Thursday, September 21, 2017

More (mostly) uplifting notes from across the globe, via Postcrossing

In the continuing spirit of this mid-July post, here is a rundown of some of my late-summer interactions with fellow Postcrossing enthusiasts from around the globe. More than ever, I think it's important for us to have a shared sense of community with our fellow human beings around the globe. We are not just pawns on a board to be pitted against each other; we are not just pieces to "totally destroy."

My first official Halloween postcard of the autumn season came from Julia in Ukraine, who also included some awesome stamps, one of which I believe shows an example of a Kurgan stelae. The terrific Halloween artwork, featuring a giant, playful black cat and multiple witches is a 2015 piece by Надія Ільчук (Nadiya Ilchuk) titled "Sabbath on Castle Hill, Kyic."

Julia writes: "Hello, Chris! My name is Julia. I live in Ukraine. My hometown is Vynohradiv. It is situated in Transcarpathian mountains. The nature is amazing there. Have you ever been to Ukraine? Best wishes, Julia. :)"

I can add that Vynohradiv is a city of 25,000 that dates to the 1200s. One of the traditional regional dishes is uszka, a small dumpling or pierogi typically filled with mushrooms from the forest and/or minced meat. The most common and simple presentation is with melted butter and chives. The vegetarian version of uszka is traditionally served on Christmas Eve.

Here are two other postcard notes I've received in my Dover mailbox recently:

From Katriina in Finland: "Hello Chris, Greetings from Helsinki, Finland, the country of the Moomins, Santa Claus, Northern Lights, Over 180,000 lakes plus 3.2 million saunas, wife-carrying contests, swamp soccer and the composer Jean Sibelius, who loved to feel the silence of forests and to listen to the sounds of swans, wild geese and cranes."

From Els in the Netherlands: "Hello Chris, Greetings from the Netherlands. My name is Els, 52 y.o. I work as a nurse with old people. Faith is very important to us. We belong the New Apostolic Church. Do you hear about it?"

* * *

Meanwhile, these are some recent email responses that I have received from Postcrossers who received postcards from me:

From Tingyu in China: "I am very happy to receive your card. I like the cat very much. In China, more and more people like cats than before. I also want to take part in a summer camp but it is too hot here. We have no choice but to stay in the air-conditioned room. Best wishes."

From Alina in Russia: "Hello, Chris! Thanks for the interesting card. Stamps are also cool. Thanks for telling me that you wanted to be a programmer, it's very pleasant for me because I am a programmer now. Welcome to Russia, I think you will able to find Baba Yaga's hut or something similar ... Have a nice day!"

Mariitta in Finland: "Thank you ever so much for your absolutely beautiful Scary Story Time art card and marvellous stamps! You made me really happy today. May every sunrise bring you hope. May every sunset bring you peace. Have a cheerful day! Hugs to Mr. Bill, Huggles and Mystery!"

From Ivo in the Czech Republic: "Hi Chris, thank you very much for such a nice card. I love it like the stamps. World with peace and acceptance is something what I believe in. :-) Don't worry we don't think that all Americans agree with your president. We have president Zeman who I'm not proud of too ... But we are small country so his scandals aren't seen worldwide."

From Sebastiaan in the Netherlands: "Hi Chris, Thank you for the artistic cat card and the great stamps. Cleaning up alpaca poop is quite a special hobby! Cheers."

From Marina in Turkey: "Greetings from Istanbul! Thanks a lot for your cute postcard! Take care and enjoy last summer days!"

From Giulnara in Russia: "Dear Chris, Thank you for this lovely postcard, I love vintage book covers! Also, special thank you for your book recommendation. Right now I am in the process of preparation for the LSAT. Next year I am going to apply to law schools in the USA. So, reading books like 'Between the World and Me' would enhance my knowledge about the country. Warm regards."

From Yekaterina in Russia: "Hi, Chris! Thanks a lot for the postcard, it is really extraordinary! =) You are so lucky, you have so many animals around you! I guess, you are the calmest person! =)"

From Ralf in Germany: "Hello Chris, thank you for your beautiful postcard I enjoy it very much. Interesting that you work with alpacas. Greetings to you and your family and although to Coby, Huggles, Mr. Bill and Mystery from me and my dog 'Raaf' and my cat 'Frieda.' I wish you all the best."

From Marijke in Belgium: "Hallo Chris, thank you for your nice card and stamps. Nothing but bad news about your president, every day he's on the news here and not in a good way. He isn't very welcome in Europe too, did you know he called Brussels a hellhole! You have to deal with him till 2020 I think. All the best to you and yours."

From Olga in Russia: "Wow, you have really amazing and beautiful handwriting, both my husband and I were very pleasantly surprised — the letters are so small, but so clearly visible and 100% recognizable! Is it some sort of magic maybe? :) And a special thanks for an owl card, we call cards with owls 'awesome' and 'owlsome' :) Happy post-crossing!"

And, finally, from Fancy in China: “谢谢你的明信片,很开心”

That translates to: "Thank you for your postcard, very happy." When I posted that on Twitter, Natalie Litofsky‏ added the following:


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