Sunday, January 26, 2014

Kuwait City, Kuwait

oh boy, what a month it has it been...what a way to start the year when it comes to postcards! dear fairies striking from all corners of the world! And I can't remember when was the last time when I did so many posts per month...I feel like im on a roll =) well I better do it while I have the time..and this update almost didn't happen cos for whatever odd reason, my scanner refused to work the other day...i fell in despair...the usual restart/restore thing just wouldnt work...oh well, disconnecting all printer cables did the miracle in the end...yeah, so simple...but boy it got me so know, it is one of those moments when you realize how much something as trivial as a scanner is meaningful to your every day pathetic as it may sound :)
Anyways, lets start with the gem of the day from my dear Herbert fairy who made sure I have the Special K in my mailbox...twice :P
Well, I was sort of expecting this card...tracking widgets can pretty much ruin things for you sometimes...but still, when you actually DO get that special country in your mailbox, the thrill is inexplicable! :D
I already have posted Kuwait cards here and here...but third like char, cos ladies and gentleman, this is my very first written and stamped card from Kuwait!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it makes me even double-happy cos from what Herbert had told me, if I may use his own words, this country has been his biggest postcard disaster.
Hence im really really grateful to have this in my own collection now :)

And the card shows the Safat Square in Kuwait City, and as the card says (not sure how readable it is): Safat Square, with its symphonic arrangements of spirals and spires echoes the look and the feel of the whole City.
Unfortunately, for this kind of places you dont get to find too much info in google, except that it is like the major historical commercial square in Kuwait City...but there is this man, who has put a number of videos on YouTube...this fountain at night...with the lovely colours and the beautiful sounds of the Oriental/Arabic music...wasn't sure which one to put, so eventually my choice fell on this one..enjoy!!

don't know at what time was this video shot, but i was surprised how empty it was...and usually this kind of places are full with, there is this kid you will notice, in short sleeves...which leads to the conclusion that it is not cold, so people do not hide at home from the cold...and it is probably not late...but well then, it is Kuwait we are talking about after all

and here comes that very important part...the stamps...and the cancellations...those things that make such a card so worth it :) And it took like less than a month to reach you can see, it was cancelled on December 26, and I received it a few days ago, so rather impressive for a country like this...even the Macedonian postal service would rank worse here :)

The stamp is from a set of three Liberation Day stamps issued in 2009.

Herbert dear, thank you again from the bottom of my heart! for the cards, the thoughtfulness, the friendship, everything =)

Melbourne Park, Australia

Next is this beautiful maxi-card showing the tennis courts of Melbourne Park, issued in 2005, to commemorate the 100 years of the Australian Open Tournament. I wish this post was done in a more cheerful and ecstatic tone, but well, it still makes a suitable thing to post today :) And yeah, it is gonna be a yada-dada blabber, so you may just skip this one :)

As some of you may know, the Australian Open took place in the last two weeks...two weeks of great tennis, a lot of drama, and sleepless nights, cos time zones arent the friendliest sometimes...but all that waking up at 5 am was worth it, to enjoy the sight of dear Rafael Nadal. Who after missing last year's tournament due to injuries, showed exquisite performance here, reaching the finals...where to the surprise of many, on the other side of the net he had Stanislas Wawrinka...the Swiss guy who among else defeated Novak Djoković...and who until today had beaten Nadal zero times, out of the 12 times they had met...but the unlucky 13 turned out to be the charm for Stan..
I don't know what to think of today's final...too many expectations from Rafa, that's for sure...and as some called it, a bizarre final...why bizarre? cos of Nadal's back pains...for whole two weeks it was the blister...and now today, out of nowhere, he was struggling with terrible backache..i dont think ive ever, EVER seen this kind of Rafa...totally apathetic...unable to run for the balls...lousy serves...just losing poitns and moving from one side of the court to the other without even asking for his towel...Nadal, who asks for his towel after every single damn point, didnt ask for it once during several games..didnt even care about the placement of his bottles...i was speechless...and sad...and frustrated...i tried to stay realistic...tried not to make too much of a deal...but yeah, the audience was nothing but arrogant for booing him after the medical time out...cos im sure that all those who do not like Rafa, would stick to the story that he faked his injury, cos he wasnt capable of beating Stan, and at the first signs of Stan playing better than him, lets make kidding??  You should actually thank him for not retiring...for struggling till the end just to give you a whole match...maybe not what you expected from a final, but at least he did give you an entire match...cos that's what you paid for, no? He did give Stan the chance to say he has beaten him, not that Stan won his first title cos Nadal retired...kuddos to you Rafa for that....for your humbleness...for never making excuses that an injury is the reason you lost...for saying that this is Stan's day, not yours...the greatest reason why Rafa has remained my very favourite is this attitude of his..never arrogant...never smashing racquets...always praising as someone said, I dont care you lost today...Stan may be the winner, but you are the champion...
I do admit that when other players all of a sudden start complaining about injuries, there is this devil inside me that thinks they are just buying time, trying to recoup, to confuse the opponent...but i dont know if i have not done enough search. it is only when it happens to Rafa that the internet population goes nuts about how he is a cheater and blah blah blah...but if someone got the cheers and support from the crowd in the end, that was Rafa...yeah, the same crowd that first booed him :)

I just hope whatever that injury is, that it is nothing serious...I really cant handle another bout of Rafa-less tennis...i just need that daily dose of Rafa fighting on court :) Without him, tennis just wouldnt be the same for me

hugs to my dearest Zarah, who has stayed along with me for the past two weeks, through thick and thin...watching tennis together makes it much more entertaining, and easier to bear the tough moments...Gracias amiga!! 

1 World Trade Center, USA

If I hadnt received this official recently, I would have remained clueless that New York has a new World Trade Center..with what they call it now, 1 World Trade Center..

The 104-story supertall skyscraper is now the tallest building in the US, and is part of an effort to memorialize and rebuild following the destruction of the original World Trade Center complex that we all know, happened during the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Hard to believe it it's been so long ago...and so much has been talked about it...conspiracy theories and all...but im not gonna go into that about it now
If im not mistaken, the opening of the building has been scheduled for late January/early February, so I guess it is still not functional, or Im wrong?
Curious, if people that are gonna be working here, would sub-consciously fear any terrorist attacks...

lovely dog sticker, and nice Christmas stamp from the the colours of the new Global stamp

Sheikh Zayed Road Skyline, UAE

Last card for today comes from Dubai and from the JP fairy :)

the card shows the Sheikh Zayed Road Skyline, or the E11 Road as it is also known in Dubai,and is home to most of Dubai's skyscrapers, including the Emirates Towers
In Dubai itself much of the highway has five lanes in each direction. Hmm, here, three lanes in one direction is the most you can get usually :)
I just wonder if that is fog/smog that makes it look as if the city is all covered in dust hence the poor and unclear visibility of the buildings :)

the two stamps are from a set of 4 stamps issued in 2012, under the title World Energy Forum 2012.

Many thanks to JP for this lovely card and stamps, and to everyone, have a great week ahead!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Grand Barachois, St. Pierre and Miquelon

When last time I asked about where my next new country will be from and who would be responsible for that, not in my wildest dreams I thought i would get the answer the very next day! And certainly couldn't have imagined it would be THIS very country!
My postman may be coming like once a week, but he certainly has found his ways of getting away with it by bringing me great mail...and boy, this last Saturday was one of the most fantastic mail days EVER!

He came in the morning and brought me a batch of great stuff, both cards and envelopes...and then, like 15 min. later he came back again, cos another stack of cards has somehow fallen down in his bag...and among that second batch was THIS very card! I can't even come close to describing you my reaction..and joy...and  how overwhelmed I felt...and, there are no words to describe such a moment...cos, how often do you get a written and stamped postcard from a country like St. Pierre and Miquelon??!!!  And here I am, the proud owner of one!! Coffee aside! Coffee aside!! I can't possibly afford to get this one ruined due to my clumsiness....

And just look at those adorable faces looking at you! *Hello to you too guys*!! Gray seals! Enjoying themselves at Grand Barachois, which is a large natural lagoon in Saint Pierre and Miquelon, lying immediately south of Miquelon Island, and is formed largely by the 12 kilometre-long tombolo of La Dune.

And the 'guilty' one for this is the JP fairy! Thank you thank you thank you thank you again JP! You are just awesome!!
I think that each one of my fairies has made me go nuts with happiness at least twice :D

and didn't take too long to get from there! Just a bit over a month.
And there you have it...the SPM stamp...the SPM cancellation...ahhhh, joys of life!
The SPM stamp on the right is from a set of two Sea Mammals' stamps issued in 2004. This one here shows a Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena).
The other one is a French definitive showing Marianne, issued in 2013

ahhh...ok, you can be a bit jealous on this one =)

Alcobaça, Portugal

And life goes on...with a bunch of more great cards to show!

I received this one for the vacation RR this Saturday as well...showing the Alcobaça Alcobaça, of course, in central Portugal.
The church and monastery were the first Gothic buildings in Portugal, and, together with the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, it was one of the most important of the mediaeval monasteries in Portugal. Due to its artistic and historical importance, it was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1989.
It is considered as one of the most magnificent gothic monuments in the country. In the church are the tombs of Pedro I of Portugal and his murdered mistress Inês de Castro. Over the centuries this monastery played an important role in shaping Portuguese culture.

the stamp is from a set of 3 Education stamps issued in 2013. It is supposed to represent School Mail.

And I have this other card showing a part of the Alcobaça Monastery, that I received back in was sent blank inside an envelope with a bunch of other cards...when I still didn't care too much if I received one written and stamped or a dozen in an it is strictly written and stamped..I more care about quality than quantity..I dont need to just pile up cards which do not have the traces and feeling of having travelled...I think you know what I mean ;-)

Vietnam Wall, USA

A cool official card I received last year..


The card shows the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C., which extends down into the earth past the names of 50,000 Americans who died in Vietnam, then up again into the daylight. Student designer Maya Ying Lin, who won the design competition, explained her entry: "Take a knife and cut open the earth, and with time the grass will heal it." (from the back of the card)
Well, for me time doesnt really heal things...just makes the pain more bearable and easier to deal with...but that counts for something, doesn't it?

I sometimes wonder, at walls like there someone who actually gets to read ALL of the names? from beginning till the end? 
Not me, that's for sure...I just take a brief glimpse, and read a few...and sometimes some names catch my attention...but I surely won't go and read all 50,000 of them!

3 great stamps and one cute sticker!
On the stamps you have George Washington from 2011, and two of the 5 cars' stamps issued in 2013