Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gomel, Belarus


Blurry photo of an ugly building. Quite honestly, I don't know why someone would even produce a card like this, let alone purchase it. One of the things I have on my wishlist is the sender's favorite place in their country, and the sender of this card states that they chose this one because they like Gomel very much. I am sure they do, but I am still mystified why they would choose this ugly card to represent a place that has a number of nice places.

However, the sender did write me a nice message and used lots of stamps. :)

The green ones are a 2012 definitive from the series on architectural monuments, this particular one being Niasvizh Castle, a UNESCO site in the city of Niasvizh. The purple one in the middle is from the same set, this one showing the Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle  in the city of Kamianets-Podilskyi. The flower on the right is a lily from a 2008 set on garden flowers.

Dutch horse


The sender of this card says "On the front a wild horse in a Dutch setting." Surprisingly, there are wild (well, feral) horses in the Netherlands, but the horse on this card does not really fit the phenotype. Nevertheless, a really nice card. :) Thanks Yoyce for checking my wishlist.

The stamp is from 2011, a definitive on "environmentally conscious life."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Vancouver, Canada

Stanley Park, Vancouver
Stanley Park

Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC, more than 10% larger than New York's Central Park, is ranked 6th best park in North America (and 16th best in the world!)*. Historically, the area of the park was the territory of the Squamish First Nations tribe. The British took it for a military installation in the 1860s, but agreed to let the Vancouver city council turn it into a park in 1888. It was named for Governor General of Canada Lord Stanley, who visited the park to dedicate it "to the use and enjoyment of peoples of all colours, creeds, and customs, for all time," notwithstanding the First Nations people who were still living there.

These totem poles now stand at Brockton Point, a site of a former First Nations settlement.

*Read the list of the world's best and worst parks here.

I sent this card to myself when I was in Vancouver in 2011 for the folk festival, so I made sure to get some nice stamps. :)

These are both commemoratives from 2011. The left one features the Year of the Rabbit, and the right one is on Canadian national parks.

Talk Like A South African

Talk like a South African
Private swap with Lori.

Lori reports that at least 4 languages are represented here: English, Afrikaans, Zulu, and Xhosa. South Africa has a total of eleven official languages. (The others are Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, and Venda.)

As some of you know, I am studying speech-language pathology and yesterday I had my first session as a primary clinician. It took me 3.5 hours to write up the results in my SOAP note. It was not a good night.

Today I am better. It only took me 1 hour to write my lesson plan for the next session tomorrow. So I can relax and think about postcards for a little bit. Even language-related ones.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mowgli and Baloo

Mowgli and Baloo
Mowgli and Baloo

Who could imagine a jungle as jazzy as in The Jungle Book -- or a more free-wheeling, upbeat buddy than Baloo? His lighthearted relationship with Mowgli reminds us that friendship and laughter really are among the "bare necessities of life." (from the back of the card)

I haven't watched The Jungle Book in a very long time. I remember being very frightened of Shere Khan, and bewildered by the orangutans. I love this card. I could use a hug like that.

This is a USPS-issued stamped card from the 2008 issue of The Art of Disney: Friendship. Can I just say, that 2008 was a fabulous year for USPS stamps? Of course I started postcrossing in 2009, when the stamps were NOT as nice.

From VAgirl for the USPS card tag.

The 27-cent is preprinted on the card. The 2-cent definitive was added to make up the additional postage since the card was mailed in 2011.

St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg Hallway
"St. Petersburg hallway"

From daarhan for the June 2010 RR.

The stamps on the left are definitives. On the right is a 2007 stamp of Sergey Korolev, from a set of 3 on "50th anniversary of the space epoque of Mankind."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Black Forest, Germany

costume of Black Forest
DE-1676400 from Panagiota

This woman is sporting the traditional clothing of the Black Forest region of Germany. The Black Forest is located in the state of Baden-Württemburg in southwestern Germany. The moniker "Black Forest" is said to refer to the dense conifers which block out most sunlight from above. According to the sender, the pompom hat is called a bollenhut. Red pompoms are for unmarried women, and black ones for married women. These hats are very valuable because they are made by an ever-decreasing number of skilled seamstresses and milliners, and they are considered a symbol of the Black Forest. Such costumes are still worn for some cultural events in the Black Forest.

Thanks very much Panagiota for this great card!

No new stamp. Part of the postmark has also made it onto the front of the postcard, but since it doesn't obscure the picture I actually kind of like it. You can tell this card travelled and had some adventures on its way to me. :)

For a hot night

For a Hot Night...

From nezzukka for the "will you send me..." tag. This is a card in a series of "Sheepworld," which is originally German, although I've also gotten ones in Finnish and Polish. I saw these cards when I was in Germany in August but unfortunately couldn't afford to buy very many of them, although I did spring for a Sheepworld calendar that I can enjoy for 12 more months.

A gift certificate for a hot night!
Candles: very hot
Chocolate: very hot
Me: extremely hot

From a 2011 set of five stamps celebrating the centenary of Finnish designer Kaj Franck.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Melbourne, Australia

painted bathing boxes, Brighton, Melbourne
Brighton Beach - AU-151930.

This is a good example of a "surprise" card (not on my wishlist) that I like. Bright colors, interesting idea.

"Painted bathing boxes, a legacy of nineteenth-century beach culture, provide a decorative backdrop at Brighton, one of Melbourne's most popular bayside suburbs," according to the back of the card. Bathing boxes, also known as beach huts, are shelters above the high-tide line where the owners can change clothes, store items, or even prepare food and hot drinks. The ones at Brighton have existed at least as far back as 1862!

Baby dingo!! From a 2011 set of 5 "Australian Bush Babies."



I got this lovely map of Portugal from Ferro for the vacation RR. I think my favorite map cards are those that show the countours of the land like this one, like real maps. The various views show different things about Portugal, in fact a couple of them are pictures I have received as full-size cards. I've posted one of them here.

Om nom nom. One of a set of six stamps featuring Portuguese cheeses, issued in 2010. This one is São Jorge.

Altay, China

I got this card from ConEtoiles for the favorites tag. I've gotten a lot of beautiful cards from her and this is definitely one of my favorites. :) It shows Kanas Lake, among the Altai Mountains in the Xinjiang region of China. Many Tuvan and Kazakh people live in this area, keeping traditional agriculture and nomadic lifestyles alive. (According to Wikipedia.) A beautiful place I would love to visit someday.

I think this is a postal-issued card. The "stamp" on the right is the same image as the card and is preprinted. The one on the left is a takin (Budorcas taxicolor), or goat-antelope, native to the eastern Himalayas, issued in 2001.

I am totally confused as to Chinese postage rates. I've gotten cards from there sent with 3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.2, 4.5, 4.6, and 6 yuen in postage. 3 and 4.5 seem to be the most common. Are those economy and airmail rate differences?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Plzeň, Czech Republic

Pilsen Beer

Plzeň, Czech Republic.

Plzeň is a town famous for its beer. It's an old town going back to the 11-12th century. Apparently the town celebrates its liberation by the U.S. army in 1945 each May, flying many American flags and displaying guns and tanks.

The card shows many sights of Plzeň including:
Church of St. Bartholomew
gateway to the Urquell brewery
former water tower
brewery museum
town hall
plague column
view from the Church of St. Bartholomew

 I don't think I would be particularly excited to visit this town, since I don't like beer...

Perhaps the coolest thing about this postcard is that it came with a stamp featuring the Plzeň water tower, issued in 2007.

Happy New Year

In Japan, instead of sending Christmas cards, it's tradition to send new year's postcards. Towards the end of December there are special mailboxes to put your new year's mail into, and it's all delivered on New Year's Day.

I try to send nengajo to my Japanese friends each year. This year I did manage it!

It's the year of the snake in the Chinese zodiac.