Sunday, February 23, 2020

Roundup of some Winter 2020 Postcrossing connections

Up first, here are a handful of the wonderful Postcrossing postcards from across the globe I've received in my mailbox this winter...

Above: This card is from Margriet in the Netherlands, who lives in a house surrounded by chickens and geese. She writes: "'Wereld' means world. I choose this card for you because of the last sentence in your profile. Would it not be wonderfull? But, I fear it will be just a dream. All the best."

Above: This card in from Kaisy in South Korea, who, instead of writing a message, covered the back of the card in beautiful washi tape. I believe the location show on the card is Bossam Village, which was a filming location for two influential 1980s Korean films — Mulberry and The Surrogate Womb.

Above: This card features Turku Castle in Finland. The note on the back is from Marja-Leena, who writes: "Good morning from warm south Finland. We visited last Oct. with 5 grandchildren Turku castle. It was amazing place from 1200's. I never visited PC-meetup, but this year I will do that with my grandchild, Maija, 13 y.o. I wish you nice days."

Above: And this card, featuring an image from Kiki's Delivery Service, is from high school student Melone in China, who writes: "Sorry about this terrible writing. [Note from me: It's actually excellent.] My pen is not working well. The front is one of my favorite cartoon movies directed by Toru Hara, who made lots of wonderful movies. Though made 30 years ago, it's just so perfect. I especially enjoy the colour-using, typical Toru Hara. So beautiful." [There might be a translation issue. The director, as we would term of it, of Kiki's Delivery Service was the famed Hayao Miyazaki. Toru Hara is listed as Studio Ghibli's lead producer for Kiki's Delivery Service, and it certainly could be that he's responsible for much of the film's vision.]

Unfortunately, the Postcrossing connection with China has been temporarily limited. Postcrossing sent out this message on Feb. 18:
"I’m sure you’ve all heard about the 2019-nCoV (aka Coronavirus) outbreak in China, since it has been all over the news for the past month. A lot of you have been contacting us with questions about this situation, so we thought a quick post was in order to clarify a couple of points.

"First of all, there is no risk of contagion via postcards or mail. Here’s an official response to the question from the World Health Organization:
"Q: Is it safe to receive a letter or a package from China?

"A: Yes, it is safe. People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting 2019-nCoV. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.
"This situation has had a heavy impact in the postal world though, with many postal operators having stopped accepting mail to China due to cancelled flights and widespread delays. For this reason, Postcrossing has temporarily stopped giving out Chinese addresses. We will continue monitoring the situation, and when things return to normal, the algorithm will resume giving out Chinese addresses for everyone to send postcards to.

"Doing this really saddens us, as we realize this is a difficult period in which Chinese postcrossers most need support. So we hope everyone will join us in the comments below, sending the Chinese Postcrossing community and their families some encouraging thoughts and good wishes. 中国加油!"

* * *

Thanks from abroad

And here's a new batch of emailed thank-you messages from fellow Postcrossing enthusiasts:

Kim from Australia wrote: "Thank you for the fabulous postcard. I really enjoyed reading your message. If only more people in the world would live and let live. I wish you and your family peace and happiness."

Ibrahim from Turkey wrote: "Thank you for the beautiful card and nice wishes for 2020. I also thank you for the stamps. They are beautiful. Wish you a great year!"

Ania from Poland wrote: "Hello Chris, it has been a great pleasure to receive your postcard! I immediately liked you. I think all the technology ruined human relationships and made our smartphones more important than our relatives. Technology has a lot of good sides but the truth is people lost touch with one another. I hope it will change in the future, people will come back more to nature as opposition to omnipresent technology and billion pieces of information bombing us each day. Our brains are not used to this kind of life. that is why I spend a lot of time surrounded just by nature. The coming weekend I will be cross country skiing in Jakuszyce — a beautiful place in Poland for all who love snow, nature and sport. Thanks a lot for a sentence in Polish — I appreciate your effort. I hope that U.S. will be better and better. I was against Trump but now I see that many things he did are very good for the country! And he is not the president to grab money. He is rich enough."

Julia from Russia wrote: "Thanks for the nice card and warm wishes. I really appreciate that you took the time to tell about the York Fair and even write some words in my language. Peace and Happy Postcrossing!"

Joao from Portugal wrote: "Thanks for the interesting postcard and beautiful stamps! Being a journalist in current times is really difficult, especially if serious journalism is the aim. It is increasingly difficult to find objective, non-biased, informative news and to distinguish between false and true facts. I follow USA news and it is a disgrace how certain people get elected to such important positions. However, in a more optimistic note, I believe that, if there is a country whose democratic institutions can survive and reverse that situation, that country is USA. I have a daughter and a son and I am quite worried about the climate problem. I believe that the international community is failing to acknowledge the real dimension and urgency of the problem and are doing almost nothing that really matters. I wish you and the whole family all the best."

Anastasiia from Ukraine wrote: "Thank you so much for your really cute, beautiful postcard. I like it so much! A lot if thanks for Ukrainian text. I was impressed and pleased by it! And your story about folk tradition, I will definitely learned more about Belsnickel. Happy postcrossing!"

Anita from Germany wrote: "A cat on a llama? The coolest card I've ever received, thank you!"

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