Monday, August 22, 2016

Postcards from Taiwan

Postcards from Taiwan

I just got back from a trip to Taiwan! Of course the first thing I bought there was a big pile of postcards. These are cards in the Gotochi style, though they are from Taiwan and not Japan. They're thick and with unusual shapes all featuring local attractions or culture, done in a cartoon illustration style. I sent one to myself from Taipei on August 16, and it was waiting for me when I got my mail today! Hats off to you, Taiwan postal service. Also, holy cheap, Batman! Just about everything in Taiwan was reasonably priced or even inexpensive, coming from the USA, and the postage for this international postcard cost 11 NTD (New Taiwan Dollars). Guess how much that is in USD? As of this posting, 35 cents! Wow. I was able to send off a few postcards from Taipei, but it was mostly a work trip and I was busy most of the time, so I didn't get a whole lot of mail written or sent there. Also, mailboxes were a little hard to find in my area, so I carried a few postcards around for a number of days until I could finally mail them on Friday.

This Taiwan trip took up a lot of my mental energy this summer, preparing and planning for the trip (work trip - I did some guest teaching and gave a concert, so it was a lot more than just travel adventure!), and I guess I can offer that as an excuse for being so absent from this blog. We also spent the first couple months of the summer at our new house in Maine, which was idyllic but also busy. I did spend a lot of time actually *writing* mail instead of blogging about it, but we also did a lot of work on the house and I spent a ton of time in the gardens.

Garden in the mountains

YES! I have gardens again! I'm super excited about that, though it's challenging to be away from them for weeks or months at a time. The summer days flew by, as I spent hours in the garden with my hands in the dirt.

So right now I'm in a bit of location limbo... a week in Maine, a few days in NH, a week in Taiwan, a few days in NH, nearly a week in Maine, a few days in NH, a weekend in Maine... you get the picture. (Because I'm so back-and-forth, my etsy store will remain closed for a couple more weeks.) And then summer is over and I'm back to school crazy-ness. I've had all kinds of postal adventures in addition to travel adventures, and I'll try to catch up and get them blogged as best I can, but in the meantime... I hope everyone is having a fantastic, mail-filled summer!

14 comments:

  1. I love those gotochi cards. I collected a couple, including the leftmost Taipei one you have there. I hope you had a great time in Taiwan. My family is from Taipei and we try to make it back every year. Did you visit anywhere interesting? It was a scorcher this summer and I think everyone's been hiding indoors with the air conditioning, but I'm glad to see you managed to make it to the National Palace Museum!

    Stationery is so abundant here, and things like the Traveler's Notebook and Hobonichi Techo took off with a ferocity. Earlier this year the Traveler's Caravan stopped in Taipei and produced some amazing things in partnership with Eslite... of course, considering my luck, I missed all of them! Hopefully you managed to find a good number of shops to browse. If not, it might just have to wait until the next visit! :-)

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    1. We did have a great time in Taiwan! It was our first trip to Asia, and everything felt very foreign, but I couldn't believe how friendly the people of Taiwan were. Everyone was simply lovely. We got around a little bit - other than the National Palace Museum, we also saw Longshan Temple and Shilin Night Market, but other than that, we didn't really get out of our neighborhood in TienMu. Glad to hear this summer was hotter than usual - I very nearly melted.

      Unfortunately, I didn't get much of a chance to look at stationery at all! I popped in a couple of little bookstores near me, but didn't make it to the famous Eslite, or any other nice paper stores. You're right: next visit! It is very likely that we will go back sometime in the future.

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    2. Those postcards are really fun! I used to send myself postcards from abroad, too. The view from your garden is lovely. I hope you get to enjoy it a while before winter hits.

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    3. I always send myself postcards from various destinations - I'm really curious how long it takes them to arrive. Thanks for garden thoughts - I'll definitely get some more time there in the next month. :-)

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  2. I truly enjoy your posts and the picture above is absolutely beautiful!!

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  3. The Gotochi cards are lovely, and make me ache to go back to Asia... but that garden!! There's some serious talent there! :D

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    1. Can't take credit for the garden... it was designed and created by the former owners, and then left to run wild for two years. We did a little bit of new planting, but mostly it was taming what was already there, going feral! We were overrun with daisies... hence the basket full of them, which I was pulling like weeds.

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  4. Oh those cards are awesome! I honestly haven't seen them before!!
    Your garden is amazing, how lucky are you to have such a gorgeous place to be~! <3

    Carla, Tiny Angry Crafts

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    1. Carla, I do feel lucky! We've been dreaming and planning this Maine house for about 15 years, though, which makes it even more satisfying. ;-) and I appreciate it even more after the super-urban experience of Taipei!

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  5. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog. I love the Japanese postmark you pictured on Instagram, and I'm pretty sure that your blog roll to the right could keep me occupied online for a few months or more! Looking forward to looking around, and hearing more postal adventures.

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    1. Hello Andria - so sorry for the delay in approving your comment, it somehow got lost on the shuffle. I'm so glad you enjoy the blog and the postal adventures.

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  6. Hi, can I ask for the process you went through when you sent postcards from Taiwan? Preliminary research through Google says that address writing is a bit different. Did you follow any specific format? :) Thanks!

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    1. Yes, address writing conventions vary from country to country, but I knew the basics. Ultimately as long as they say USA on the last line, they'll get to the USA and get sorted out here. So I addressed them **very clearly** using typical U.S. address format. They all arrived, and fairly quickly, too!

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