Wednesday, 30 March 2011

New York’s Yellow Cabs


My father celebrated his 60something birthday over a week ago and my heart just ached because this is the 11th consecutive year that I wasn’t there to celebrate it with the whole family. My younger brother who also is based here in Phnom Penh made an extra effort to go home on his birthday this year. I remember my brother asking me for father birthday gift ideas as early as February… but as many of you know, I’m totally clueless at times when it comes to gift-giving.



So anyway, while trying to think hard about what’s the best thing to give for my dad, this is what came into my mind:

New York's Yellow Cab 
New York City’s most famous ride – the yellow cabs!
This would do for now as I could not afford to buy him a car or even air tickets for two (yes, my mum included) to New York to enjoy the Big Apple and the yellow cab experience.  I’m sure Papa understands – happy, happy birthday again, Pop! We’ll see you soon.

This yellow cab postcard was sent to me in 2009 by Conell of Writings on the Wall and has already appeared in this blog in the same year.

I lovelovelove this postcard – who doesn’t? Even my friend’s son couldn’t keep his eyes (and hands) off this beauty. I wish we have unique-shaped cards here in Cambodia. This is now kept in a special box with a “unique postcards” label on it. Thanks, Conell :)

Sights of Estonia




































The postcard above is from an 18-year old girl from Estonia (once a province of Russia), a beautiful muti-view postcard. I think we exchanged a few letters in 2009 and she told me she’s trying to get into a medical assistant school after she graduated from high school. I wonder if she successfully got in… if that were me, I’d rather choose another course because waiting (for a vacant slot) is something I hate to do. I guess I just have to learn how to be patient like Ramona.



Ramona told me that Estonia is one of the most beautiful places on earth. And absolutely I believe her. As you can see in the postcard, nature looks so lush and inviting, free from pollution. From left, Suitsna bog, the primeval valley of Ahja, The Big Taeskovaja (upper right), and the giant straw balls. Thank you, Ramona, for letting me know about  and showing me your beautiful country. You do give me an idea where to visit when I finally set foot to Europe :)

Thank you, Ramona.




Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Postcard Perfect 006: From Italy, with love


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I’m really glad there are memes for postcards and stamps every week because they really prompt me to post regularly!  So here’s my Postcard Perfect entry for this week:


 

Sent by my very good friend Conell of Writings on the Wall
Postmarked United Nations, New York


4 March 2009

These giant shiny, bronze spheres – yes, they’re two of them displayed in the garden outside the United Nations Headquarters in NY – and they look like cracked eggs. These spheres were presented as a gift to the United Nations by the then Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lamberto Dini in 1996. The sculptor, Arnaldo Pomodoro, created additional spheres which were exhibited in different locations around the world – in the Vatican Museum, in Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, in Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, among others.

I think it’s beautiful – really worth a visit in New York, right, Conn? :D Conell is from the state of New Jersey which is close to the state of New York. She goes to NY regularly, commuting like it’s only Cainta to Sta Lucia. Okay, my comparison sucks but I hope you get the idea.

As art is always subjective, it is up to the observer to interpret the meaning of this work of art.  In my opinion, I just find the “crack” to be significant and the location of the spheres adding more meaning to the art. To me, it gives me the impression of a broken, fragmented world… but why place it in front of the UN HQ? Does that say something? Oh well, it’s just me thinking out loud here.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Pink Saturday 003: Come ride with me…


Pink Saturday


To my friends outside of Asia, how many of you has ever ridden a tuk-tuk?




Tuk-tuks are, by far, one of the  best ways (if not the best) to go around the city. Finding one is not difficult, they are everywhere and they pretty much outnumber the taxi cabs in Phnom Penh.  If you are a tourist, they often can be pre-arranged  through your hotel, or, you can do what many of us expats/residents do - just step out into the streets, hail one (there’s always a bunch of them everywhere at any time of the day), and negotiate the price before taking one. Here’s first-timer’s story – Miss Igorota’s First Tuk-tuk Ride – just in case you are interested.



I’m not really sure about this but out of the hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of tuk-tuks in Phnom Penh, I have seen only one pink tuk-tuk and it stands out from the crowd. My friend who is a nurse visited me last year said this pink tuk-tuk would go well with their pink  nursing scrubs. How cute@! If only she could bring one to the US, it would’ve been a hit there :)

Friday, 25 March 2011

Postcard Friendship Friday 027: A very special postcard from Turkey


Post card friday pffhtml
I’m a tad bit late in posting my PFF entry today. I was out the whole day window-shopping and thrift-hunting with a friend who’s in town. I brought her to my favourite thrift haunts – the secondhand stalls in the small market close to where I live – and then we we’re at the malls in the city for some gadgets. My friend is a gamer and she’s looking for  PS3 Move and more games to play after a day’s work. We weren’t disappointed, we both got some really good deals and great chows, especially for her who, as a volunteer in one of the remote areas in the country, comes to the city only a few times a year and missing decent food. What a day! 


Okay, here goes my entry:

Sent by Leslie, of The Postcard Blog
Postmarked 23 June 2010
Bilkent Plaza, Ankara



The outstanding features of the Blue Mosque are its cascading domes and the slender minarets that dominate Istanbul’s skyline. It was named after Sultan Ahmet who, at the age of 19, commissioned the construction of the Blue Mosque in the 17th century, borne out of his wish to build an Islamic place of worship that would even surpass the beauty and magnificence of the Hagia Sophia. Unfortunately, Sultan Ahmet didn’t live to see the Blue Mosque completed. He died at the age of 27. Today, the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia – two great architectural achievements - stand side by side in Istanbul’s main square. More info about the Blue Mosque here at Sacred Destinations.



For me this postcard is a very special and valuable postcard – do you know why?
The answer lies at the back of the postcard :)

 

Do you see now?
It has all signatures of Postcrossing members who attended their first-ever meet up! Awesome!


Thank you, Leslie. This postcard has a very special place in my album :)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Sticky Post: Blog links missing again!


… and that’s for the nth time already. @#$!!!

I have no idea what is causing this – a bug in the code (which is impossible because I’ve used this template for more than 2years now and the loss of links just occurred lately) or someone is hacking into my blogger account (I hope not, hacker could’ve erased the whole blog at whim).  Either way, I have already changed my login details and am scouting for a new template around. However, if this continues, I would never hesitate to use this nice pair of equestrian boots to kick your fat behind! Just kidding
, but it really is a pain to lose the blog links that I built over the years.

Compounding the problem is that I could not locate my links file anywhere (gah!). What a day! So if you see that your blog is not on the list, please don’t feel upset. Kindly bear with me as I slowly build my links once more. You can also leave a message (see the contact page in the pages section on the upper right hand side of the homepage), or a comment in one of the posts, with your name and URL and I’d be more than happy to link you up.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Postcard Perfect 005: The Beautiful Filipina


 


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I was so busy this morn ing running errands here and there so it is only now that I got to post my entry. Again, someone is going to find this very familiar… right, Arlene?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The above postcard shows a beautiful Filipina wearing the traditional Philippine costume, baro at saya. She is holding an image of 

Santo Niño

, or the Child Jesus, the patron saint of most Filipinos, especially in the Visayas region. Every year, colourful religious festivities are held in the different cities in the Visayas - Kalibo, Aklan (Ati-atihan Festival), Cebu City (Sinulog Festival), Iloilo City (known as Dinagyang Festival), among others – in honor of the

Santo Niño

. You may find more information about these festivals here.



Information at the back of the postcard says:

The beauty of the Philippines lies not only in its sceneries, but more evidently in its women. A mixture of different races, the Filipina radiates a beauty incomparable to the rest of the world.



Well, that’s true about Filipinos being a mixture of different races! Generally, Filipinos have moreno/morena complexion, or brown complexion. However, the lady in the picture is very much a mestiza, you can tell from her light complexion and facial features. She probably inherited her fair complexion from her Spanish ancestors. And my, what a really nice smooth skin she has – I could really use some skin care tips from her! *lol* 


And here’s the stamp that is used in this postcard:


 

This stamp was released by the PhilPost in 2010 as part of the Philippine Marine Biodiversity issue, showing a bowmouth guitarfish. I don’t know how it is called in Filipino though but the pectoral fins of this fish is said to be a highly-prized food.


 


On the left of the stamp is a calesa, or horse-drawn carriage, is also seen here. The calesa, also known as a karitela, is one of the modes of transportation introduced by the Spanish in the 1800s. It was said that only the nobles and the high-ranked officials could afford it at that time. The calesas are rarely used nowadays except in tourist areas and some rural areas.


Arlene is a blogger-friend (I Love Postcrossing) and a fellow Postcrosser. Although she’s been collecting postcards when she was younger, she only became a member of Postcrossing last year. Salamat kaayo, Lene.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Sunday Stamps 009: The Wildflowers of Eire


stampbuttonb[5]This week’s theme is stamps with anything Irish – people, leprechauns, shamrocks, anything green, etc. To my surprise, I have not yet received any postcard from Ireland ;o So I dug deeper and deeper in my box and saw an empty parcel from Ireland. Then it came to me, I have a friend in Dublin who sent me parcels twice already. Anyways, I only got hold of this parcel with the following stamps:

 

 



The 75c (rate for international mail) features the navelwort flower and is part of the five new definitives (third phase)issued in 2006 featuring flowers from the “Dry Grassland and Rocky Heath” classification. Included in the five set are the Autumn gorse (12c), Common knapweed flower (25c), Viper’s bugloss (90c), and Foxglove (€1). Navelwort flowers are distinctive, hairless perennials found mostly on walls, cliffs, and stony banks. They are

often found in shady places, was so named as each round, fleshy leaf seems to have a little 'navel' in its centre. They are usually seen from June to September.



The 55c butterwort flower stamp is part of the fourth phase of stamps issued from the Irish Post’s sixth definitive series  of Wildflowers of Ireland. Butterwort flowers are sticky, hairy, and perennial, and although it is one of the native carnivorous plants, it is not a common sight in Ireland. They have the most beautiful violet funnel-shaped flower and purple streaks into its “throat”; they bloom through May and June.

More about navelwort and butterwort and other wildflowers of Ireland here at Wildflowers of Ireland.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Pink Saturday 002: Living on a suitcase


Pink Saturday
This is my second week here at Pink Saturday. I hope I’d be able to participate every week :)

                                          Sent by Kristin
                                         Postmarked Long Island, NY


                                         31 July 2006



Pink sheets, anyone? The room looks dainty and girly, isn’t it?
I haven’t been to a hotel with pink sheets!
Back in the early 2000s I experienced living out of my suitcase. I was traveling both locally and internationally on a regular basis but stayed only for brief periods of time, doing some researches and monitoring and evaluation of our projects. It’s a very fast-paced life, I was always on the road and the hotel rooms where I stayed served as my home away from home. But don’t get me wrong, I was single at that time and enjoyed every minute of it!

Living in hotels I took advantage of the hotel amenities like gym, sauna, swimming pool, room service, etc… to keep me from getting bored and relaxed at the end of a busy day. In one of the hotels I stayed at in Tokyo was that the shades open automatically at 8am and closes at 7pm and the cooler/heater adjusts to a comfortable level depending on the weather.  I know, from where most of you probably are this is considered “common”! Nowadays I know this kind of conveniences can now be had at your own home. All you have to do is have a home automation software installed in your house and – voila! Your lights turn on at the time you set it, your  house warms or cools at a level of your liking, or your coffee starts brewing while you are in the shower. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some kind of automation in our homes?

Friday, 18 March 2011

Postcard Friendship Friday 026: Lenticular postcard


Post card friday pffhtml 

 

From a very good friend, Conniechiwa of Writings on the Wall and Postcards from Miss Igorota:


Lenticular postcards are postcards printed using the lenticular technology – that means, it has a 3D illusion of depth, or, in the above postcards case, the ability to change or move as the image is viewed at different angles (Errrm, thanks, Mr. Wiki!). I call this postcard the Here-There postcard. As you can see, there is a faint letter T beside the more visible word HERE,  but if you tilt the postcard – the letter T becomes visible so the word now reads as THERE :) Clever, isn’t it?

At the back of the postcard, Conniechiwa pasted a cartoon strip she cut out from a newspaper. It cracks me up! 

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Postcard Perfect 004: Toronto Skyline


Postcardperfect2resized 
Someone might find this postcard very familiar… right, Mommy Willa? Tee-hee-hee.
It arrived yesterday and I had to post it right away.



 


My friend Willa, the creator of this meme, sent this to me while she and her family visited Toronto last week. I know she would be very busy in Toronto for some official errands but she still took some time to send me a postcard. Thank you, I appreciate it very much. Now you wait for a Cambodian postcard coming your way, okay?

Toronto is the most populous city in Canada, with a cosmopolitan and international population; it is the capital of Ontario province, Canada’s economic capital, considered a global city, and one of the world’s top financial centres.



I can only identify two structures there – and please correct me if I’m wrong, Willa :)

The  defining structure in the Toronto skyline is the CN Tower. It is a communications and observations tower completed in 1976. Standing 553.3metres tall it was the world’s tallest free-standing structure and world’s tallest tower (for 34 years) until the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Canton Tower in Guangzhou was constructed. Another structure that I recognise just by looking at the dome, o

f course, is the Rogers Centre – it’s a multi-purpose stadium right next to the CN Tower, hosting not only sports events (like the tennis Rogers Cup where Rafael Nadal played last year) but also international conventions, fairs, and concerts.

And now, on to the stamps…


This Toronto postcard is postage paid with a Canadian flag stamp :) That is so cool! I wish we have something like that here.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Sunday Stamp 008: Flood rescue


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After the floods in Australia, this week the whole world was shocked again by what happened in Japan. A powerful earthquake shook the country followed by a destructive tsunami….. and as of this writing, there was a news of imminent nuclear meltdown. The news is so depressing and it’s very difficult to go on with our lives when millions of our Japanese brothers and sisters have been badly affected by this disaster. I have a blogger-friend who lives in Sendai that I’m very worried about. Friends and relatives left a message in her Facebook wall but as of now, no word from her yet.  I pray that she and her family are safe and sound. My heart goes out to the Japanese people and my days don’t go on without me thinking about them.



In connection with the recent events, the stamp I’m featuring is from Wales:

Sunday Stamps Flood Rescue 

This 62p-stamp is part of the set of 6 stamps issued in September 2009 depicting the various duties and activities undertaken by the UK’s Fire and Rescue Services personnel. The others, in different denominations, are: firefighting (1st class), chemical fire (54p), emergency rescue (56pc), flood rescue (in picture), search and rescue (81p), and fire safety (90p).



Here’s the description of the above-pictured stamp that I lifted from the

Norphil.co.uk site:

According to the Environment Agency, around 5million people in England and Wales now live in flood risk areas, and with the UK’s weather becoming evermore extreme, the nation’s Fire and Rescue Services now play a key role in responding to flood-related emergencies.   In summer 2007, widespread flooding placed great demands on the fire service. More than 55,000 homes and businesses were flooded, with over 9,000 people rescued. In terms of scale, the Fire Brigades Union described the rescue effort as ‘the biggest in peacetime Britain’.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Postcard Friendship Friday 025: Vintage (-looking) Valentine’s card

 

 


Post card friday pffhtml 

  Pink Saturday
This is my comeback post for PFF and my first for Beverly’s Pink Saturday. Please click the logos above to see amazing postcards and beautiful pink entries.

When one of my new blogger friends, Misty (Confessions of a Pen Thief) offered to send this beautiful vintage-ish Valentine’s card to anyone interested, I was among the first to raise my hand… And after a few weeks, I found this beauty in my mailbox:


PFF Vintage Valentine Card


Isn’t it neat?
This card features the irresistibly cute Cupid and a pair of cherubs, as bearers of love and romance. The pinks, greens, and reds complement well in a blue background, don’t you think so?

I hope there are other greeting cards with vintage designs like this for other occasions, too, like  welcoming the arrival of a baby to the family. It would be a great accompaniment to the

new baby gifts  commonly

available in stores.

Misty, many thanks for this card… I absolutely love this card!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Postcard Perfect 003: Winter in Finland


Postcardperfect2resized
This postcard arrived this week, from a postcrosser from Finland who arranged for a private swap. This is one of the two postcards she sent. The other one is a Moomin car (woohoo! my first Moomin!) and will be featured in the coming posts.

Sent by Marika Rosten
Postmarked 22 February 2011
Tampere, Finland


Marika comes from Tampere, the third largest city in Finland and the most populous inland city in any of the Nordic countries. My friend and former work colleague, Katja, is also from Tampere. Katja is now working in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental :)

Anyways, Marika said that the temperature the morning she sent this postcard was the coldest they’ve had so far at –31C.  Lots of snow and took her a long time to come back home. Even though her house has a very good heating system, Marika and her cats, all five of them, love to huddle over the fireplace.


The bird, I’m not sure if they’re warblers or not. If they are, they are said to be common in Finland. I will get back to update this post on the kind of bird when I get the information.

And here’s the nice cancelation mark and stamp that was used in the postcard:

Winter in Finland stamp and postmark

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

San Joaquin, CA: The Valley of Abundance


This is one of the hand-me-down postcards in my collection. What a stunning view of the San Joaquin Valley and the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains in the background. Don’t you just love the wide, open space? Simply awesome!
 

Postmarked 26 Dec 2008, San Diego, California

The San Joaquin Valley is a huge valley in Central California and is one of the richest areas in the world. Some of the popular cities within the San Joaquin valley are Modesto, Fresno, Chowchillia, Delano, and many others.

The sender of the postcard once drove through this area on a regular basis. Her work as a state park ranger in the southern part of the state in the desert gives her a chance to come here often. On summer days, it could actually get hot and very dusty as it doesn’t get much rain often there. Her husband, she shares in her message, is into Medicare Supplemental Insurance business, a very lucrative and important industry. What he does is to provide information and choices, such as Medigap Plan L, to people from all walks of life. She says both their jobs are challenging; while she’s making sure that the state park is well-protected and keeps people informed about the natural, historical and scientific info about the park and its environs to the public, her husband provides Medicare Info. How about that? I think that’s interesting.

Saturday 9: Medicate


sat9logo

I’m very late this week, so sorry. But here it is I’m posting my Saturday 9 entry.

1. Do you take a lot of medication?
No, I’m the one who avoids taking any medications.

2. Name one of your flaws and tell us about it.
I’m forever disorganised. Need any more explanations?



3. Have you ever won first place? If yes, tell us about your victory!
I won first place in scrapbooking when I was in grade school. I used some of my postcards and stamps collected back then on my winning entry :)



4. Who is the last person to make you smile? What was happening?
The sender of the latest postcards I received today. The postcards were from Ollie of Germany – and they’re postcards of my favourite tennis player, Rafael Nadal. Vielen danke, Ollie!



5. Describe a time when you should have tried harder?
Back in university, I should have paid more attention to my thesis. I had a good grade but I thought I could’ve gotten higher.


6. What are you best at?
EATING!



7. If someone was going to make a movie or TV show about your life, who would play you and why?
I need to know how much royalty I am to receive first then we’ll talk about who plays me :)

8. Name 3 things that you think are strange.
Breast milk ice cream (gross!), people who walk down the street feet up (*lol*), begging foreigners in the city



9. What is one lesson you learned in the past 12months?
Strike while the iron is hot!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Sunday Stamps 007: Cartoons or children’s art on stamps

 

 

 


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We had a bit of internet problem at home earlier this afternoon so I went to a coffee shop with a free wi-fi service so I could post this entry. There were a few people there but I had to leave quickly after someone started smoking. I could not breathe when I smell cigarette smoke.

I wished the guy would stop smoking

so I could finish the post but to no avail. I left, went home, and, instead, waited for the internet services to resume.

So anyways, here is my post. This week’s theme is cartoons or children’s art on stamps. I got excited because I have some really nice stamps that fall under this category.



South African Wildlife - Leopard and Lion First off, these South African stamps… 
In 2008, the Post office of South Africa issued a definitive series featuring Africa’s Big Five Wildlife Animals – elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard that you can see on the right. If you could notice the illustration of the leopard and the lion (unfortunately, I only have these two in my collection), the drawings are cartoonish. While the roaring lion looks ferocious with its open mouth and bare fangs, the sleeping leopard looks tame that I want to have it as a pet! 
 

 


Here are other cartoons on stamps in my collection:



 

 

 

 



 

 



























 







I am an avid fan of the Simpsons TV show and the Archie comics so when I receive the above stamps, I went bonkers! The islands of the Philippines may be thousands of miles away from the USA but, I tell you, the iconic Archie comic books and the Simpsons TV show were available when I was growing up!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Omsk, Russia

 

 



Here’s something from the  city of Омск (Omsk) in the southwestern region of Siberia in Russia. The city sits on the banks of the Irtish and Om rivers. According to Mr. Wiki, Omsk is Russia’s second largest city east of the Ural Mountains, and 8th largest (in terms of size) nationally. Omsk is also the largest industrial and cultural centre of Siberia.

Sent by Eugenia
Dated  24 July 2009

Today, there are about 100 libraries in Omsk alone but Eugenia, the sender, said she liked spending a lot of time at A. Pushkin library when she was a student. With the largest collection of books, this state library was named after  the great Alexander Pushkin, one considered to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. He is considered by many as the Shakespeare of Russia.






There are two kinds of stamps used. At right is a commemorative stamp of the 75th birthday of Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin. Of course, who doesn’t know this guy? He’s the first human to travel into space – that is awesomeness in my books! On the left is a definite stamp featuring the beautiful landmarks in Tomsk Region in Russia.  All the stamps were issued in 2009.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Postcard Perfect 002: Kaj Stenvall duck

 

 

 


 

 

Postcardperfect2resized I’ve actually posted this earlier but I’d like to post it again. This is one of my favourite postcards – one of Kaj Stenvall’s popular ducks! Kaj Stenvall is a Finnish contemporary artist most popular for his paintings of ducks and duck-like figures.



A quick look at this postcard made me envious of this duck! Just look at its facial expression. I would be kicking that duck and getting in myself! *lol*.

The tub is so inviting, isn’t it? I’ve never seen this kind of tub before. According to one of my blog-friends and a fellow postcard collector, the tub is a claw foot tub and is very popular in older homes. I wonder if this kind of tub have hot tub covers too?  Anyways, I wish we have a tub in our apartment (I have one in my previous apartment). This is what I’m missing these days… to  be able to chill and enjoy the soothing, warm bath water at the end of the day.

 
Images by Freepik