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Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "china"

Postrip poster

Ever heard of Postcrossing Ambassadors? They’re members who go the extra mile to spread the word about the project to help it grow, writing articles on newspapers or magazines, giving interviews to TV stations or organizing events to popularize the hobby, among many other remarkable contributions.

Jifeng (aka shijifeng) from China, is one of our most enthusiastic ambassadors, and this summer he was involved in the organization of a huge art exhibition + event that is all about postcards and Postcrossing!

Postrip — Post a word, mark the world” is the name of this fantastic exhibition that is currently being shown in Shanghai, celebrating postcards as a way of connecting the world, sharing memories and creating travel mementos. The exhibition features postcards, sketches, souvenirs and travel journals from five local postcrossers (arlynab, shijifeng, SuzyLiu, uranusreborn, wangjiayimike). Their items were beautifully put together in displays, which were then surrounded by their testimonials, as well as explanations on how Postcrossing works.

Have a look:

Postrip exhibition overviewPostrip wallPostrip displaysPostrip wall and displaysPostrip wall and displays

Isn’t it just stunning? The care and attention to detail on these walls and displays is awe-inspiring.

Pulling off something like this would be enough to make anyone proud… but Jifeng decided to push it a bit further, and used the occasion of the exhibition to organize also a meetup, postcard fair and set of talks about Postcrossing, in which the five postcrossers who participated in the exhibition were invited to tell the stories behind the postcards they chose to display.

As an added bonus, a special themed postcard was printed, and Shanghai Post even created a cancellation mark for the occasion so that postcrossers could send their commemorative cards with it. The event took place this past Saturday (July 15th), and judging by the photos, it was a huge success!

Postrip event + meetupPostrip event + meetupPostrip event + meetup

Hurray! 🎉 Though the event is now over, you can still visit the exhibition until September 24th, on Shanghai Mass Art Centre (125 Guyi Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai). If you’re in the area, don’t miss it!

Our huge thank you to Jifeng for doing all of this — but also to arlynab, SuzyLiu, uranusreborn and wangjiayimike for their collaboration both in the event and the exhibition. It sounds like a brilliant team effort, and we hope it will inspire other postcrossers to follow their lead! 😊

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All Postcrossing meetups are special — but sometimes, postcrossers really go the extra mile to do something a little different on their own gatherings. We love hearing all about meetups taking place in trains or deserted islands… and now, a meetup that happened in two countries simultaneously!

Joint Wuxi-Singapore meetupJoint Wuxi-Singapore meetup

This special meeting happened on January 15th, and was organized by Shiyun (aka Sybones) from Singapore and Jifeng (aka shijifeng) from Wuxi, in China. Distances are relative in the internet era, so despite being 3770km apart, Chinese and Singaporeans postcrossers were able to chat as if being in the same room via their mobile devices.

Shijifeng’s friend Arlyna (aka arlynab) designed a special postcard featuring elements from both countries to commemorate the event, which were distributed among the two groups.

Joint Wuxi-Singapore meetup card

Both groups held mini-presentations, wrote postcards and then talked to each other on Facetime. Despite some internet and language hiccups, a great time was had by all!

Joint Wuxi-Singapore meetupJoint Wuxi-Singapore meetup

That sounds like a lot of fun! A big thank you to the organisers and all the attendants for putting such a special meeting together. We challenge you to outdo them on your next meetup — and tell us all about it! :)

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As some of you can probably tell by his username, Eels (aka Qi) is a music fan. He also likes Wes Anderson's movies… and surprisingly, we share a favourite book from a Portuguese author, which he first learned about through Postcrossing! Come discover which, on his spotlight interview!

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

I used to send postcards to my close friends and even myself during my travels, and I happened to know Postcrossing when I was browsing the website Douban many years ago. There’s a Postcrossing group there and I was fascinated by the amazing project after I read its brief introduction, so I immediately opened an account to start my Postcrossing journey. :)

Since then, I’ve been active also in the forum and ‘met’ lots of nice friends these years. The most amazing thing is I have a penpal who used to be a postcrosser. Though she is no longer active in Postcrossing due to her busy work, we still keep in touch and send postcards and letters to each other from time to time. Without Postcrossing, I wouldn’t have such a important far-away friend, even though I never saw her.

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

It’s really hard to choose only one favorite card from my received cards…

I am a big fan of James Dean and I really love all his movies, so I started to collect postcards of him. Till now I have over 100 James Dean postcards.

Maybe my first James Dean card

I also love Japanese Gotochi cards and started to collect them… though collecting them all seems like an impossible task. A few weeks ago I received my favorite Gotochi featuring Momotaro — what a lovely card! My favorite Gotochi   Momotaro

And here’s a card with Fernando Pessoa, a famous Portuguese poet. I got to know him through a Postcrossing friend’s introduction, and I’ve enjoyed discovering his work. I have finished reading the Chinese version of 'The book of disquiet’ and I’m reading the English version now.

Fernando Pessoa

Finally a postcard of the Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk, a UNESCO site in Czech Republic with beautiful architecture. I want to visit it if I have the chance!

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk
What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

To read each postcrossers’ profile, choose the perfect card (at least I think), choose stamps, decorate and write on it. Also upload the picture before I send out the card. All these processes are interesting and I enjoy them.

I love receiving surprises as well, not just the postcard but also the message on the back side. The magic charm of Postcrossing is you never know what will arrive to you everyday, and I love sending and receiving surprises. :)

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

This is my local post office…

The post office in my living town

… and the postbox from which my cards are usually sent:

The mailbox I usually put postcards in

Here is my mailbox, where postcards arrive:

My Mailbox

After registering, they get put in a box, waiting to be sorted…

Postcards need to be sorted out

… and this is the shelf where they end up, after being sorted and stored.

Postcards(already sorted out)
Have you met any other members in real life?

Yes! I attended a small Postcrossing meetup in Shanghai two years ago:

Postcrossing meetup in Shanghai

That’s me on the front right side, and my wife Yaya on the front left!

Had I joined Postcrossing earlier, I might have had the chance to see Paulo and Ana, as they were in a meetup in Shanghai in 2008.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

I really love listening music in my daily life, and started to collect vinyl records about a year ago. I am enthusiastic about watching movies — my favorite director is Wes Anderson. I also love jogging and want to finish a marathon one day in the future. Besides that, I started to learn yoga few months ago, a quite interesting exercise which makes me feel peaceful and relaxed.

Postcrossing widened my eyes, there are sooooo many wonderful places/countries I want to visit! My wife and I have visited several European countries: France, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands or Spain. And Iceland is the place I most want to visit in the future.

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The Little Mail Carriers have written home again! Turns out they’ve been enjoying a relaxed time in Tianjin, China! Read all about their adventures on this post from their host fitziane.

Ni hao, everyone, hello from China! We have spent a couple of lovely months in Tianjin, a dynamic city about an hour and a half away from Beijing. Our host family’s mom and dad work at an international school in China. She’s the elementary librarian and he heads the PE department. We spent our time living the expat life and enjoying family life.

Our very first weekend we went camping. Our host family, the Fitzgeralds, love the outdoors and we went camping twice during our stay. The first trip was to Yunmengshan.

Yunmengshan national forest park

This is a beautiful forest in the mountains north of Beijing. There are quiet mountain paths and lots and lots of trees and plenty of wonderful fresh air. (Although we can’t complain of the city air. October is the best month for air quality in Tianjin and we had many beautiful clear days. Still, there’s no beating fresh mountain air.) Camping was a lot of fun, although a bit of work, especially for people our size.

The Little Mail Carriers go campingThe Little Mail Carriers go camping

After setting up camp, we went exploring. The stream that ran past our camping site provided endless opportunities for splashing and wading. We didn’t get too wet, which was a good thing, because there was definitely a chill in the air in the shadows of the forest. Little Paulo, of course, had to swing from the trees like Tarzan and he kept looking at the water as if to calculate the size of the white water raft he’d need.

Hanging on a tree like Tarzaaaaaaan!Checking out the water

Going back to the city was good. We were happy to spend time with our librarian friend at her school. So many eager students come into the library every day. Libraries are wonderful!

Children at fitziane's schoolAncient Culture Street in Tianjin

During our month in the city, we did the usual tourist stuff. We went to Ancient Culture Street in Tianjin, among other places. This is a market that has grown around a Buddhist temple. About 5 years ago, the whole market was torn down and refurbished to give market vendors modern facilities, but the ancient character was kept. The market itself is very much a tourist site, with people come from all over the countryside surrounding Tianjin to visit. The temple was very busy, with many people lighting incense at the different altars.

At the Tianjin TempleAt the Tianjin Temple

The best part of our trip, though, was camping at the foot of the Great Wall of China. The first week of October is a national holiday in China, as the country celebrates its founding anniversary. We took advantage of the holiday to go for a long weekend with 6 families and camp at Jingshanlin.

On top of the Great Wall

The Great Wall was built by China’s first emperor to protect China from the Mongols in the north. The aim of the emperor was to have a wall stretching from Lop Lake in the west to Shanghaiguan in the east. It was to be 6 horses wide at the top and 8 horses wide at the bottom (or something like that. We read a book about it in the school library.)

With Fitziane on the Great Wall

There were to be watchtowers every 100 meters. The emperor sent a million people to build it. Many died and are buried in the wall. The conditions must have been brutal. It took 10 years to build, but subsequent emperors built different parts of it. The part we were on, Jingshanlin, was built during the Ming dynasty, only 500 years ago.

Click here for more photos of the Great Wall from our host.

Checking out the Chinese stampsOn a Chinese post box

We’ve had a great time in China and although we’re sad to go, we’re eager to continue with our adventures. We wish you all great happiness and good fortune.

Happiness!

Thank you fitziane for this lovely report! Now we wonder where the little ones will show up next…

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Maroussia, a French Postcrosser who lives in China and is collecting postcards since she was 12 years old.

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

I have collected viewcards and had penfriends since age 12, the cards always made me day dream about places I might never see with my own eyes and a penfriend of mine from Sweden (but actually Finnish) thought I would be interested and introduced postcrossing to me. I loved the idea, the mystery of where the next card will come from, and the opportunity to make new friends, to “meet” interesting people. I must say I have NOT been disappointed and I love postcrossing! To my happy surprise, 99% of the cards I have so far received have been good and valuable for my collection, and many came with really great words written on the back!

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

Yes, I am crazy about cooking and baking, and collecting cookbooks and cookery magazines, recipes. My favourite passtime is trying new recipes. My other “hobby” is history (which I teach along with geography), and reading history books and magazines, also archaeology, learning about people in other times and places, and postcards here come very handy and are a real help. Many cards I received are directly linked to historical events and it is very thrilling.

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

I live in a village 30 km from the city and mail deliveries are not reliable where I live, to say the least. So I receive my letters and cards in that 1–2–12 box in the photo which actually is my husband’s office mail box in the city, where mail is delivered safely.

maroussia mailbox

This is the one I mostly patronize when I have to send things a bit out of the ordinary like packages or registered letters. Otherwise I mostly drop my cards in that post-box in San Li Tun street, but occasionally in other ones. I know the location of about ten convenient mail boxes.

maroussia postoffice

maroussia postbox

Well they are quite messy, but at least organized by countries. In boxes for the countries from where I have really many like Germany, France, the Czech Republic, the USA, Austria and such. The others are in two chests of drawers, also classified by country. My big hope (when I am retired, maybe) is to put them all in albums, with explanations about the place shown on the card!

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

Hard to tell! There are so many I particularly love either because the picture is really fantastic, or because I love the place or it makes me day dream…

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