Thursday, 26 April 2012

Postcard Friendship Friday 069: Belize

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I almost forgot to post this one *sigh* I was rummaging through my postcards box looking for the plastic yo yo I bought for myself on my birthday (yup, I'm old-school! lol) when I saw this postcard from Belize lying there with a yellow sticky note saying "for posting" in capital letters and three exclamation points.  How could I miss that?

Sandwiched between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is a wonderful, tropical paradise island in the Caribbean (Central America).  It is renowned for its unspoiled rain forests, its largest and most spectacular barrier reefs in the Western Hemisphere sought after by divers worldwide, as well as its well-preserved ancient Mayan treasures. A bit of a trivia here: do you know that Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language?


The postcard below shows the popular swing bridge in Belize City.

The Swing Bridge in  Belize City remains the only hand-cranked bridge in Central America.
Built to allow the passage of fishermen to and from the harbour, this manually-operated swing bridge has faithfully stopped morning and evening traffic everyday since 1923. - Info at the back of the postcard

I can now tick Belize off from my list of countries. I have to thank Debbie for agreeing to swap postcards with me. Debbie, I sincerely appreciate it very much.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Postcards sent

I saw this photo of postcards and a packet that I took before dropping them all into the mailbox some two weeks ago. I realised that the postcards were not the usual ones I send because they lacked my signature, aherrm, doodles. 
  

The trip to the PO was not planned so when the husband said we'd drop by there to check whether our online purchases have arrived, I immediately grabbed my pen and a handful of postcards and started scribbling notes like a student nearing the last 5minutes of an essay exam.
 
We found out that the package hasn't arrived yet but I received a postcard from a friend in Vietnam. I was hoping she'd send me one of those fancy Vietnamese faux wood blinds by ordinary post but only got a postcard. Well, she did promise  she'll bring it with her when she comes over for a visit in two months time. Now that is even better - coz I still have lots more items to include in the list. Do you think I am asking too much?

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Sunday Stamps 055: Football on Indonesian stamps

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I'm joining in this week's Sunday Stamps again. I was busy reading articles about the side effects of myoripped and looking at accompanying photos when I suddenly remembered I didn't have my Sunday Stamps entry yet. The theme this week is anything you wish, so here's what I have:

Indonesians are passionately mad about football.

The above stamp, showing an image of that of a football player kicking a soccer ball, is one of the four stamps in a mini-sheet issued by Indonesia to mark the 2010 FIFA World Cup played in South Africa. Of course, I do remember this event very well.  According to the Philately News Online, this issue is the eighth issuance in the Indonesia philately history with the same theme.

I am not a fan of football - or soccer, if you're American - but this is one theme that interests me.

Monday, 16 April 2012

The amazing rock formations of Yehliu in Taiwan

It's summer and so my featured postcard is none other than the place where most people go at this time of the year ... the beach! This beach though is one of a kind...

From the northern coast of Taiwan, the breath-taking view of this coastline serves as the  backdrop of the fascinating albeit bizarre rock formations of Yehliu.

The unique rocks are concentrated at a region called the Yeliu Geopark - a 1,700 meter-long peninsula jutting out into the ocean and dotted with strange rock formation such as mushroom rocks, honeycomb rocks, ginger rock, pothole erosion and other appropriately named oddities. - Source: Amusingplanet.com

The rock formation you see in the postcard above is just one of the countless rock formations that took shape naturally with the aid of the wind and waves for hundreds and thousands of years. Check out this site to see other rock formations in Yehliu.

I've seen online some pictures of the other rock formations in Yehliu and I must say they are magnificent! They are truly Taiwan's natural heritage. The most popular one is called the "Queen's head" and it does resemble the head of an ancient Egyptian queen. Looking at the rock on the postcard, the thought of a foam mattress keeps popping inside my head, hahaha. Perhaps my mind is telling me about something soft and fluffy compared to the roughness of the rocks.

Smelly aftermath

The Khmer New Year celebrations are now over and slowly Phnom Penh starts getting populated again, lol. 

The holiday-makers have slowly returned to the city from a week-long  celebrations in their hometowns. Yes, week-long holidays for some, and that includes the city's utility staff. I mean the trash collectors. Now I dread to think about the aftermath! Already, I've seen piles of garbage that were left out to rot (by some people who are stayed in the city) in the streets. Please excuse me. I think they should at least dispose of their wastes properly, put them in tightly-lidded bins, or perhaps, keep it somewhere in their houses and with stink bug traps while the collectors aren't back at work yet. 

Friday, 13 April 2012

Postcard Friendship Friday 068: Apsaras and Devatas, more than just decorations on the walls of Angkor Wat

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I am feeling much, much better these days, thanks to my husband for the round-the-clock TLC ^_^ He's been very patient with me, putting up with my cranky mood as well as my incessant (and terrible) coughing, especially at night. 

Since today is the first day of the Khmer New Year, that is the year 2556, I want to share this postcard of a devata. Apsaras and devatas are sacred women, heavenly angels if you like, and you can see portraits of them inside the walls of the different temples inside the massive Angkor Wat Archaeological complex - Angkor Wat, Bayon, Preah Khan, Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei, just to name a few. Apsaras are said to be the entertainers of the god-king while the devatas serves as the guardians of the great kingdom. Here is a very interesting article about these women of Angkor Wat.


Inside the massive Angkor Wat, visitors will find thousands of images of women carved in the walls. Modern-day researchers believe that these women served much more roles than mere decorations.
Here, and in other Buddhist countries such as Thailand and Sri Lanka, among others, the new year is based on astrological calculations. When the old year ends and the new year begins, is also based on these calculations. So today, the 13th of April, is the grand Maha Songkran, or the first day of the Khmer New Year and the celebrations continue up to Sunday, the 15th. Note: Technically, the Khmer New Year begins tonight at exactly 7.11pm, Cambodian time. According to the Buddhist beliefs, heavenly angels known as apsaras and devatas come down to replace the old ones here to watch the earth for a one year period. Read more about Khmer New Year traditions here.

To those interested in these sacred women, here are some of the other faces of devata that are found in the Angkor Wat.

 
Devata faces from the inside wall of the West Gopura at the Angkor Wat.
Photo Source: Devata.org
And here's another postcard showing the apsaras (in human form?)...

Apsaras performing in front of the world-famous Angkor Wat.


Today, counting the hours before the new year, the locals are cleaning their house. They believe that by cleaning their houses, it drives away the evil spirits. Okay, I'm off now - gotta go clean the house before the New Angel arrives.

And this one's from my friend, Ilona. Happy Khmer New Year!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

What to do when sick

Artwork from Dazed Reflection.
Pardon the lack of posts. My butt is getting kicked by this nasty, nasty cold virus and I've been coughing a lung for two weeks now.

It's no fun at all lounging around the house with this sickness. Since my mother is thousands of miles away and could not come to my aid at this time, I'm trying to get better with the help of my husband, drinking lots of fluids, getting enough rest and remembering to cough with my mouth covered, as mum always reminds me.

So while I try to kick the bugs off my system, I'll be away from the computer for awhile but will be back when I get better again. Meanwhile, I'm sharing you this cute get-well card that I stumbled upon while searching the Internet.

Toodles.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Sunday Stamps 054: Giant desert ant

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Here's a beautiful insect printed on stamp that was issued by the Qatari Post in 2007:
Camponotus xerxes, aka, desert giant ant.

They're beautiful to look at but I prefer to keep distance. I'm terrified of ants because ant bites hurt a lot. You'd never guess that an ant could cause so much pain, how much more if they're as big as the giant ants. An ant bite shouldn't also be taken lightly as there are some ants that has a bit of poison in them.

I wanted to find out more about the desert giant ant, particularly if it's poisonous, but couldn't get much info on the net.
 
Images by Freepik