in Tokyo, Japan, and created this cool envelope.

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Inside, she wrote to me on two postcards.

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She wrote a little bit about the style of art, & her feelings on it:

“Do you have interest in ukiyo-e?  When I went to book store a few days ago, I found a postcards booklet of Hokusai Katsushika.  Actually, I didn’t watch them very much.  I thought ukiyo-e was very old, these are NOT cute.  Moreover I don’t like human or mountains very much.  I found flowers, bird and some interesting art in this book.”

She put both of those cards, and a teabag (“I’m currently drinking it everyday”) in the envelope–here’s the tea package, & the back side of the envelope.

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The Where’s Waldo card came to me from somewhere around Birmingham, Alabama, thanks to a swap-bot trade. the sender shared a Groucho Marx quote: “I intend to live forever, or die trying!”  I appreciate a postcard-sized Where’s Waldo scene: I was actually able to find him!

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Oof–then we have the peacock feathers.  No, no–it’s a nice enough card (it came to me from Hereford, England, via Postcrossing), but have a look at the back, please.

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Wacky.  And not in a fun way, at least not for me.

Needless to say, I didn’t understand a word of it.  I know that a fellow blogger I follow here on WordPress also received a card from this user, but I don’t remember whom, I’m sorry.  I tried finding out more about this user, and I gather it’s some retired guy.  I don’t know what he feels he is getting out of the service, but I have to assume it’s all on the receiving end.  Okay, what’s next?  Is this the old Microsoft Clippy?

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The card came to me from Germany via Postcrossing, and the sender tells me she works in a big financial firm during the day, and outside of that she’s a honey professional!

“Beekeeping is family tradition for more than 100 years and I’m proud to be a part of it.  In 2016 we got a price for the good quality of our honey.”

Something less tasteful up next: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace!  I got that from the Orlando, Florida area, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum movie tag.  The sender writes:

“Despite this being generally a pretty terrible movie in my opinion it’s actually got my favorite Star Wars character in it–Qui-Gon Jinn.  I really love him and wish he hadn’t died.”

Sorry if I just gave out a spoiler there, but honestly: if you haven’t seen the film: no need.

Time to show off the remaining stamps & stickers:

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Here is Really No Fun: Received from Canada, Germany, Greece, Japan, & the U.S.

I love this postcard of Astro Boy (AKA Mighty Atom) & friends which came to me from a sender in Tokyo, Japan, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum trade in which the person tagging looks at the recipients favorite cards, and sends one they think would be appreciated.  I do appreciate it, and I love the Doraemon stickers on the back, too!  Scroll to the bottom of the post to see those.  This card’s sender tells me:

“I have a 3-year-old son and a newborn daughter.  I work as a software engineer.  I sent you this card of ATOM!!  Wishing you peace and health from Japan.”

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I love, love, love that Astro postcard.

Then comes the Japanese food–NOT sent to me from Japan.  It’s from Riverside, California, in another Postcrossing Forum “see my favorites” tag, and the sender writes:

“I hope that you are having an especially lovely day today.  This card gives me a serious sushi craving.  I love a good rainbow roll.  Surprisingly, there are some great sushi places here in the desert.”

This Snoopy nengajō is awesome.  It’s another card from Tokyo, in a Postcrossing Forum Peanuts tag, bringing me “best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year.”  Wonderful Doraemon stamp on the back, too!  Nengajō: why, why, why is this not a thing here in the U.S.?  No new years greetings, and not much of an emphasis on the Lunar New Year… which reminds me of an NPR interview I heard this weekend with 97-year-old Chinese cuisine icon Cecilia Chang:

(NPR’S NEDA) ULABY: But as much as Chiang loves the Lunar New Year, she misses being in countries where everyone is celebrating it.

CHIANG: Here is really no fun.

Y U P !

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Then we have–donuts?–from Friedberg, Germany.  Sounds appropriate!  This comes my way thanks to Postcard United.  The sender tells me:

“I live here with my 74 year old mother and I take care of her.  I wish you all the best.”

More food, thanks to a swap-bot trade of recycled cardboard.  It came to me from Greece, where the sender wrote:

“Bye Bye 2016!  This is my last postcard for 2016 and that’s good.  Besides the famous people who died, I lost family & friends.  It’s been a lousy year for death.  On the other hand, we made a profit during ‘the season,’ we aren’t hungry and going further into debt.”

So there’s that.

COFFEE TIME! That came to me from Virginia in a swap-bot trade, and  it got me wondering as to whether Chase & Sanborn Coffee still exists, so I looked it up–and it does! It is now owned by the same Italian company that also bought up Chock full o’Nuts, and the company website taught some stuff about that brand:

“Chock full o’Nuts coffee houses are very widespread, especially in the Northeast of the United States. They serve top quality, 100% Arabica coffee, as well as the well-known date nut bread and a wide range of refreshing drinks.”

I HAD NO IDEA.

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Finally now, a card from another WordPresser! Melissa in Canada sent me a very Canadian card, indeed: flag on the front, hockey player stamps on the back!  You can see them, plus Doraemon, and all the stamps, stickers & postmarks below.

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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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Familiar Folk, in a New Context: Sent to Australia, Japan, Netherlands, & the U.S.

Happy New Year!  Here’s a post that’s been sitting in my draft folder for a few weeks, while I waited for the cards to reach their destinations (to avoid spoilers for the two people who happen to read this blog).  I think it’s safe now…

I like this handful of cards.  Three of them are going out in an interesting swap-bot trade the organizer named “postcard roulette.”  We were assigned one person as a recipient–and then we were to mail a 2nd card to another, unassigned, partner from the trade roster.  As I said, I mailed out 3 cards–one to my assigned partner, one to another participant–and one to the organizer, as a thank-you for hosting the trade.

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My assigned recipient is in Geldrop, Netherlands, and she is a Disney fan, so she gets the Aladdin card.

The swap host lives in San Francisco, California, and enjoys landscape and randomness (my interpretation), and that tiger card fits in both categories, I’d say.

The third card actually went out to a fellow WordPresser!  I was reading the profile of a swapper in Gaven, Queensland, Australia, to help me choose a card she might like (she likes wildlife, so I chose the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas in San Luis Obispo County)–and she mentioned her blog–Under a Canopy of Stars–which I follow!  Had to send a card & say hi.  Hi!

The remaining two cards to regular postcard pals of mine: The World War I Flying Ace went off to Kalaheo, Hawaii, and Pig-Pen (who would have made an awesome President) was bound for Tokyo, Japan.

A sampling of the stamps, stickers, & washi tape:

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Does a Dog Eat its Fortune? Received from India, Japan, Taiwan, & the U.S.

I came home today to a full mailbox!  Five pieces of snail mail–whoa!

I love this Taiwan Railway Journey postcard.  Taiwanese bento are sold in quite a few places in my city–but I really think I need to take an extended trip to their homeland, for comparison purposes.

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The card was sent to me via Postcard United, and the sender writes:

“Railroad lunch box is well-known, it’s delicious and inexpensive.  People can only buy it on the train or at the train station.”

I’m not so impressed with the fortune cookies–and I’m not sure I knew La Choy even sold the things!  You can go into most CVS stores around here & buy locally-manufactured fortune cookies (also available in various colors, as well as flat & fortune-less).  Which ones do I choose?  Well, I don’t!  It’s a food package postcard, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum tag trade, and the sender is in Colfax, Washington.  She writes:

“I hope I am not the only one who is amused by the fact that fortune cookies are not actually Chinese, nor English muffins, English; French toast, French; Danishes, Danish, etc.  Since these do not contain chocolate, they are critter-safe.  My dog, Max, loves them.”

I wonder whether she lets him eat his fortune.

Incredible India is another Postcard United incoming, and it came in to me from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.  Do you want to know what I just learned on Wikipedia?  Thiruvananthapuram is the capital–and the largest city–in its state, and it has a sister city in the U.S.: Galveston, Texas.  The card’s sender tells me:

“My hobbies being stamp collection, travelling places, water painting, gardening, enjoying soups, movies, etc. Have visited many places in India. We got many exotic sites. 🙂 Never been to another country. Wish to visit USA one day!! I like to have friend’s company when travelling.  Just 1 or 2 friends.”

I chuckled a bit at the hobby of “enjoying soups.”  I do have to admit, though, that particularly-good versions of sambar do indeed get me making yummy sounds.

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Well, there’s a weird postcard.  It’s via swap-bot, from an unassigned partner in the “postcard roulette” trade I’ve mentioned a couple of times lately.  The sender chills me to the core when she says:

“Hello from Colorado where we expect it to be 4 degrees for the high temperature on Saturday.  This is not normal.  You’re my chosen one from the list of roulette people…wonder if anyone will choose me… 🙂  :I  😦  “

Yeah, when I was reading about the “get assigned one, choose another one from the list of participants” nature of the swap, I did indeed wonder whether someone would choose me.  So now I know!  I wonder if I will receive still more unassigned cards…

Finally, I got a Christmas card from my snail mail pal in Tokyo, Japan, from whom I just got some cooool mail yesterday!  She writes she hopes we will be writing each other letters for years to come.

Some wonderful stamps today: I love the animals & food.

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Joy-in-the-Box: Received from Japan & the U.S.

A super-long day at work, and I came home to this…

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Soooo nice to see the bills & junk mail peppered with some beautiful postcards!  And I had a good idea, before I even took a good look, that they came from my two most kind & posta-talented snail mail pals.

Snoopy & ‘Stock are courtesy of Cindi in Hawaii, who really Peanutsed-up the back of the card!

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Breathtaking!

And my pal in Tokyo, Japan turned a Snoopy print ad into a wonderful envelope.

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Have a closer look at the stamps: the card from Japan has a little something extra: a stamp from Italy!

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(but it’s the other 3 stamps I love)

A Great Batch, with a “Bad” Ending: Received from China, Japan, Taiwan, & the U.S.

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Those very busy, porcelain-making pandas came to me from Harbin, China, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum tag trade.  Did you hear the news stories about the U.S.-born pandas who were sent to China, and are having a rough time with the language & food?

Cindi in Hawaii tells me Honi Kaua translates as “kiss me.” You know Hawaii is a special place when, for once, a kiss from Snoopy doesn’t leave Lucy calling out for iodine!  This very cool, very special Hawaii card is such an exclusive that I, in many trips to Hawaii throughout my life, have never seen it in any stores there.  Of course, most of the stores that draw me in happen to be ABC Stores!

The two busy Peanuts postcards in the middle are from a postcard pal in Tokyo, Japan.  Even more than the cards she sent, I love the envelope she made for them–out of an entire Snoopy-themed Mister Donut bag!

 

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The Taiwan card is from Taiwan–Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to be exact.  The sender writes:

“I’m a college student.  I live in Kaohsiung, a south city of Taiwan.  Kaohsiung used to have an important harbour, so there were lots of old warehouses.  Now the area of these warehouses become a famous art center.”

I love the beautiful flower stamp on her envelope (scanned below), which is labeled as Calliandra emarginata, but it looks like lehua to me!

Finally, from Kansas City (and no, I don’t know which one), thanks to a swap-bot trade of movie/TV postcards, comes that “Breaking Bad” card.  The sender writes:

“Did you ever watch Breaking Bad?  If not, I highly recommend it.  It is a masterpiece.”

No, I have never watched that.  You know what show I highly recommend?  Luke Cage.

I mentioned one of the stamps before, but look below & you will see that this was a wonderful batch for stamps!  In fact, the only two I do not love are the buildings.  I’ve scanned just one of the two Snoopy-with-hibiscus stickers (each of them different) on Cindi’s card.  I’m a fool for tropical flowers.

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