Sunday, 29 August 2010

Weekend Mailbox 002: Walking in a winter, wonderland!

Beautiful Italian winter, wonderland!

IT - 93621
Sent by Erik and Veronica
Postmarked: Torino, Italia
Dated: 14 July 2010

Can't help but sing the popular tune, sorry.

This is the Italian winter wonderland in the region of Piemonte, or Piedmont, and the capital is Torino,the site of the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Erik and Veronica said this is the typical winter landscape in his village. The background is the majestic Alta Val Varaita. During the winter, many locals and tourists alike come to this village to do cross-country skiing while others enjoy climbing on frozen waterfalls (gasp!) all over the place.

Images like this make me want to grab a pair of snow boots and walk all over town. I think I will enjoy the sights along the way -- so much different from the sights from where I am now. And if I'm feeling adventurous, I would love to try climbing frozen water falls, that is, if I don't get overwhelmed by the cold, cold, temperature. In summer, the frozen rivers and lakes melt and people do have a lot of activities to do such as fishing in the river and the lake is also ideal for canoeing and windsurfing.

The stamp used (at right) is one of the two self-adhesive set issued in February 2010 dedicated to the 21st Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. This commemorative stamp features a skier  in action with the five Olympic rings on the upper right hand side.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Touring the Twilight location

This is the second postcard that was sent to me, still featuring the place featured in the movie-series, Twilight. Previously I showed you the First Beach in La Push, Washington. This time, the postcard shows a multi-view of the City of Forks...

... the Home of the Twilight Vampires.

This quaint logging town in the Washing state has become popular, and thanks to the movie, fans come in droves to see the town where their favourites Bella and Edward fell in love. This prompted some enterprising individuals to put up guided tours of the sights/locations described in the book (and the movie). Hear this, the two-hour guided tours even have an accompanying soundtrack as background as you go to all these places. Hahaha, talking about cashing in on the popularity of the book and movie.

While I am not really a fan of Twilight (I find it really ridiculous, sorry, no offense meant), I find touring the locations more appealing. But I do not like guided tours where one's movement is restricted/limited according to the schedule that was prepared for you. If I were to go on tour, I'd love to do it independently, without having to be rushed from one place to another. I dreamed of owning an rv some day, and that should give me the freedom to travel independently and in my own terms. How I wish local banks here would offer rv loans sooner!

The stamp is the same definitive stamp used in the previous post/postcard.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Postcards from the Twilight zone....

Received two postcards from my former officemate who is currently in Seattle, Washington finishing his masters degree  but I am featuring only one for today:

You might find the name familiar and that's because it's one of the locations in the blockbuster movie Twilight series. 

The beach on the postcard is called the First Beach, one of the most scenic destinations on the Olympic Peninsula and attracting many beach-goers. Remember the beach scene where Bella flirts with Jacob to get information about Edward and where Jacob tells her about the legend of the vampires and the Quileute tribe? This is indeed the same beach where the scene was filmed and I can still remember the two of them walking on the beach on a stormy weather, yet looking good in their hooded sweaters, or were they jackets? I can't remember anymore but they looked good together!

The postmark was smudged and the stamp was smeared so the photo is  not that visible. The stamp used was a 98-cent definitive stamp for international airmail featuring the state of Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. It is classified under the Scenic American Landscapes category. Photographed by Dennis Flaherty, it was taken from the Snake River Overlook at dawn.

Okorn charan, Bora!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Say cheese!

A cheesy-postcard came this week via Postcrossing.

A quick glimpse at the back of the postcard, I saw the name of the sender and was immediately taken aback. For a while I thought my husband sent me this postcard! *lol* You see, my husband is also  named Rob :)

Sent by: Rob from Nederlands

Hoorn, the hometown of Rob (the sender) is an old historic town in Netherlands with about 70,000 residents representing about 80 nationalities.  The town of Hoorn is popular to local and foreign tourists alike as, once a week, the whole town transforms into a big touristic market that, on top of selling all things traditional Dutch and the popular Hoorn cheese, showcases the re-enactment of how a cheese market operates back in the Middle Ages for tourists during the summer months. The pictures above are scenes taken from the re-enactment in the middle of the town square. This event draws thousands of tourists every year that a commentary in English was included in the recent years. Oh how fun it would be to see it with my own eyes!

The gentlemen in straw hats are called kaasdragers, or cheese-porters, and they carry the farmer's cheese in stretchers, typically about 160kgs in one go, to the prospective buyers for tasting. Now I can't help but imagine if wine barrels were transported through a stretcher like the Hoorn cheese - they would be rolling all over the place! Going back, if buyers like the taste, they then negotiate the price using the handjeklap, where buyers and sellers clap each other's hands and shout their prices. What a riot it must be!

On to the stamp... it is a commemorative joint-issue of the Dutch and  Brazilian postal offices showcasing the Dutch's presence in Brazil. There are six stamps printed in three different thematic pages. The one above features the cashew plant with its cashew nut and fruit, a Brazilian native plant that is widely consumed worldwide today, including Cambodia and the Philippines.

Thanks, Rob. It was indeed very interesting to learn more about the Dutch culture :)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Happiness is...

... postcards in my mailbox! Absolutely unexpected but definitely a delightful surprise. 

My dear Ana, you rock!
These made my day. 
Ви благодарам на мојот пријател ... Ви благодарам!

Love to have you guys back next time!

I've been away (again) for a few days... so many things to do, so little time. Yeah, I know, it's a cliche.

Some of my friends came to town this week and I, being the one based in the capital, gladly hosted the gang while they were here. These friends of mine were my former classmates at one of the first Online Graduate Schools back in the Philippines. If I am not mistaken, the University of the Philippines system was the first to establish an Open University in the country. Not many of you know that I studied for two semesters for my masters degree in Development Communication. I had to drop out - still with a long way to go *sigh* - to concentrate on my work at that time which involved a lot of traveling locally and internationally. 

Well, anyway, I took them to places of interest in Phnom Penh (not that many, if you're like me who dislikes going to the genocidal museum). I'm glad the shopping and the eating made up for the lack of places to go to. Needless to say, my mates enjoyed bargain-hunting at the Russian Market and sampling Khmer-Thai-Vietnamese street-foods and the Khmer iced coffee!  Never mind the sizzling heat and the occasional fly or two buzzing around our heads. These ladies and gent are development workers in the Philippines and are absolutely not picky or fussy at all. They certainly didn't mind running around Phnom Penh, chasing tuk-tuks, and squeezing in my apartment's spare bedroom, and befriending my pets Max and Joe! Sweet! And that explains my title =) You guys rock! Sa uulitin!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Weekend Mailbox 001: A photograph and a childhood memory

Today I discovered another cool photo meme involving photographs of mailboxes, cards, notepapers, stamps,  vintage postcards/postcards, old letters, virtual letters, postal vans, and postmen. It is hosted by Gemma at Gemma's Grayscale Territory. Since I am into the old-fashioned means of communication, I thought it would be fun to join this weekly meme.

For this week, I am entering a scanned photo of me, my sister, and cousins. As I was collecting materials for my scrapbook, my mother sent me several photos of me when I was younger. I am unsure if this falls in any of the categories listed above but I am posting it anyway hoping the host would give an exception... 

It is a photograph of me, my younger sister, and older cousins on our picnic at the Rizal Park (popularly called Luneta Park)  in Manila, Philippines back in the late 70s (79ish). At the background is my father's elder sister we fondly call Nene Lilia and partially seen on the left (behind me) is my mother.

The Luneta Park is a popular attraction and recreational spot for families especially on weekends. During the 70s-80s Luneta Park was a favorite destination for school educational trips. There a monument of the Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal stands proudly marking the spot where he was executed.

This photograph was sent to my grandparents since they live in the province in the Visayas region. Letters and photos like the one above was one of the ways they kept updated about us and our growing up years. Anyways, at the back is a hand-written message of my mother, in a mixed Ilonggo-Tagalog dialects:

Darling (me) says she wants to join the Yoyo Mania and she will perform the "breaking the yoyo" trick.
I am not sure where exactly Jovan and Caneneng are looking -- at the ice cream or at the yoyo. This was taken by Papa (my father) during our picnic at the Rizal Park.
There was no date written on the photo itself because my mother enclosed this in an envelope with a letter but I am pretty sure this was taken before 1980. My younger brother was born in 1980 and, in this picture, my mother was not pregnant yet as she was obviously wearing jeans in this picture.

When my grandparents died - grandpa in the late 80s and grandma in early 2000s - the old pictures somehow ended up in my father's possessions and, in order to preserve them, my mother decided to send them to me for reproduction in digital form.  

Thursday, 12 August 2010

I'm still here...

Sorry for the lack of updates. I was away again and had so much to do when I came back.
But lookie-lookie, here's what I got in the mail:

First off, a parcel containing a DVD on needle crafts. It's from my mum-in-law, thanks Mum! So nice of you to send me this - you rock!

Several postcards and for the first time, I received not one but two mapcards from Postcrossing!!!! My first two official mapcards, heaven!

Later today, I am meeting my friend and fellow Postcrosser, Che of Postcrossing Mom (see my side links). We will check out the garage sale somewhere in Street 430 this afternoon. I love going to garage sales - you get lots of things for less $$$ and the items are mostly in good condition. We read about this sale at the online community of parents, a one-stop online site for parents about everything and anything Cambodia. This particular garage sale Che and I are going to has Christmas stuffs for sale. Since we are just weeks away from the -ber months (September, October, you get the picture!), we want to see what Christmas items we can score. I am specifically looking for led christmas lights to replace the old ones I have that are already broken. Also we are keeping tabs on the kitchen gadgets that are for sale -- I need a new blender. Can't wait already.

Regular postcard updates will be done in the next few days, please bear with me. I need a day to scan the pictures and research for some background info. It also doesn't help that the ATP Rogers Cup in Toronto has started and Rafael Nadal is the top-seed! I could easily get distracted and my to-do list would easily be thrown to the bin with the tennis games underway. tee-hee-hee. As I am writing this, another window is open for the live webcast of Rafa's first round match against Stanislas Wawrinka. Exciting first set as Wawrinka is making Rafa work like hell. However, Rafa prevailed - 7-6. On to the second set now, it seems that Wawrinka has lost steam as he is trailing Rafa, 4-1. Vamos, Rafa!!

Toodles for now.

Images by Freepik