Tastes Like Canned Soup: Sent to Australia, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, U.K., & the U.S.

I just got back from Malaysia, and it truly is a food paradise. Sad to say, I didn’t quite make it to every single thing on this postcard! It went off in a Postcrossing Forum food tag to Quzhou, Zhejiang, China.

Food Malysia Food Paradise

The Hainanese Chicken postcard is also from Malaysia, but not procured during my trip. I got it some time ago when I ordered the wonderful book, The Food That Makes Us. A set of postcards came with the book! This card is on a trip to New Taipei City, Taiwan.

postcard a The Food That Makes Us chicken rice

Another food tag, but this recipient in Sendai, Japan, isn’t getting anything nice at all. In brief: Andersen’s Split Pea Soup is a pretty popular brand on California supermarket shelves, so of course way back when I first passed the restaurant–a popular roadside stop in the city of Buellton–I wanted to try their homemade version. Well, do you know what it tasted like? CANNED SOUP!

Food Pee Soup Andersens

Another card I bought in Malaysia; this one goes off in a “not my country” tag to Gunma, Japan.

Malaysia loka made postcards (16)

This is a place I’ve been to, but not in a while; it’s the Hotel King Kamehameha in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and it’s off in a travel tag to Nairne, SA, Australia.

Hawaii Hotel King Kamehameha

Here’s a card I bought at the airport as I was departing for my vacation. I’ve come across a whole lot of California map cards, but I think this is my favorite. It looks even better in person! This one goes out to a postcard pal in Hawaii.

California Max and Oscar

This pair of shiba inus are headed for New Taipei City, Taiwan.

postcard a dogs shiba inu

This card goes to an otter lover in Hamburg, Germany.

postcard California Sea Otter

Another otter card for another otter lover, this one in Shenyang, Liaoning, China.

Postcard A Sea Otter California Coast

Honest John went off in a Disney tag to Ylivieska, Finland.

Disney Villains Honest John

Postcrossing Forum has a number of “send me a card from my album of favorites” tags. I don’t dip in too often because, you know, what are the odds I’ll have a card the person has marked as wanting? Well, it’s happened twice recently (though the second Postcrosser has yet to respond to my tag)! This gator is being mailed to Faches-Thumesnil, France.

Mail a Gator

The lovely merpug is off — by request — to Itzehoe, Germany.

postcard a Greetings from Paradise pug mermaid

Here’s another requested card, this one on its way to Riverside, California.

Red Panda

Ready for a Peanuts Gallery? I’d better send off this 2018 postcard while it’s still topical! Copies go to Itami and Tokyo, Japan.

Peanuts Snoopy Year of the DogThis is the moment when Lucy starts calling for iodine; it goes to a postpal in Peacehaven, East Sussex, U.K.

Peanuts Smak Snoopy and Lucy

Lucy & Schroeder are off to Kyoto, Japan.

postcard toon Peanuts Lucy Schroeder Hey

“My Favorite Peanuts” will go to Jinjiang City, Fujian, China.

Schulz Museum My Favorite Peanuts

The tiger, like one of my earlier cards shown here, is also headed for New Taipei City (but to a different recipient).

John cards TIGER

I pulled another name on Postcard United! The recipient in Hong Kong enjoys images of architecture, so I’m sending her an image of the grand main library in San Diego, California.

San Diego Central Library full

…and another Postcard United draw, this one going to Zheleznogorsk, Russia.


This third Postcard United draw goes to Hangzhou, China.

Frederick C Herrick 1921

This last card makes 23 I’ve chronicled this time around, and its a postcard of Kliban Cats! I love them. This card goes to a fellow fan in Taipei, Taiwan.

kliban snow cats

Stamps! Stickers! Washi tape! Do you see the durian washi tape I picked up on the second leg of my eating vacation: Singapore? Here and there you’ll also see puffy Tom & Jerry stickers, a silly online purchase that was awaiting me when I returned home. Kliban cat stickers also show up a lot in this batch of outgoing cards. I love Kliban cats. Dunno if I’ve ever mentioned that before…

Do you have any favorites this time around? Please let me know about them!



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Face it, Tiger: You’ve Hit the Mailbox! Sent to China, England, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, & the U.S.

It’s going to be quite the session today.  THERE WILL BE  A RANT!


For now, though, let’s start with the tigers.  THREE tigers, going out in 3 Postcrossing draws.  The first goes to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and I chose this card for her for no particular reason, save perhaps for the fact that she said she’d like to see anything unique from my country.

The next tiger goes to Singapore, and I feel that rant coming on.  CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS POSTCROSSER IN SINGAPORE?  She has been with the site for more than 8 years.  She has sent nearly 6,500 cards.  And as for her profile?

N   O   T   H   I   N   G   .


What is her point in participating in this site?  I mean, to the extend she is even participating; I see the lack of a profile of any kind a complete refusal to participate in the project.  The only reason I chose one of my favorite postcards to send out is that in the absence of any kind of connection between sender & recipient, this card helps me out by having a back story I can write in the message space.  I mean, I hope a message written on the card will not offend this prolific cipher.

/end rant

The tiger heading for Rotenburg, Germany will be going to an interesting home, I think. This Postcrosser had some very specific requests:

-Please write the date, temperature, distance, how much postage you pay for the stamp and tell me where do you keep your postcards to?

I don’t even know what that last part means.  I fulfilled all of the middle stuff, and ignored the “babynames” bit.  She has internet access.

Astro Boy!  He’s off to Mangalore, India in a Postcrossing Forum Anime/Manga tag.  This Postcrosser writes in his profile, “through Postcrossing I can see your side of the world :-)”

The postcard hewn from a package of pani puri went to Falls Church, Virginia in a food package postcard trade.  That product may not have been the perfect solution for pani puri lovers, but it was definitely fun, and it makes for really great postcards, I think!

The rather boring “Fremont” card is off in a Postcrossing Forum “China Meets the World” trade to Hangzhou, China, to an engineer who said he would like postcards depicting the sender’s city.  I told him I didn’t think these are very good representations. I would certainly snap up postcards featuring the Mission Peak photo on Fremont’s Wikipedia page.  It also shows a small corner of the city’s Central Park, which itself would offer several postcard-worthy scenes.

The last two cards are from the boxed set, “The Art of Disney: The Renaissance and Beyond (1989-2014).”  The Beauty & the Beast card–well, let’s just say I need a postcard secretary.  I scanned the front of the card, but have no record of the other side.  Doing some looking around, the scan date seems to coincide with a swap-bot Disney postcard trade, so that makes sense, yeah.  Apparently I mailed this off to Hollywood, England.

Finally, the Lion King card is off to Xi’an, China, in a Postcrossing Forum Cartoon/Comic Strips/Anime tag.  The recipient is an 18-year-old who likes giraffes, and Disney, and many other things.  She asked that people not write in cursive, because she couldn’t read it.  BOY, have I received postcards I could not decipher!  I do print my cards, though perhaps not always as neatly as I ought.

Here you go: some of the stamps, stamps, stickers, & washi tape:


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That mystery grab bag, though: Sent to England, Germany, & Slovakia

So, I bought a great big, cheap, “random” assortment of postcards through Amazon.  They just came, I opened them up, and tried to keep my tears from falling on them.  Did I mention they were cheap, though?  I’ll post specifically about the assortment soon, but for now: Postcrossing!


Some of the cream of the crop. I’d be interested in hearing your experiences of buying bulk postcard assortments.

The tipis, part of the Wigwam Motel in Arizona, are off to Erkrath, Germany.  The Postcrosser describes himself as a man in his 50s living with his wife & daughter, and asks senders to surprise him with the card of our choice.  I thought this odd scene might amuse & intrigue him.  I told him what my internet search for this place turned up: it’s from a chain that started in the 1930s; this location is still open; these units have full baths, cable & AC; and this motel is its city’s largest tourist attraction.  I was lucky that the postcard identified the subject of its photo: most of the ones in the assortment do not.

Those beautiful flours on the railway, for instance: no information given.  Pity.  I’ll tell you where it’s going, though: to Cambridge, England.  The recipient is brand-new to Postcrossing, and mentions enjoying nature.

An English teacher in Košice, Slovakia will receive that nice view of Montana’s Glacier National Park (yes, this postcard did identify its subject).  The recipient says she is the mother of two grown daughters, and is using Postcrossing to revive her childhood hobby of collecting postcards.  One particular thing she mentioned as enjoying on her cards is “beautiful natural wonders.”

Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’: Sent to England, France, Germany, and Taiwan

“Use your profile to write about yourself.  Your account’s profile is the place where others can learn more about you, so please enter a few sentences.”

–From Postcrossing Community Guidelines, ‘On using your account’

That is such a big part of Postcrossing: learning about other countries by learning a little bit about people who live in those countries.  Also, when you write a profile, that helps people not only get to know you a bit, but also it aids in choosing a card for you, and in knowing what to write on that card.  Thus, I was disconcerted by the minimalist profile of the Postcrosser from Bielefeld, Germany.  I’ll share her entire profile between the two lines that follow:

Yes, you read that correctly: she wrote absolutely nothing in her profile.

Who is this person?  What type of a card might she like?  What might I write to this person, who obviously chose to say absolutely nothing to me?

I tried to rationalize her choice: maybe her English is not so good.  Heck, there are plenty of people born here in the U.S., whose families have been in the country for generations, whose English is not so good, but they still manage to be prolific on Postcrossing & swap-bot!  No, English is the language of Postcrossing, and even people who admit their English is terrible manage to bang out a rough paragraph or two, perhaps with the help of an online translator.

Maybe she is brand new? Yes, surely she is brand-new, and just hasn’t quite gotten to this bit.  Nope.  She has been around for over three years, and has sent out over 1,600 cards.

In a last-ditch effort to suss out which card I might send her, I went to see her favorites from her wall of postcards.  It was in that section I learned that in three years of Postcrossing, she has not favorited a single card.

It is this Herculean lack of effort that made me take the drastic measure of sending her “Tiger Markings,” the card at top left in this photo.


L’il Cartoon Girl is absolutely appalled.

I’d feel horrible about it, except for the fact that I so totally do not.  For all I know, she will love this!  It’s a draw from Animal Box: 100 Postcards by 10 Artists, and if you read the reviews of that set on Amazon, you’ll see that depending upon whom you trust, only 30 to 70 of the images are worthy of their postcard status.  One reviewer even said she used the fine card stock of these pieces to create her own beautiful cards to send out!  But like I say, maybe the recipient will love this.  I would have no way of knowing.

I also didn’t knock myself out on the back: whereas most of my messages are 13 or more lines of tightly-packed writing, this time around I managed to fill the space with (to paraphrase) hi, greetings from ___, Happy Postcrossing, me. Yes, I still separated the address from the message with a strip of washi tape, but just a plain colored strip.  My most extravagant move was that I still put two rubber-stamped impressions in there.  Hope she doesn’t hate them–I’d have no way of knowing.

The owls are from the same box as the hot mess tiger pattern, and they go to a Postcrosser in South Yorkshire, England who said she would love to receive owl cards.  It was my absolute pleasure to send this to her. She also said she enjoys lists, so I wrote her a list of…

8 Movies I’ve Seen in the Last 2 Weeks

  1. Ant-Man
  2. Grandma
  3. The Martian
  4. Sicario
  5. The Intern
  6. Black Mass
  7. Singh is Blinng
  8. Pan

The wonderful tiger is headed off on a trip to La Bouilladisse, France.  The recipient enjoys dollhouse miniatures, so I hoped she might be amused by a peek into what the residents of her dollhouse might espy while on photo safari.

Lastly, for a Postcrossing Forum Disney tag trade, the piece of art from Wreck-It Ralph goes to New Taipei City, Taiwan.  The photo below shows the stamps, stamps, & washi tape I applied to the back of that card.


Snow, and water, & things close-by: Sent to China, England, Poland, & Russia

A lot going out, all in one day…


Do you have a favorite?

Olaf x 3 is on his way to Derby, England, for a swap-bot Disney postcard trade.  This is the first card I’ve pulled out of a newly-acquired boxed set “Art of Disney” cards.  We were to write a Disney-related message on the card, & I kept mine Olaf related: how for me he is the best part of “Frozen,” and how I saw him inside Disneyland, resting atop a building & greeting people standing in line to meet the princesses.

That concludes today’s swap-bot segment; the rest of the cards are Postcrossing draws.  The card at top right, depicting California’s Marine Mammal Center, is on its way to Vladivostok, Russia, where I assume it will be handed off to this Postcrosser’s wife, as he says she is the one who likes “cute animals.”  Unless she doesn’t find pinnipeds cute, in which case I have no use for her.

The tiger card is on its way to Chongqing, China.  This is actually a resend, replacing a (different) card I sent over 60 days ago, and which is therefore now “expired.” The intended recipient accepted my offer of a resend, but also told me this:

“The postcard is usual travelling for one and half month in China. But sometimes it takes longer. I had received a card travelled for 123 days. Amazing!”

So, perhaps she will receive this new card, and also the original!  She tells me she is sending me a card to thank me for the resend.

The lighthouse, I hope, will find its way to Szczecin, Poland.  The recipient expresses interest in all sorts of water-based athletics & sport, but the closest thing I have to offer is water.

The beautiful harbor seals are supposed to end up in Zhejiang, China, with a Postcrosser who describes herself as “a 25 years Chinese girl,” and says almost nothing else about herself, but does go on at some length about what type of cards she hopes to receive. Mine fits under the “animals live in the ocean” category.  I was, of course, careful to steer clear of her NO list:

“NO Handmade cards/ad cards/wierd cards…and no postcards in envelope.”

I don’t have a clue what she meant by wierd/weird cards, but I think mine is in the clear.

Recycling & whatnot: Sent to England & the United States

Four cards sent out today, in two swap-bot trades:


The dragon card was originally sent to me with some other cards in an envelope for another swap-bot trade.  Now it is going out to Auburn, California in a “free postcard” trade.  Since it has been years since I have stumbled into any of those racks of free ad postcards, I am grateful to have anything at all to send out in a trade such as this.

The remaining cards are going out in one of my favorite ongoing swap-bot trades, the “chunk o cardboard.”  As the name implies, all that is required is that one mail out a chunk of cardboard…

…for the swap’s host in Saint Paul, Minnesota, though, I try to send something special.  I created sea life postcards in sextuplicate a couple of months or so ago; I think this may be the third of the batch I am mailing out.  The others I have sent are posted on this blog, too.  I’m always happy for a chance to be paired with this member, & thank her for creating a cool swap.

The ginger ale is going to another swapper with whom I’ve been paired more than once in the past; she’s in Immingham, England, and though I am sure she’s encountered ginger ale, I have no idea if it would have been Canada Dry.  All of a sudden, I have a great thirst for Schweppes.

And its famous Schweppervescence.

Back to the U.S., the dog treat panel is on its way to a swapper in Goleta, California. I tell her I wasn’t sure if my dog would go for this new product, as she doesn’t usually like snacks with what I’d call a “plastic-y” texture.  Well, I needn’t have worried.

To get halfway: Sent to Canada, England, Finland, & Italy

I seem to have reached a new Postcrossing milestone: I have sent enough postcards out, that I am now allowed to have as many as 12 going at a time.  To get halfway to my new allowance, I have mailed out these four cards:


Guidonia, Italy is the destination of the marine life card on the upper left.  The Postcrosser said, “my favorite theme postcards and ‘ medicine (nurses, doctors, health etc.)…Royalty and celebrities in General,” but since I had nothing with Nurse Jackie or the Kardashians, I sent this beautiful card, instead. I told her that I enjoy the Steinhart Aquarium (part of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco), and how grateful I am for the library card benefit that allows the occasional free admission, as this museum charges way too much.

The Jetoy cats are going to Bournemouth, England, where the recipient says she enjoys hugging cats and looking at stars.  I love it when I am able to come up with a card that encapsulates two or more of a person’s interests!

The manatees will make their way, slowly, to Nuoramoinen, Finland.  This was among the most nature-y of my current cards, and the Postcrosser did say, “I love nature,animal and landscape cards, something which tells story of you town or country. Or just Suprise me!!”

Lastly, the interesting antlers are destined to land in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.  The recipient said she would love cards with rainbows, and this was the closest thing I had.  This Postcrosser actually devoted most of her profile to listing expired cards, so, figuring she’s a devotee of dramatic events, I told her about the earthquake I experienced the night before.

From the odd to the adorable: Received from England, Taiwan, & the United States


That big, scalloped-edge card with the two famous personalities came to me from Albuquerque, New Mexico, in a swap-bot “U postcard” trade.  Here, you may notice, the “U” stands for “umbilical.”  Hmm.  The sender tells me that it’s from a shop downtown called Stranger Factory, where the owners sell postcards of their art.  This work is called “Fetal Trapping in Northern California.”

The person who sent me bouquet-head & friend tells me she pulled the card from her “collection of Vogue magazine cover postcards, thinking they would all just be pretty fashion through the decades, so I was quite shocked to find this more unusual cover from the year 1939.”  She is from somewhere near Scunthorpe, England, and sent me this oddity through a Postcrossing Forum “totally weird” tag trade.

The robo-card is from a swap-bot trade of unusual postcards, and came to me from someplace within or just outside California’s San Francisco Bay Area. The sender tells me the card reminds her of my “awesome toy photos,” and she asks, “have you been to the pinball museum in Alameda?” Not yet, I haven’t.

Lastly, there is my favorite card of the batch, the dragon boat.  That is a Postcrossing card from Taipei, Taiwan, and it was sent by a college student who tells me she likes “postcards (most of them are movie ad), egg toys and beautiful beverage cans.”  She also advises me, “if you want to come to Taiwan, I’ll recommend Jiufen.

Sent–ALL OVER–Via Snail Mail My Email

Last year, I spotted something interesting in a local independent book store: Snail Mail My Email: Handwritten Letters in a Digital World. From the book description provided:

Feeling nostalgic for the almost forgotten written letter, author and former ad man Ivan Cash fell upon a simple idea: he invited anyone in the world to send him an email, and he’d write it out in a letter and mail it, for free. Participants could even request a doodle or to seal it with a kiss.

What started out as a personal art project exploded into a worldwide event. As requests poured in, Cash enlisted an international army of volunteers who helped create more than 10,000 letters sent all over the globe.

I bought the book, and read it, and was intrigued.  I decided I’d like to take part if the project took place again.  And so, when the annual Snail Mail My Email event happened earlier this month, I was a part of it!

Snail Mail My Email

–and boy, am I tired!

In short, people who want an email message sent as a physical letter send it to the Snail Mail My Email project, which distributes the emails to its volunteers, who write the messages out, stuff them in envelopes, stamp them, & send them off to the intended recipients.

I received 20 e-messages to turn physical & mail along, and you see the results in the images above. My letters went to Canada, Estonia, and the United Kingdom, as well as several destinations here in the U.S.: California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, West Virginia–and even Puerto Rico. The forwarded emails came in one at a time, throughout the day, throughout the week.  I tried to do a few at a time, so they would not stack up on me; this was a very time-consuming activity!  Some people have interesting requests, some easily created a spark in my mind as to how to put them on paper, and some notes made me think a lot about what to do to make them interesting to the recipient.

There was one person who was clearly NOT Santa Claus, but was impersonating the old guy in order to try to control their children.  Lots of uses of the words “be good” and “obey.”  I passed that one by the real Santa, who rewrote the message in his own words, and gave it back to me to send along.  Yes, I know Santa.  Some time ago, I helped Santa Claus answer his mail–and it’s something you can do, too.

I don’t know that I would take part in Snail Mail My Email again, but it is a very interesting project, and at many times, a fun one.  I am happy that I was a part of it this time around.  The question that intensified in my mind over the course of the project week–and in the weeks since–is: why don’t these people write the letters to their friends, children & lovers themselves?  Why pass what are in some cases very private & intimate words through multiple strangers?  Honestly, I think that in some cases, the recipients of these handwritten letters are going to be angry over the filtering through third parties.

I hope that this project inspires the email writers, and the letter recipients, to create their own snail mail, no matter how complicated or simple.  The less people use paper, pens, stamps and letter carriers, the more it means.

Received from Wakefield, England

In 1935, Associated British Cinemas (ABC) opened the Regal Cinema in Kirkgate. The Art Deco building was renamed the ABC in 1962.  In 1997, a year after a multiplex opened in town, the ABC closed.  It has remained derelict, but there have been successive proposals to redevelop or demolish it. — Wikipedia

*  *  *

Received as part of a “your favorite animal” trade on swap-bot, this postcard:


English lop. The sender says these, and cats, are her favorite animals.

The sender drew me a picture of an UglyDoll, as she’d noticed I have some.