Friday, 29 May 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday 013: Cute French village kids

I missed the previous weeks' Postcard Friendship Friday, please excuse my absence, Marie. For the past two weeks or so, I was focused on finishing a technical proposal for a big campaign here in Cambodia, and luckily, our proposal was included in the shortlist. Talking about rewards for burning the midnight oil! Just yesterday, we pitched our creative concept and approach to the campaign and went well. So now... we're just expecting news from them... good news I hope.

To keep myself from being anxious, here I am blogging again... this time, with my Postcard Friendship Friday entry for this week.

Postcard Friendship Friday 013_Urvillers, France
Sent by Didier Roux
Postmarked Col de Aravis (altitude 1800m)
Dated 02 February 2009

At the back it says:

Images de chez nous
Petit Savoyards dans la Grande Rue du village

Okay, I am not a French speaker so I need help in translating this one :) To my understanding, it says "pictures of little children in the village street".

The thing I love about this postcard is, apart from the clothes worn by the kids, are the expression on the kids' faces. They seem to be guilty of something -- especially the boy -- but are not telling. Look at how they hold hands, it's as if they are assuring themselves that they are in this mess together and made a pact not to tell anyone! Ahhh, loyalty between kids.

In addition, what I also find interesting is where the postcard was sent. It was postmarked Col des Aravis which has an elevation of 1800m, and is popular as one of the most challenging stages in the Tour-de-France. I have long dreamed of going to France! I have always been awed by its beautiful countryside, charming medieval villages as well as the magnificent Pyreenes.

My husband sent me pictures and postcards of the places he went to when he did a cycling trip of Western Europe in 2004. He started from his native England, to France where he stayed for more than two months before setting off, following the camino de Santiago pilgrimage route to Spain, Portugal, and then Gibraltar. I like cycling myself but I am positive I couldn't do a cycling trip with distance like his, but with magnificent views as backdrop - I might reconsider! *lol*

The stamps used were a commemorative stamp of the Beijing Olympics, and the three others feature Marianne des Français which was issued in January 10, 2005 and was designed by a French illustrator Thiery Lamouche. According to the Wiki, the stamp represents Marianne, allegory of the French Republic, wearing as usual a tricolor cockade, and the Phrygian cap. She is depicted as emerging from a plant (see the two leaves on the bottom), smelling the air. Two birds flies in the sky. Doing this picture, Lamouche respected the terms of the national competition : Marianne and the environment.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday 012: Happy Birthday,
King Sihamoni!

Greetings, everyone!
The whole country is celebrating the birthday of Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni. The festivities started last Wednesday and ends today. I thought that, since it's the King's birthday, I'd like everyone to feature our Khmer King for this week's Postcard Friendship Friday. I borrowed this blog post from the traveling doll Miss Igorota, of the Postcards from Miss Igorota blog, where I am a contributor along with five others. This is Miss Igorota's story.

So to our host, Marie at Vintage Postcards, I hope this is alright.

On the very first day of setting her foot in Cambodia, Miss Igorota noticed pictures of a good-looking mestizo, like the one below, plastered in every government and private buildings all over the city. That mestizo is Preah Karuna Preah Bat Samdech Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni, or simply, King Norodom Sihamoni, the current King of Cambodia. Although the King doesn't rule the country, Cambodians revere their King very much and the King dedicates his entire life and pledges to be faithful and devoted to the people. He visits the countryside several times a year, giving out aid and hope to the ordinary Cambodians.

the king and i

Educated in Beijing and finishing a doctoral degree in classical dance in Prague, he went on to study cinematography in North Korea. It is no surprise that the King speaks many languages - French, English, Czech, among others - very proficiently. Before becoming the King, he served as the Cambodian Extraordinary Ambassador to UNESCO for several years. He ascended to the throne in October 2004 after his father, then King Norodom Sihanouk, stepped down due to failing health.

The picture was of King Sihamoni taken during his ascension to the throne in 2004. If I am not mistaken, Miss Igorota was admiring King Sihamoni's costume, very simple and yet elegant: a crisp white uniform of sorts with gold embroidery and the traditional Khmer pants called phamoung; wearing not the royal slippers but black leather shoes... on his head was not a crown but a golden phnov leaf tucked behind his ear for good luck...

P.S. Miss Igorota also learned that it was King Norodom Sihamoni who signed the special decree bestowing Cambodian citizenship to Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie in return for her various works in the country.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

(Not) Wordless Wednesday 004: Zakynthos Island, Greece

Navagio (shipwreck) beach in the island of Zakynthos, Greece

Zakynthos Island, Greece

Sent in an envelope by Nopi
Postmarked Komothni, Greece
Dated 03 March 2009

Zakynthos Island is the southernmost and third largest in terms of size and population of the Ionian islands. It's about 300kilometers west from the Greek capital, Athens. Due to its strategic location, it serves as a jumping point to the bigger cities of Greece such as Athens, Thessaloniki, and Patras. Zakynthos possesses a mild Mediterranean climate and tourists come in droves especially during summer to bask in its beautiful beaches and fantastic diving and surfing sites.

In the north, east and south numerous picturesque beaches can be found, whereas in the west the imposing, rocky landscape has a number of sea caves such as the famous Blue Caves on the north-west of the island.


Featured in this postcard is a must-visit place and the most photographed in the island is the Navagio (shipwreck) beach where the ship Panagiotis lies half-buried in the white sands.

The ship was allegedly transporting illegal cigarettes , and in 1983, the Greek naval authorities pursued the ship while making its way from Turkey. While the ship was fleeing, it encountered a storm and ran aground in the shallow cove. The crew abandoned the ship to evade capture and there, what was left of Panagiotis, remains up to this day.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Koalas, Australia

My first postcard from Australia was from pretty Momma Yvy. She recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Kathleen-Rose... congratulations! Yvy sent this postcard featuring cute koalas while she was on holiday in her native town Penang in Malaysia.

Sidney, Australia
Sent by Yvy, aka, Mistyeiz
Postmarked GPO Pinang, Malaysia
Dated 24 December 2008

A visit to Australia wouldn't be complete without taking a chance to visit its unique wildlife in its natural habitats. In every capital, there are wildlife parks and zoos where kangaroos, emus, and the cute koalas are found. I'm sure a lot would agree with me when I say that koalas are one of the animals tourists would want to see. Koalas are often called as koala bears but they're actually not. They're marsupials. But like bears, koalas are mammals, and they have big, round, fuzzy ears and look cute and cuddly. They're the only mammals that can survive on a diet of eucalyptus trees!

Koalas can live as long as 17 years, however, life expectancy of males is less than 10 years (due to injuries during fights, with dogs and getting hit by cars). Females generally live longer.

More fun koala facts are found here.

P.S. I like the stamp as well. It says Permainan Anak Kampung. I don't speak Bahasa Malaysia but Anak and Kampung are also in the Filipino vocabulary, which means children and village, respectively. I don't know Bahasa but looking at the stamps cartoon drawing, it seems that the stamp says village children. I hope one of my Malaysian friends could tell me the exact translation :)


Yiphinwai of Just My Postcard Collection dropped by today and helped me with the translation. According to Yiphinwai, the phrase Permainan Anak Kampung means village children's toy. Terima kasih!

Friday, 8 May 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday 011: Slovak National Costumes

It's my favorite day of the week again - 'cos its time for our Postcard Friendship Friday meme. Marie at Vintage Postcards initiated this Friday meme and now we are growing in numbers. Thanks, Marie :)

On to my PFF entry... another favorite postcard showing the national costume of Slovakia.

Postcard Friendship Friday 011_Slovakian costumes
Sent by Zuzana Paroubkova
Postmarked Teplice
Dated 22 February 2009

This is how the Slovaks says hello, very much like the Italians' ciao.

The Slovak Republic, or Slovakia for short, is in Central Europe and very much landlocked. It is a beautiful country with the majestic Tatra Mountains, lowlands, canyons, caves and meadows.

Once part of the Czechoslovakia Republic, Slovakia became independent on the 1st of January 1993 after the peaceful splitting - dubbed as the Velvet Divorce - of the Federation of the Czech Republic. Since the amicable separation, the Slovak Republic emerged into a high-income advanced economy and with the fastest growth rates in the European Union (it joined the EU in 2004) and the OECD. It is also becoming increasingly popular business and leisure destination in Europe.

Czech and Slovak traditional Slavic costumes are similar because of the fact that the two groups have had a shared history and Slavic culture for almost all of their long history as Bohemians... Because the Bohemians have been under German and Austrian authority for most of their history (though often with autonomy), we see a strong German influence.

- European Heritage Library

Slovakia is a country with rich heritage of folklore. In the past, songs, costumes, and customs were a way to preserve national identity. As shown in this postcard, every region, even villages in Slovakia has its own distinct folk costume as a way of identification. I love the various headdresses, hats and accessories that they are wearing along with the colorful costumes.

Did you notice the midriff-baring costume of the man?!?
Looks fun and ,er, breezy, don't you agree?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Wordless Wednesday 003: Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia
Sent by Ana of My World of Postcards
Postmarked Skopje
Dated 22 December 2008

Скопје, Македонски
Skopje, Macedonia

This is the progressive city of Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. The foreground shows the Macedonia Square in Central Skopje, while in the background and sitting on top of the Vodno mountain is 66-metre high Millennium Cross. The Millennium Cross was built in 2002 to celebrate the 2000 years of Christianity and of Macedonia as a biblical land. Last year, during the celebration of Macedonia's Independence Day, an elevator was installed inside the cross to make it easy for eager visitors who want to see an even more magnificent view of the capital. A must-see place when visiting Skopje.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Liberty State Park, NJ, USA

Liberty State Park, NJ, USA
Sent by Fortuitous Faery
Dated 20 December 2008

Text at the back:
The Historic Trilogy
Welcomed by the Statue of Liberty and processed on Ellis Island, two thirds of the immigrants started their new lives via the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal selling in New Jersey or traveling to other states.

Fortuitous Faery (FF) is from New Jersey and frequents New York City to watch Broadway musicals and do other fun stuffs. Her Broadway postcard, and other nice postcards, were also featured in this blog. FF writes on the postcard:
...Liberty State Park is located in New Jersey. From there, you can ride a ferry boat to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The Statue is actually part of New Jersey territory but is more popularly associated with New York...
Images by Freepik