Oct
30
2008

Absence in the Blogosphere

bya Gabrielle at 3:47 PM

Reasons I haven’t been posting about anything lately:

1.  Nothing interesting has happened in my life worth noting.

2.  Haven’t been on any picture escapades – although, I have more than enough memory for my camera now, thanks to Phil.  He got me a 16 GB memory card for my birthday.  Yeah, 16 GBs!! That’s almost 5000 pictures or 121 minutes of video on my highest setting!

3.  I’ve been engulfed by Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series. I’m already on book three and I just started reading a week ago.  It’s pretty decent, although at times cheesy and repetitive.  One thing is for sure, I know what I am going to wish for when I blow out all 27 candles this Sunday.  I wish Phil was a vampire. :)  He practically already is – he’s strong, pale, and comes alive at night.  Maybe I should ask him if he is one before I waste my wish!

4.  Pen pals.  I’m communicating with three girls.  One in Italy, one in Germany, and the other in Spain.

5.  I’m lazy.

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Jul
10
2008

Piles of Postcards

bya Gabrielle at 11:09 AM

I’m still participating in Postcrossing, just not at the speed I was when I first started. International stamps are expensive, especially when you are sending out 6 or so postcards at a time every week and a half. Well, I’ve been a bit busy(lazy) lately, and so I’ve neglected my duty to scan in my postcards. I finally got around to it after I got back from Atlanta.

So, here we go. First up, Germany.

Germany 1

What a cute little abode.

Germany 2

I think I am going to start a list of places I HAVE to go to before I die, and I am going to use some of the postcards I receive to help me make that list.

Macedonia 1

Macedonia! I probably never would have received a postcard from there, had Ana not offered to send me one. To thank her, I sent her one. If you want to see my personal card, you’ll have to scroll down a bit, or go to the next page. Ana gets lots and lots of postcards. She goes into a lot more detail on her postcards that I do. It’s pretty neat, you should check it out.

Macedonia 2

For some reason, I’m always interested in what a person’s handwriting will look like. I guess it’s like trying to figure out what a person will look like if you have never met them.

New Zealand 1

Wellington looks very similar to Hong Kong. Tall buildings. Bright lights. Mountains in the distance. Water. I really wish New Zealand wasn’t so far away.

New Zealand 2

I’ve sent/received 3 postcards from New Zealand. One from the top. One from the bottom. And now one from the middle. Heh. Only I would find something like that interesting.

Pennsylvania 1

A lot of people argue that there is no point in traveling overseas because there is so much to see in their country of residence. I really should make a point to visit more of my country. I’m always jealous of people that live in Europe. They have some many countries nearby.

Pennsylvania 2

The freaky thing about this postcard is that I accidentally stumbled upon her blog before I got her postcard. What are the odds of a postcrosser having a blog, me finding it, and then later receiving a postcard from that user without ever asking that person to send one? Strange, I tell you, strange.

Somerville 1

I officially dislike ad cards now.

Somerville 2

And this is why.

Thailand 1

My very fist postcard from Thailand. I always like it when a new country arrives in my mailbox.

Thailand 2

Only 7572 postcards have been sent from Thailand.  I feel lucky.

Turkey 1

This is a postcard from Sybil who lives in Turkey.  She keeps sending me the most interesting postcards. This one here depicts “A circumcision ceremony during the time of Sultan Ahmed III.”  They had ceremonies? Very interesting.

Turkey 2

I always like getting cards from Sybil because she provides me with lots of reading material.  :)

Turkey 1

My mom told me over the phone that I had received a postcard that had people standing on a roof.  I pictured something a lot more wild in my head, let me tell you, but when I got home and saw it, I was pleasantly surprised to find out why they were standing on the roof. What a very exciting wedding!  That must be one strong roof, though, to hold that many people.

Turkey 2

I really think that Sybil may have the gift of gab.  It’s not a bad thing, though.  I learn a lot when people have much to say.

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Jun
03
2008

Finland, France, Germany, and Russia, Oh My!

bya Gabrielle at 11:58 AM

Another week, another set of postcards from around the world.

At work, when I start thinking about how long it is until I can go home, I start thinking about the possibilities awaiting me in my mailbox. Will there be a postcard from a country I haven’t gotten one from yet? Will there be a thank you card from someone? Will it be written in a foreign language? What will be on the card? A fuzzy animal? Ancient scrolls from long ago? Colorful rocks? Or something self-made? Opening my mailbox is like opening a gift on my birthday. I never know what to expect.

Can anyone read Finnish? I’d like to know what that says.

I guess Pia didn’t have a lot to say.

When I first saw the front of this postcard, I thought it was from China, but no, it was sent from France. This is the first postcard that I have received from France. Postcrossing really is a learning experience. Almost every card I receive teaches me something I didn’t know before. I think that’s pretty cool.

Hopefully, my obsession of checking the mailbox won’t become debilitating. I’d hate to have to go to the doctor to get meds because I like getting mail – a lot.

I used to collect rocks when I was younger. I still have many of them sitting on a shelf somewhere.

This is my 4th postcard from Germany.

What a very interesting photograph. I really like how it is in black and white, and how she left the space on the left to write something. The frayed edge effect is really neat. This is the third hand-made card that I’ve received, and I can’t figure out why many postcrossers don’t want them. I really like them.

This one was actually sent to me in an envelope because it wasn’t affixed to a thick backing. I don’t think it would have made it all the way from Russia in one piece had it been sent by itself. I heard once that someone sent a banana through the mail. I wonder what in the world it looked like when it got to where it was going.

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May
26
2008

Postcrossing One Country At a Time

bya Gabrielle at 1:04 PM

Here are six more postcards that I received through Postcrossing this past week. As soon as I save up some money and some vacation time, I’m going to have to start traveling again. Maybe to help me decide where to go first, I’ll put all of the postcards I’ve received in a big basket, close my eyes, and pluck one out. That would make traveling pretty interesting. Hrm, I can so see that being a premise of a Discovery or Travel Channel show. I’d watch it. :)

I felt pretty special to get this one from Hong Kong. There are only 68 users there, and I’m sure they are all not active. I loved the architecture of the buildings in China, especially in Hong Kong.

If someone could please translate this for me, I would greatly appreciate it. I was only able to recognize a few of the characters.

I really want to visit Germany at least once before I die. My ancestors came over on a boat in 1854.

I’m convinced that all Germans write their 1’s like little upside down V’s. How wicked. Not wicked in a bad way, wicked in an interesting way.

This is the first panoramic postcard that I’ve received. I really like the colors in it.

If I ever need to be inspired one day, I’ll just pull this postcard out and give it a read.

This is the first postcard that I’ve received from Lithuania. Seems like an interesting place.

It sure took a lot of stamps to send the postcard to me. I wonder how hard it would be to learn Lithuanian. It doesn’t look particularly easy.

Never been to New Hampshire, but I would like to travel north one day – only in the summer though. I can’t stand cold weather. I’d rather be hot and melting than cold and frozen.

I sent Audrey a postcard, and she was nice enough to send me one in return. I find it funny that the Post Office let it be sent with the 26 cent stamp, instead of the new 27 cent one.

This one is from Wisconsin, another state I’ve never been able to visit . . . yet.

My first postcard was from a 9 year old boy in Finland. It’s nice to see young people participating in Postcrossing.

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May
13
2008

USA, Germany and New Zealand

bya Gabrielle at 2:07 PM

Postcrossing is making me obsessive-compulsive about my mailbox. Seriously.

When I first looked at this, I was like, “Did someone just send me a picture of naked people?” Then I looked at it a little closer and figured out it was Adam and Eve and that they had just watched their underpants. I found it pretty funny. I’m confused why Adam is wearing shoes though. I didn’t think they had that type of attire in the Garden of Eden.

The kitty Keller is speaking of was temporarily possessed this past Saturday. She was panting like a dog and looked very, very evil. I knew something was very wrong when she let me pour several water cans over her and she didn’t move. She seems to be better now, but she would have been a perfect fit for the resurrected cat in in Pet Sematary.

This is one of the most unusual cards I’ve received thus far. I had no idea this was a Salvador Dali painting. I’m telling you, I learn something everyday.

My mother and I both got a card from Germany on the same day. I noticed that both senders wrote their 1’s exactly the same. I’ve never seen anyone write a 1 like that before. It looks like an upside down V. I wonder if all Germans write their 1’s like that.

New Zealand. Phil really wants to visit this country. Neil and Kaliah, two people who taught with me in Fuyang lived in New Zealand for a spell. They showed me pictures of the view from their house. Man, was it beautiful. It didn’t seem real.

I found it odd that the stamps weren’t canceled out like ours. Does this mean I can take the stamp off and put it on another postcard if I happen to be in New Zealand? If you are from New Zealand, and you are reading this, please comment.

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Apr
28
2008

Lots and Lots of Postcards

bya Gabrielle at 12:11 PM

This past Friday, 4 postcards showed up in my mailbox. And then on Saturday, another came. All I have to say, is that postcards from around the world beat a bill any day of the week. :)

Card # 1

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia. Looks pretty. I really like the old buildings. So medieval. I’d bet money that the sky in this particular photo isn’t real, though. Take a closer look. What do you think? I can’t figure out why someone would photoshop a fake sky into a postcard.

I found it funny that she didn’t spell out China all the way. Interesting stamp, too. I imagine I’ll be getting many history lessons in the near future. I’ll have to look up his name to see what he did in order to be deserving of a stamp.

Card # 2

Mikkeli, Finland.

Anna-Lisa wrote with a very interesting pen.

Some letters are dark blue while others are light blue.

Is that a moth or a little butterfly?

Card # 3

Sibel lives in Manisa, Turkey, but this postcard is representing Uchisar, Nevsehir – Turkey. Sibel was the first person to receive a postcard from me through Postcrossing. She wanted to send me a postcard in return, so I gave her my address. Turkey seems like a really cool place to visit. I’ll have to put it on my places to go before I die.

I like it when postcards have a lot of writing on them. I’ve always wanted to fly in a hot air balloon. Had Phil and I had the money to do it in Yangshuo, China, we so would have.

Card # 4

I was expecting one postcard, not two from Sibel. I was pleasantly surprised.

All of these postcards are making me antsy. I’ll need to travel somewhere soon.

Card # 5

This fighter jet came all the way from Dayton, Ohio, from Emily. It’s actually her photo, not something she bought. This is something I am going to start doing soon – taking and sending my own postcards. I’ve got over 5,000 to choose from just from spending a year in China.

This is the first card I have received from America. I doubt it will be the last. Something like 18% of Postcrossing users are from America.

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Apr
24
2008

First Postcard

bya Gabrielle at 9:09 AM

Horray! Last Friday, I received my first postcard through Postcrossing. It came from a 9 year old boy living in Veikkola, Finland. It took about 8 days to travel 4701 miles/7566 kilometers. If you want to get a history lesson on Finland, go here.

I think this is the strangest water tower I’ve ever seen.

I think Oliver’s mother transcribed his message for him.

Either that, or Oliver has the best handwriting ever!

Cool stamp. I used to have a collection of frogs when I was younger – figureens, not real ones.

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Apr
08
2008

Postcrossing

bya Gabrielle at 1:17 PM

The other day, I was reading through the blogs I like to frequent, and I came across something rather interesting. Thanks, Erick.

I’ve always enjoyed the idea of having a pen pal or something like it, but I’ve never really participated in it fully. A few years ago, I stumbled upon a website that allowed you to send emails to people, but it didn’t work very well, and I got sick of the strange men who kept wanting to marry me. :) I think it had to do with who built the site. It wasn’t very user friendly. I think the site is still up and running because every now and again, I get an email saying that someone has sent me an email. I don’t even bother opening them anymore.

So, I was very happy when I stumbled upon Postcrossing. Basically, in a nut shell, it works like this. You sign up, request a user’s address, and then send them a postcard. Once the person you sent it to registers it on the website(to me this is the only real pitfall, even though after a certain amount of time they expire), your name is then able to be randomly selected by other users. You can’t go requesting user’s addresses all day long. Postcrossing only allows you to send 5 post cards at any given time. They say they do this to protect users from the crazy people out there who just want to gain access to your information. I understand their reasoning, but in reality, all anyone needs is a computer or a phone book. Your address isn’t top secret or anything.

I like that you never know who the postcard will be coming from or when, but you are more or less guaranteed a postcard back if you send one. That is what I really like about Postcrossing. And besides the money you have to spend to buy postcards and stamps, it’s free. Free is good.

So far I have sent postcards to an Annette in Finland, a Robert in Germany, a Keller in Connecticut, a Vinni in Brazil and a Sibel in Turkey. I imagine that the one I sent to Keller will get to her soon, considering how close she is to me.

Hopefully, I won’t get any crazy stalkers or anything. At least, if I do, they’ll most likely have to spend a lot of money getting to me.

I’ll post the postcards as I get them.

This should be interesting. If you want to sign up, just go here.

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