Thursday, 31 May 2012

Looking for drama in your life?

Although not really related to postcards and mails, I just had to post this before I go to bed. Awhile ago my husband was tinkering with his desktop computer's sound system and speakers. He told me he wanted to watch a video on youtube and needed the sound to be working perfectly. Since I know nothing about fixing gadgets, much less about twa effects pedals Musicians friend and such, I just left him to do his thing. 

Next thing I knew this dramatic music played on and he started laughing. Intrigued by the music and my husband's hearty laughter, I was compelled to go have a look but he promptly shooed me away saying he'd let me see it after he's finished with it. Drama. So, okay, I waited awhile and the background music, an operatic kind, was becoming more dramatic and making me curiouser...and curiouser...

A few minutes later...I was laughing hard I was clutching my belly!



I wasn't expecting this kind of drama happening after pushing the red button,  were you?

How can you not resist the red button? I certainly can't :P
I think this is a brilliant way to promote a TV channel or program. It is well directed and executed. Great recall, too.

PPP: Postcards to the Philippines and Poland

I'm taking a break from my chores to make this quick post, lol.

I sent these postcards the other week, all are arranged swaps with two old friends from the Philippines and a new-found friend from Poland who is a very enthusiastic and polite teenager and a very passionate postcard-collector. I don't normally do private swaps anymore but on some instances, like Sebastian and others, I make an exception. I do not have any particular criteria that I follow whenever there are instances I had to bend my rules, it's just one of those impressions I get from the way they communicate with me. I mean something inside me just clicks and tells me so. Do you have the same feeling?

Oh, to answer one of their questions, we do not have wall fireplaces here in Cambodia :) It is generally hot here all year-round and even during those cool, rainy months we still do not have a need for fireplaces. 

Please let me know once the postcards reached you. I hope you'll all like them.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Of garage tiles and free postcards

Just a bit of our life here in the Kingdom...
We have lived in our current apartment for nearly five years now and the time has come for some home repairs. We are lucky that our landlord allows us to do what we please, of course, as long as they know about it beforehand. Early this year, we did a bit of painting of our garage and furnished it a bit to accommodate a small tutorial class in the evenings. Later this year, we are planning to replace the garage tile as they are already showing signs of wear and tear. 

We already window-shopped and I was amazed at the variety of tiles that are available here. Choosing the right tile is not an easy task as it requires a lot of patience (for both my husband and I) as we took our time to making our selection. To me it is like choosing the right postcard, carefully and with a lot of thought, for that someone in Postcrossing. And speaking of postcards, Postcards Cambodiana has given a special treat this week. It's a pack of postcards for free - weeeee! I'm such a sucker for freebies. It's called the Set D in her shop and it contains different views of the Angkor Wat. Postcards Cambodiana has moved to a new site, by the way, and the site is still under construction but the main page is already up and running. I'll post a link to it later as soon as I get the logo.

Before I go, let me show you the postcards.   

They're awesome, aren't they? Thank you, Postcards Cambodia.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Sunday Stamps 057: Georgia, the Land of the Golden Fleece

stampbuttonb[5]

გამარჯობა! Gamarjobat!

This is how the people of Georgia, a country in the Eurasia's Caucasus region, say hello. Wonder why I used this? You are right, my entry this week came all the way from Georgia.




Georgia is a small country with 69,700 sq. kms. slightly smaller than the US state of South Carolina.  Strategically located on the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Georgia takes pride in its unique and ancient cultural heritage, an enduring tradition of hospitality and cuisine and a distinct language - one of the oldest living languages - and alphabet entirely on its own.

Just to give a bit of background, here's a snippet of Georgia's history which I culled from an online site called Georgiacausaus.com:
The history of Georgia can be traced back to the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia, and it was one of the first countries to adopt Christianity, in the 4th century. Georgia reached the peak of its political and economic strength during the reign of King David and Queen Tamar in 11th and 12th century. At the beginning of the 19th century, Georgia was annexed by the Russian Empire. After a brief period of independence following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia was annexed by Russian red army in 1921 and in 1922 Georgia was incorporated into the Soviet Union.
The independence of Georgia was restored in 1991. Like many post-communist countries, Georgia suffered from the economic crisis and civil unrest during the 1990s. After the Rose Revolution, the new political leadership introduced democratic reforms...
Now, on to the stamp above.

It is a very special stamp for it commemorates Georgia's entry to the United Nations (31.07.1992). Due to the political instability and economic climate at that time, the first set of (post independence) Georgian postage stamps were printed only in 1993, on its first year anniversary as UNO member.  By printing postage stamps, Georgia asserted sovereignty and independence of the state. According to the Georgian Post website, it was only in 2001 when the "Georgian Stamp" was established (perhaps as part of the Georgian Postal Service) to issue Georgian Postage Stamps.

The official flag of Georgia.
Also on the stamp is the earlier flag of Georgia used in 1918-1921 during its brief existence as the independent Democratic Republic of Georgia. The tri-coloured flag (wine-red, represents the good times of the past and the future; black, symbolizes the Russian rule; and, white represents hope fo peace) was abolished in 1921 during its integration into the Soviet Union. It was in 1990 when it was revived by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia until 2004 when the  Five-cross flag was restored to official use after 500 years of hiatus. It was previously the flag of the medieval Georgian kingdom and had been used as the official symbol of the United National Movement political party.
 
Georgia is of great interest to me because of its history and it is very rare to find someone to arrange swaps with. Which is why I treasure very dearly the first cover and postcards that I received when the opportunity came to me.
გმადლობთ, Khatuna, for your kindness. I am truly grateful :)
 
In my next post sometime next week, Georgia's Land of the Golden Fleece.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Postcard Friendship Friday 072: The Gentle Smile of the Giants

Post card friday pffhtml

Here's one of my favourite temples in Cambodia - the Bayon Temple. Angkor Wat is amazing but, to me, the Bayon Temple is exceptional and, therefore, my personal favourite.

The massive smiling faces are serene and staring at the horizon. I cannot imagine how the ancient Khmers have created Bayon Temple, or Prasat Bayon.

What you are looking at is one of the many (54 all in all) giant smiling faces that are carved on sandstone towers. Each tower is hoisted and carved with four smiling faces looking in four directions. It was a sight to behold!

The last time I visited Bayon temple I saw a tourist sitting on the ground with his back resting on the temple wall just across one of the towers. On his hand was an unlit cigar, like one of those cheap humidors I've seen around, and pretended to puff a smoke. I bet he is enjoying the moment, looking at a very, very old structure. Perhaps imagining how the ancient Khmers built it and pondering the mystery about who these faces represent. This question actually remains mystery up to the present.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sunday Stamps 056: The Menorah

stampbuttonb[5]

Shalom, my friends.
I'm joining again the Sunday Stamps meme. The theme this week is any stamp received since May 10.

I have lots to choose from but I chose this very special stamp. It's not every day that I get mails from this country.  My entry this week, is still fresh from the Post Office as it bears the postmark 18.05.12 of the Cambodian PO (I got it yesterday). More than that, I'm very much giddy because it came from the country dubbed as the Holy Land, Israel. It was postmarked 30-04.12 by the Tel Aviv-Yafo. 

I'm only going to use one of the three stamps that were affixed on the packet. Yes, I'm "stingy" like that :)

Here it is:


The Jewish menorah, a seven-branched candelabra used in Jewish temples and one of the iconic (and enduring) symbols of Israel and the Jewish faith.
Some people believe that the menorah represents the burning bush which Moses saw, as related in the Hebrew Bible (source). Others say that it is more than a suggestive symbol of the Light of God's Word; it actually displays the sevenfold symmetric perfection of the Canon Wheel (source).  The seven-branched menorah should not be mistaken for hannukiyah, a kind of menorah that has eight branches (candle-holders) with a ninth set above the others, and is used during the Jewish holiday Hannukah.

Have you ever seen an actual menorah? Unfortunately, I haven't yet. I know this will come as a surprise but there is a Jewish synagogue here in Phnom Penh.

The stamp above, in 30*-shekel denomination, is one of the two in the second Menorah stamp series issued in 2002. I was the lucky recipient of a packet full of great postcards and stamps from Tel Aviv sent by my email-pal Miriam. They are my first postcards and stamps from Israel!

דאנק איר, מיריאַם.Thank you, Miriam. I only asked for one but you showered me with more. For that, I'm so grateful and I will surely return the favour in no time!

***

NB:
Currency conversion
US$ 1 = 3.82555 ILS (Israeli Shekels)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Postcard Perfect 048: Map card of the Philippine Islands

Postcard Perfect New

I missed posting for Postcard Perfect for a long time. Here's to keep me back on track, sent to me by Willa, our host at Postcard Perfect. This is my first Philippine map card, and a fantastic one at that!


Do you know that my beloved country, the Philippines, is spread over 7000 islands?
The Philippines, with its 7000+ islands, is categorised broadly into three geographical divisions, namely, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Luzon is the largest island and is located on the northernmost part of the country; the Visayas, on the other hand, is composed of several islands surrounding the Visayan sea; and lastly, Mindanao, is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is the only island in the Philippines with a significant number of Muslim population.

I was  born in Roxas City, the capital of Capiz province in the Visayas region, specifically in the Western Visayas (designated as Region VI) region. It is composed of six provinces, namely: Aklan (the home of the world-renowned Boracay island), Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental. Region VI has the most number of cities in the Philippines. I, like most of the Western Visayans, speak the Hiligaynon language, often referred to as Ilonggo, that has a sweet, melodious tone and a sing-song lilt.

You can see more than just the islands in this map card. Here you can see the Philippine seal, some of our traditional costumes  and lots of other interesting stuff that each of the Philippine islands offers to non-Filipinos!

Madamo guid nga salamat, Willa!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

How do you deal with cheaters?

From the moment I registered with Postcrossing up to now (nearly four years after), I am inundated with requests for private swaps. It is quite understandable as there are only a handful of Postcrossing members from Cambodia and fewer still who are active. At that time, I find it very exciting and at the same time overwhelming! Imagine sending dozens of postcards every week to official Postcrossing swaps and direct swaps. 

Then I became aware of some people who did/do not send postcards in return. I've met some of these cheaters and it was a bad, bad experience. I should've done a bit of background check before swapping with them. I sent postcards and parcels filled with stuff many times over the last couple of years to different countries and never heard from the swappers again. Sadly, there's always a rotten apple in every basket. I was disheartened and frustrated about this but what can a newbie do?

How does one deal with cheaters? As for me, I just shrugged my shoulders, charged it to experience and resolved not to continue with direct swaps anymore, whether through Postcrossing or otherwise. Although, of course, I do make an exception, from time to time, particularly to swappers who come from countries where I do not have postcards yet, or, those who have really good stuff to swap with me. After all, I met wonderful people whom I had great swap experiences in the past. I just need to be selective and very careful about agreeing to swap with and still be able to enjoy the postcards.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Postcard Friendship Friday 071: The sights of Lisboa

Post card friday pffhtml

Here are some of the amazing landmarks in Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal.

Postcard ID: PT - 103737
Clockwise, from upper left: Tower of Belem, Monument of Discoveries, Square of the Imperio, the Monument to the Aviators Gago Coutinho e Sacadura Cabral, and the Monastery of Hieronymites.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Junk mails in my mailbox

Went to the Post Office today to post a parcel to Australia. If all goes well, it should reach its destination in 12days. After dropping the parcel, I proceeded to check my mailbox. When I saw the contents of the box, I instantly got excited at the sight of the mails and postcards waiting for me. I immediately grabbed them all and left the place a huff to go home.

Great, right? No. I celebrated too soon! It was only when arriving at home that I got to closely inspect what I brought from the PO and realized that most of the mails were junk! Yup, a lot of junk mails this week. There were underwear catalogs, bank solicitations as well as ads about gel fireplaces, which attracted my attention because it's the first time I have heard about such. As much as I enjoy looking at catalogs and other glossy print materials that end up on my mailbox , I cannot help but imagine how much resources are put to waste (as most of these junk mails go to the waste basket, anyway).

Anyways, the five postcards you see in the picture above are now traveling towards the Philippines, China, USA, Russia, and Romania. They were sent on May 4. I won't  be divulging details about which postcards goes to whom so as to keep the element of surprise for the lucky recipients :)

Friday, 4 May 2012

Postcard Friendship Friday 070: Hello from sunny Spain!

Post card friday pffhtml


Today I received a message in my Postcrossing account reminding me about an unregistered postcard. I was surprised because, the truth is, I haven't received any postcard from Postcrossing in the past two months. So the message was a good reminder to me to go check my PO box today.

After checking out the thrift shop for any barn wood furniture this morning, we dropped by the PO and - lo and behold - there were several mails waiting for me, including this pretty handmade card from Spain:

Hola desde España!I like handmade cards like this one. It is made with love :)
Postcard ID: ES -138185
The sender, Joana, is a 14-year old secondary school student from España, one of my favourite countries in the world. This postcard is cute and for sure I'm the only one who has this unique design. I love the flower, the hearts, and the smileys. But most of all, I love the message that Joana wrote at the back!

Muchas gracias, Joana. And to your teacher Veronica for the kind reminder :)

Postcards Crossing now on Facebook!

Hello and good day, friends! I am happy to announce that, after spending some time for consideration, Postcards Crossing is now on Facebook! I finally jumped into the bandwagon and set up a Facebook page for my blog. This is how it looks like, for now:

Click the photo and it will lead you to the FB Postcards Crossing page. If not, type "Postcards Crossing" (Personal Blog) in the Facebook search box.

As it is newly set up with a few albums of photos/postcards for viewing, I'm going to post updates as often as I can. There are only a few "likes" at the mo but I hope it'll pick up as time goes on.

So don't forget to check it out when you have time. "Like" the page, or, drop me a line or two if you like. Your likes and visits are very much appreciated.

See you there!
 
Images by Freepik