Don't Shake the Flask

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Tag: Russia

Postcards from the Last Six Months

I spent most of this afternoon sorting through the gigantic pile of postcards that I had accumulated for the past six months. I have a system for sorting–first I sort by size. This makes it easier for me to put protective plastic sleeves on them without switching between different sizes with every other one. Then I sort them again by country and file them accordingly in boxes. Below, I’ve documented some of my progress. (This is also in a Twitter thread.)

The stack:








Czech Republic:





Great Britain:

Hong Kong:




















Postcard #212 – Imaginary Lighthouse

The sender says that they mailed this postcard because they wanted to share their childhood dream of living next to the sea, but part of me wonders why they mailed this particular postcard and not some other postcard with the sea in it.

I admit, it’s mostly because of the lighthouse. I have nothing against lighthouses, but I live in fear of the postcard collector enthusiasts who would rail at me for receiving a lighthouse postcard when I don’t collect any postcard topics specifically. Or maybe it’s because I’ve read too many forum posts by crazy postcard collectors who think there’s only One True Way To Do Postcards.

(Also note especially for the overzealous postcard enthusiasts who can’t read the handwriting and want to report me to the postcard police: The sender wrote that I could share this postcard on the blog. Everything else is blacked out.)



Postcard #194 – Flying Whale

This postcard of a flying whale is from Russia. The sender of the postcard sent me a separate email giving me permission to post it on this blog. The sender has an interesting interpretation of this piece of art:

I suppose this card shows that most people are “blind”.  They can see only money, success and fame around them. Some of them notice only negative things. But in my opinion our life is beautiful and amazing by itself. The most important treasures are love, friendship and close people.

I agree that life can be beautiful. But sometimes those people who are obsessed with money, success and fame ruin it for the rest of us. That’s why we can’t have nice things.


Postcard #132 – Plaid Everywhere

This postcard was sent to me by a doctor who plays in a rock band. Cool, huh?

What I’m curious about, though, is why plaid is associated with Christmas (because this is supposed to be a Christmas postcard). Aren’t plaids types of tartan fabric with certain patterns that are specific to Scottish clans? That doesn’t seem particularly Christmas-y to me.



Postcard #130 – Carbohydrates on Paper

I really enjoy getting unusual and unexpected postcards in the mail. And this one is certainly out of the norm. Most people send scenic cards. This one is bread! I’m not sure what type of bread this is–it looks like rye or pumpernickel. If you, dear reader, are more familiar with Russian cuisine than I am, let me know what this is.

The slogan on the card is translated roughly as “The homemade meal is the art of caring for your loved ones.” I think this holds true if you’re a good cook. Me? I’m rather middling and I think I’d better express my love by not subjecting people to my cooking.



Postcard #38 – A Telephone Booth in Siberia

Yes, another postcard from Siberia! Either it was the luck of the draw or a surprising number of people in Siberia enjoy sending postcards. And with the rise of cell phones, telephone booths are pretty much extinct. Sort of like library card catalogs. They’re not used any more, but I’m sure there are people who buy them to decorate their homes.



Postcard #35 – From Vladivostok

It might not seem like it from the scan below, but the size of this postcard from Vladivostok is unusual. It’s as if you took a regular piece of paper and just took a third out.

Anyways, it’s interesting that the sender felt the urge to write that “Russia isn’t only Moscow”. I think that makes the assumption that everyone in America is geographically dumb. I am well aware that Russia isn’t only Moscow. I can read a damn map. And I’ve read about and seen many documentaries on the different regions of Russia. And as for Vladivostok, I’ve been quite aware that this city exists many years before I even received this postcard. And yes, I can even place it on the map.



Postcard #23 – A Hat for Two

This illustrated postcard reminds me of those face illusions where a picture could be interpreted as one or two faces. Of course, in this picture, it’s obviously two people below the weird hat/cottage and then there’s another face on the hat. At first, I just thought it was just an unusual drawing, but as I looked at it longer, I realized that the drawing isn’t random. The “hat” is actually representing the dreams of the couple below. I suspect they plan on getting a house and having a kid together (hence the third face poking out of the vegetation). Of course, this is pure speculation on my part. Only the artist knows what it truly means.



Postcard #22 – Time and Fall

Ah, isn’t this postcard perfect for the season? Well, perfect if you’re living further north. Over here in San Diego, it’s sunny as always. I think that’s the only thing that I don’t like about the weather in Southern California. There is no actual autumn. And I love fall. Unfortunately, I won’t have time to go anywhere where the leaves are turning colors. I guess I’ll just have to live vicariously through pictures on the internet.

Anyways, I was pretty excited when I first got this card. Because it was from Siberia! Of course, it’s an enormous geographical region, but I didn’t think very many people lived there. So I thought the chances were low that a postcard writer from that area would randomly draw me to send a card.