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Stationery Shop Map

Museums are great, but if you're anything like us, halfway through an exhibition you're already wondering what goodies they'll have on the museum shop... right? :)

How many times have you been in a foreign city, walking around and being a tourist, secretly wishing you could just skip the monuments and go straight to the stationery shops instead... but had no idea where the good ones were?

Stationery Shop Map

Well, fret no more! Tessa Sowry from All Things Stationery is solving this problem by compiling a map of the best stationery shops around the world... and she wants your input too!

Head over to her site to get your stationery fix - and if you know of any really good stationery shops in your area, let her know. I'm sure we'll all appreciate it when we visit that place!

And now, it's time to plan the next stationery shop crawl... have a nice weekend! :)


Posted by on 18 Oct, 2014
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Meet Postman Pieter!

You know how we all wonder whether our postmen and postwomen look at our postcards, and what they think of them? Well, Jessica (aka Jess18877) from the Netherlands did not wonder about this... she knew her postman enjoyed her cards as much as she did, because now and then he would leave her a note about them! :)

Postman Pieter has been working for the Dutch postal service for almost 30 years and is about to retire, so Jessica and her friend Marleen (aka Marleen1979) thought it would be a good idea to interview him for the blog. We agree... this blog needs more postal workers!

Postman Pieter and his bike!
Hi Pieter! Tell us more about you!

My name is Pieter Pepping but people often call me “Pieter Post” like the bunny. I am originally from Abcoude, a small town near Amsterdam. I was born in 1952 and I've been working as a mailman since 1985. A secure job with a lot of freedom.

What do you think of your job, do you like it? Does it involve a lot of walking? Have you found many mean dogs or are they happy to see you?

I've always loved my job! Sporty, always outdoors... and it can be cold, rainy, windy or hot here in the Netherlands! But I love to be in the fresh air, and I see it as a kind of sport. I always whistle when I carry the mail around — people hear me coming from far away! And I've never ever called in sick, not for a single day.

I don't have problems with dogs. I used to have a dog of my own, I think when you own a dog, then you know how to cope with them. I used to carry dog biscuits with me. Dogs were always waiting for me to come to get a cookie!

Postman Pieter making his rounds
Do you chat with people on your rounds? Do people complain to you about problems with the mail service?

I like a nice chitchat once and a while (laughs). I used to work in a shop so I am used to talking to a lot of strangers. People do complain to me about the mail services... I always try to give it a positive twist, and never argue with people. I smile and continue on my rounds.

A little bird told us you sometimes leaves notes on Jessica's cards - do you enjoy looking at the postcards that you deliver?

Unfortunately there is not enough time to look at all the nice cards... But when there is someone in your district who gets as many cards as Jessica, then you will notice it. That is why we all know her and I often tie her mail together with a string and put in a nice little note.

Lots of lovely notes!
How has your job changed since you first started? Did it get easier, or just different, and in what ways?

When you walk in a city center district as I do, there are always people talking to you or ask you for directions. That is what makes it so much fun to be a mail carrier! But nowadays we need to do more work with less people. They are continuously watching us. This creates a lot of pressure and there is not so much time left for a chat in the street.

What do you think about Postcrossing?

I had never heard of Postcrossing before. But the large piles of postcards that Jessica received did draw my attention. At first I thought she was famous or had many birthdays!

I like it when someone pays a lot of attention to find a nice card, a beautiful stamp, etc.

Do you ever receive nice mail yourself?

While carrying the mail around, I often get nice things, as kind gestures from thankful costumers. Something like a card, a drawing, a box of chocolates... or like today, the book about Pieter Post from Marleen and Jessica — thank you girls!

Thank you Postman Pieter!

That was really nice, thank you Marleen1979 and Jess18877 for interviewing Postman Pieter! We're thinking we should actually invite more postal workers to the blog... what do you think? Do you know a special postal worker that we should feature? Let us know in the comments!


Posted by on 13 Oct, 2014
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It's World Post Day!

World Post Day!

Hurray, 9th October is World Post Day!

On this day we celebrate postal services, the global network that connects us all together. From remote villages to large metropolis, the mail delivery systems are practically ubiquitous, making sure our messages and parcels are delivered across the world everyday.

All over the world, post offices are celebrating this special day in many different ways! To help you celebrate with them, we've asked you to let us know what your own local post office was doing... here's what you found:

From stamp launches to free postcards, visits to mail sorting centers and letter-writing competitions... there's something for everyone! Check it out to see if your own postal service is doing something special - you might be surprised. If you know of any other activities taking place on this date that we've missed, just leave a comment below.

And like last year, we also invited our advertisers to join the celebrations. Many of them accepted the challenge, and created special offers for postcrossers! So if your stock of postcards is running a little low, now would be the perfect time to re-stock... enjoy!

Acards - 10% discount on all postcards

Promocode PostDay.

Ansichtshop.nl - 20% discount on all postcards

Promocode WPD2014. Dutch language, ships to Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, Luxembourg and France only.

BuyMeCard - 20% discount for all postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above. Russian language only.

Cardcetera - 15% discount on all postcards, plus 5 customers will get a special set of cards for free

Promocode pcmailday2014.

CardInBox - 20% discount (excluding shipping)

Promocode WPD2014. Russian language only.

CardsShop - 10% discount on all postcards

Promocode CardsShop. Russian language only.

Coordinated.ru - 10% discount on all postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above. Russian language only.

Edelweiss Post - 20% discount + free pre-stamped postcard

Promocode WORLDPOSTDAY.

Heidin Korttipaja - 15% discount on all products

Promocode WPD15. Finnish language, shipping to Finland only.

Inky Fingers - 20% discount on all postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above. Dutch language, shipping to Belgium and Netherlands only.

Kaartfanaat - 20% discount from €25 + giveaway of 40 postcards to win

Promocode WPD14.

Magicard - 15% discount for all postcards, stickers and envelopes

Promocode MAGIC. Russian language, ships to CIS countries only.

Mark Stempel - 20% discount on all postcards

Promocode WorldPostDay2014. Russian language only.

Minor Postcards - 15% discount on postcards and stickers for orders above €10

Promocode wpd14.

modern times / AIM Produkte - 15% (once per customer) on all GEO and VIEW-Postcard-Packs (3 or 10 pieces per motive)

Promocode WPCD2014. German language, ships to Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

MOO - 15% discount on postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above.

Natuurlijkefoto.nl - 15% discount on all postcards + a free "King fisher" card

Promocode worldpostday.

Paper Postcards - 15% discount

Promocode wpd2014. Russian language only.

Papierdier - 10% discount

Promocode wereldpost2014. Dutch language, ships to Europe only.

Photofabrique - 20% discount in all postcards + 3 free postcards (gift) + free shipping on orders above 20 postcards

Promocode HAPPY2014.

Postallove.com - 15% discount on all postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above.

Postcard Fair - 20% discount

Promocode 20off.

PostcardID.ru - 15% discount on all postcards

Promocode PostDay. Russian language only.

PostCardPress - 20% discount

No need for promocode - just use the link above.

PostcardShop - 10% discount

Promocode Postcrossing.com. Ships to Europe, USA, Canada, and other countries after prior contact.

PostHorn - 20% discount on all postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above. Ships to Russia only.

Postzegelerop.nl - 20% discount in all postcards, and Free Dutch postage stamp

Promocode WPD14. Dutch language only.

Kruglokot - 68% discount on all postcards

Promocode VAZVLFF7QW4M. Russian language only.

Sendme.by - 15% discount on all postcards

Promocode POSTDAY2014. Ships only to Belarus.

Skrive - 10% discount on all cards

Promocode POSTCROSSING. German language, ships to Germany only.

Stationery Heaven - 15% discount

Promocode POSTCROSSING.

VanillaTreeVale - 10% discount on all postcards

Promocode WPD2014. Shop only in Russian language, ships only to Belarus.

UnaPhoto - 20% discount on postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above.

All these offers will be valid through the end of October 9th. Pretty neat, right? A big thank you to all our advertisers for joining in the celebrations!

Happy World Post Day everyone! Send a postcard or two (or ten!), and don't forget to say hi to your postman! :)


Posted by on 8 Oct, 2014
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The Little Mail Carriers in Tabriz, Iran!

Last year, the Little Mail Carriers went on a trip to a very special place: Tabriz, in Iran! This is where Ingrid (aka ipuenktchen) lives. She was the first person in Iran to ever sign up to Postcrossing over 9 years ago — and remains one of the most active members in the country, so we were thrilled that she hosted the little guys! :)

Here's what they wrote back after their time there:

Hello from Iran!

Hi everyone! We're so excited to be in Tabriz, the capital of the East-Azerbaijan province, in Iran's northwest. It's an industrial city, with around 2 million inhabitants - including Ingrid, who is originally from Germany but has been living here for 38 years! Can you spot it on a map?

Welcome!

Ingrid regularly hosts Toy Voyagers in her home, so we were warmly greeted by her own Playmobil toys Possy & Crossy (nice names!), who poured us a welcome drink! Mr. F.M. Baer was also visiting from the Baltic Coast, so we got to meet him as well.

Shah goli park

We took a walk around to the nearby Shahgoli park with our new friends. The park has a big lake in the middle, and walkways all around it, really nice for a stroll or a bike ride! Aaaah... feels good to stretch our legs a little!

Playing Halli Galli

Oh! Today is Ingrid's turn to host her weekly "ladies' gameboard gathering". The ladies come together to play all kind of games: memory games (their favorites), card games, Mikado, Halli Galli... or whatever the host proposes to play! They decided to teach us Halli Galli, which is quite fun and fast! We learnt that it is common for the host to offer some snacks, so we helped serve the food: Wow.... what a spread!

We had the great opportunity to see the Potters' house of Tabriz, a live museum. There is also a permanent exhibition of pottery of East-Azerbaijan as well as many classes for pottery and decoration.

The Potters' house in Tabriz Iranian music The Potters' house in Tabriz

On this particular day, it was the anniversary of the Potters' house and there was a great gathering, with traditional Iranian music, too! The mansion itself was an ancient traditional house of Qajar dinasty.

The Mausoleum

Then night fell, and it was so nice that we decided to have a stroll. We ended up walking through some of Tabriz's most famous sightseeing points, like the pilgrimage site Seyed Hamze, next to which there is a large modern mausoleum, called the Poets Tomb. It is very impressive at night, with all the lights turned on! This is where famous personalities such as scholars are laid to rest.

Khaqani Park

After that, we headed over to Khaqani park, which is named after a poet from Tabriz. It's just beside the Blue Mosque, but sadly it was closed, because it was quite late already...

Mourning banners

One week later, Ingrid had guests over from the Caspian seaside and they went together to Marand, 70 km far from Tabriz, for a mourning gathering. On our way back home we had a break at an ancient caravansary! These are places along the road where travelers can stop to rest and have some water - a bit like a rest area along the highway, but a 1000 times nicer looking! About 500 years ago, a Shah had 999 Caravanserais built all over Iran to make traveling easier. It was a brilliant idea!

Caravansary on the road

The next day, Ingrid showed the Bazaar of Tabriz to her guests and us. It is by far the largest roofed bazar in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010.

Bazaar of Tabriz Bazaar of Tabriz Bazaar of Tabriz

It was really buzzing with activity, and the smells and sounds were so enticing... everything was new and different, and we showered Ingrid with a thousand questions!

But it was almost time for us to leave... before hopping on our envelope once again, Ingrid took us to an old public bath, Nobar Hammam, where her husband used to go with his dad, back when he was a little child!

Nobar Hammam

Aaah... much more relaxed and ready for the trip through the mail! Goodbye Ingrid and lovely friends - we loved Iran!

That was lovely! Thank you so much Ingrid for hosting the little guys and showing them around! :)


Posted by on 5 Oct, 2014
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Postcrossing Spotlight: ichabodhides in the UK!

Anu (aka ichabodhides) comes from Finland, but moved to the UK some years ago for love... which she discovered on a martial arts' class! :)

Here is her spotlight interview:

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

I had been aware of Postcrossing for a while before I actually decided to sign up. I think I first read about it in a magazine, quite possibly the magazine the Finnish postal services distribute to every household every so often. I was finishing my university studies at the time and was quite stressed about my master’s thesis so I thought it would be nice to find something other than just bills in my mailbox. I used to write a lot of letters and I still do that occasionally (but am a pretty rubbish pen pal these days), but postcards are a lot quicker to write. I’ve always enjoyed sending and receiving postcards and family and friends used to send me postcards from their holidays even before I had heard of Postcrossing and I still have a lot of these postcards saved.

I got hooked pretty much immediately – it was great to hear from new people all around the world and look at the pretty pictures on postcards I received.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

My main interest outside of Postcrossing is Aikido, a Japanese martial art. I’ve been practicing since 2005 and am currently a 2nd Dan black belt. Aikido has been a pretty life-changing experience for me – it’s the reason I live in England now and I met my husband there. I joined a university Aikido club when I was an Erasmus exchange student in England in 2005-2006. I met Matt (now my husband) there and fell in love. I had to go back to Finland to finish my studies but moved back to England in early 2008 once I had graduated. Matt and I are currently living with his family and their 6 cats, 2 Labrador puppies and a rabbit. We got married in 2011 and our wedding was accidentally (??) a little Aikido-themed. Most of my friends are from Aikido as well so it plays a pretty major role in my life. I still practice at the university as they allow ex-students to continue practicing but we might have to find somewhere else next year unfortunately.

Apart from Aikido I also enjoy crocheting, cooking and baking, reading and watching tv shows & movies on my laptop.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!

We don’t have a “proper” mailbox at home, just a slot in the front door.

mymailbox

I go to a few post offices in my area when I need to buy stamps or send something slightly bigger than a regular postcard or an envelope. The one here, inside a shop, is one I visit quite often as I live quite close and the queues aren’t usually too bad.

postoffice

This is the mail box I normally use to send my cards as it’s the closest to where I live.

mailbox
Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

I couldn’t possibly pick just one postcard as I’ve received so many great ones. However, the first one I ever received, CH-8925 from Switzerland, has a special place in my heart – I still remember how excited I was to receive it! Zasa and I have swapped a few postcards since and occasionally still bump into each other online, which makes it all even nicer.

CH 8925

A few other postcards I particularly like:

postcards1

From left: FI-1033072 from Sirks, FR-46083 from thaddee_calisson, GB-44737 from toucans.

postcards2

From left: AU-25762 from Claire, NP-346 from spellbindguy, FI-544673 from veverka.

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

I enjoy sending just as much as receiving and like to try to match the recipients’ wishes whenever I can. I also like to use nice stamps whenever I can although this isn’t very easy at times because British post offices don’t always have particularly good selections of nice stamps available.

Have you met any other members in real life?

Yes. Pipey from the UK, Astrid1978 from the Netherlands, duffeli from Finland and a few other Finnish Postcrossers I met in a mini meet-up in Helsinki some years ago, and quite a lot of Postcrossers in international meet-ups in London a few years ago as well.


Posted by on 27 Sep, 2014
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