Welcome to my postcards blog!

Direct swaps are welcome! I like postcards of lighthouses, waterfalls, historic architecture, science and scientists, schools and universities, or any other subject featuring your area. I hope you put date, location, weather and temperature on the card and affix multiple different stamps on it. Let me know what your preferences are, and I'll try my best to contribute to your collection.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Soon after I figured out what "tag" means at postcrossing forum, I wanted to participated in "request a color" tag, meaning: sending a postcard in the color someone asks for and requesting a color for the card someone sends to me. So I requested purple, my favorite color. In my opinion, purple is somehow an awkward color in that it looks pleasant/attractive/meaningful to me but not a lot of stuff, including clothes and postcards, looks aesthetically "right" in purple. For example, a purple down coat would make me look like an eggplant with two legs, then I have a collection of purple accessories only to accentuate my favorite color in my outfit. I was wondering what kind of purple card I was going to get.

Then it arrived this beautiful sunset view card of Brisbane, Australia. How creative C. is in finding purple in our everyday life! She also tells me she loves to ride on the City Cats, the high speed ferry service, across the Brisbane River.

In the "purple" tag, I sent a Simpsons card. In return, L. tagged me back with this gorgeous card that shows the only object I possibly imagine on a purple card - lavender! L. says she wants to visit France one day to see those amazing lavender fields in person. Me, too! Or anywhere similar to Provence to bring me sunshine, aroma, and peace of mind.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Goals or No Goals?

I am very glad that my family in China is going to support me in collecting postcards! Mom and Dad are going to Shanghai Expo next month, so I asked Mom for a postcard. Mom showed her interest in my newly regained hobby and provided "indirect verbal evidence" to show I have been postcard enthusiast for many years: they have many cards I sent from the places I had been to. (Ha, when talking about my family, I am always sarcastic as the only one who does nothing to do with law.) My brother will take his family to Hongkong and Macao during the National Day long weekend. He asked me about my goals in collecting postcards, and hence he would know what cards to send.

Hmm, goals... I really don't want to set serious goals for this pleasant hobby, which is supposed to be a gateway to freshness and relaxation out of stress at work or study. However, I do know what are NOT my goals. I definitely don't aim to set Guinness World Record on receiving postcards from the most countries. I never expect unrealistically to collect a full set of postcards out of the ever-increasing list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I only want to broaden my horizons on the world (or even the outer space, :)), to be able to learn from the card, and to feel or connect with the person who writes on the card.

Here is an example on what I can learn extensively from a postcard.

This lovely lighthouse card was from L. in the Philippines. I'll have a lighthouse blog entry in the future. What I would like to incluse here is the geography I have learned from this card.

Basco is the second largest island among Batanes Islands. Neither geographic name yet sounds familiar to me.Then a little search on the position of the islands on google map shows that Batanes, which is the northernmost of the Philippines, lie in Luzon Strait between the major islands of Taiwan and Luzon. This zoom-out gives me a clear image of the waters that connect South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. What really amazes me is the names of the channels that constitute Luzon Strait: Bashi Channel and Balintang Channel! They remind me of the weather forecast on cyclone/typhoon warnings that I heard so often when I was in China: with the background music of the Weather Forecast on TV, the meteorologist says that the tropical cyclone has traveled to Bashi Channel and Balintang Channel and that it is predicted to land on ... So familiar, so familiar! I know I sound very geeky. But who doesn't have some memory that long lives, especially when it relates to the dream job you wanted when you were a kid? Now my two-year old nephew's favorite TV channel is Weather, too!

(Notes to myself: There are two islands in Luzon Strait: the Batanes and the Babuyan, from north to south, respectively. There are three channels that constitute Luzon Strait: Bashi, Balintang and Babuyan, which are divided in Luzon Strait by the Batanes Islands and the Babuyan Islands between the major islands of Taiwan and Luzon, from north to south, respectively. Bashi Channel is of the most importance in military and communication in that the water is deep enough for shipping (no wonder there are lighthouses in Basco!) and many underwater cables pass through.)


Sunday, September 12, 2010

First cards

On early morning last Thursday, I was certainly not lightened with the dream I had the other night, nor the task I assigned to myself on that day was pleasant. I was still in bed and wished I could delay the start of the day when I checked my phone for schedules. Then suddenly my day became so shiny that I got up quickly and started working with the enthusiasm I should have always had. What happened? I received a message from the first receiver of my official postcard on postcrossing -- he just registered my card! Luis from Spain said he liked my card and that was his first, too.

Bringing happiness to others makes me happy, too. I think Xiaoyu believes this.

Xiaoyu is my good friend here at Michigan. On her way to vacation in Las Vegas on Labor Day weekend, I texted her for a postcard. And last Friday, I received this very first postcard since I regained the interest in postcard collecting. Imagine how happy and appreciative I was!

This cards showcases MGM Grand Las Vegas, a hotel casino (of course, it's in Sin City and the Entertainment Capital of the World), which is the second largest hotel in the world, only behind the Venetian, also in Vegas. MGM's mascot, Leo the Lion, can be seen in the lower middle part of the card. An interesting story about Leo is: when MGM first opened, the main entrance was inside of a giant Leo, which scared away Chinese gamblers because Feng Shui belief indicated this was a bad luck. I would believe many Asian visitors, especially those from Hongkong, went gambling there. But was it because of the Feng Shui that MGM changed the main entrance? Maybe. I never believe any superstitions. But I would feel weird to walk into the mouth of a beast. Who wants to be swallowed by a predator anyways?

There is a MGM Grand signature attraction that is not shown in this card: the glass-sided lion habitat. I'll definitely check that out next time I visit Vegas. Hope the lion keeper who got injured recently will recover soon and presents us with amazing but safe display. So Vegas is on my trip plan now although it's not the type of destination I long for? I think so and I trust the recommendations by no less than ten people in the last two years, including Xiaoyu.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Oops, busted!

I have had this hobby of collecting stamps and postcards since I was little. That eagerness of receiving greeting cards from an American pen pal remains fresh and sweat deep in my mind. I had even self-designed some cards and sent to some friends. In college, many of my friends' mail had a "window" on the upper-right corner of the envelope -- the stamps along with the postmarks were cut for my collection! I've learned a lot from the postal service products: geography of the sending places, unique culture commemorated on the stamps, must-see attractions displayed on the postcards, and ... you name it.

However, I don't even remember since when I have changed to be a body with no interests. Once I was asked about my habit. After a long search in the folding of my brain, I came out with the answer "sleep". So sad, as I am diagnosed psychologically. But who doesn't want to be happy and enjoy something in everyday life?!! That's why I pick up this old-fashioned hobby with the convenience of 21st century technology.

I searched online on postcard swap programs and postcrossing.com came up. Perfect, it could be the beginning of my true joy! Maybe I was too eager -- I registered multiple accounts. On my way to send the cards which I custom-shopped for each fellow postcrosser, I was busted by the founder of the postcrossing project, Paulo, in emails. Oops! I swear I had and have no intention to "fetch a high number of addresses". But I understood where the concern came from. Ok! As a model world citizen with pristine record, I corrected myself immediately after the warning. Now I only hope they won't blacklist me as my enthusiasm has already been damped, well a little. Fingers crossed!