Thursday, February 11, 2016

Keve River, Angola

Cold rainy day....just perfect for staying at home and having fun with postcards...and also I have like a particular 'excuse' to make an update, but that will come in the next post...now first things first...and let me clarify something before you start throwing tomatoes at me (since last time i told you I have no new countries)... but that referred more to written and stamped cards (I feel like I'm being an arrogant b**** here....)


ok here is the story...I really dont know what went wrong with the swap here...I dont know if it was a 'lost in translation' thing or something, but instead of getting a written and stamped card from Angola, I ended up getting an envelope with a number of cards from Angola and some stamps...yeah, I know that in some way im being way ungrateful here when just anyone else would probably be thankful and delighted..it is just that I dont get it how could that happen...and how like my only chance to get a written and stamped card from Angola went down the drain...this is one of those times when instead of getting all head over heels for having a new country in your collection, you feel like crying...I keep wondering 'why woman, why oh why'?? (It would have been way cheaper to just drop me one single card, instead of the whole envelope)...
I mean it is the same like when I get some super rare country and Im over the moon until I look at the stamp and see it was mailed from a completely different country...doesn't it just make you cringe and you feel utterly disappointed?
Have I turned into a monster?!!

So, probably that's one of the reasons why I haven't posted this so far...I am a terrible person, aren't I? =/


and here is now the back of the card and I know you will probably say again how come I am complaining when first of all there is a stamp, and second of all, there is this 'postage paid' text as well, meaning that probably this card, even if it was sent written and stamped, would have arrived without a stamp...frankly, I really don't get it...and I don't know if the sender had put that stamp and cancellation or someone else (since the cancellation is like one year prior this whole thing was arranged...)
And then again, the address thing is left blank....so I may just write it down myself and consider this a written and stamped card or whatsoever (despite that stamp ain't even closely sufficient for the actual postage)..



for the curious ones, the stamp was issued in 2008 in a set of 4, showing Angolan Rivers (this one here shows Rio Mbridge

so much moaning over one postcard only....but I know some of you are familiar with this feeling ;-)
(and don't take me THAT seriously when I complain anyway)


Geiranger, Norway

Ok, here we go now..why I wanted to commemorate this day...or probably it should have been yesterday, but yesterday I didn't really have enough time for this, plus that Facebook 'share your memories' thing, has noted it down as today...so today it is...
And what's so important about it?
Well, it is one year ago that I started learning Norwegian! Yep, you read that right! Ana is learning Norwegian (or Ana lærer norsk)
I know some of you have no idea about it, even though it's been a whole year, but I blame it on my lack of updates here and therefore, keeping you in the dark about it




This is one of the newest Norwegian cards I have received (thanks to Trond) and I believe it is like a beautiful choice to commemorate my small achievement.
And it all happened somewhat unexpectedly...I stumbled across a post on Facebook (no matter how much I dislike it, it has proven useful at times), about this school advertising courses in Swedish. I immediately got interested since I've been wanting to learn some new language that on one hand is not really popular and that on the other, attracts me in some way (and Scandinavia itself attracts me a LOT). So I was checking for like more information about the course and all, and next thing I see, they offer a course in Norwegian...I think that my heart simply stopped at that moment...I got so thrilled and exhilarated that I simply froze...I just had no proper way of expressing my utter delight at that moment...a course in Norwegian...how awesome and fantastic is that! It was like a dream (or at least part of the dream), coming true.
Of course I called immediately to sign up and all..and even though I was a bit skeptical about my working schedule and how it would all fit in together, the first semester went great...I had to skip like two classes in total and was really regular in homeworks and studying and all...and it was a nice group...it was like 8 of us at the beginning...5 left at the end, and half were attending the course cos they need a certificate cos they would like to apply for a job in Norway, and the rest of us (the weirdos) were there just cos we would like to learn the language, no particular aims but that...

Now the second semester was not so easy...mainly cos of my frequent absence from classes due to work...and it had its consequences...one thing about learning a language is being really dedicated to it...if you believe that you can attend classes twice a week and that's all you would need to be fluent, boy you are wrong (I always rambled this to my former students who believed i could do magic and they would learn perfect English just by showing up at class)...and then I didnt get to practice what I preached...heh...what can I do..
Still, I did pass the exam, but I don't really feel it was that much deserved...and then I like planned to spend my break between semesters now studying, but of course, what you plan and what reality is, are often two different things :)

Anyways, I am not giving up... I usually start something and never finish it, but I'm NOT gonna add Norwegian to that list...even though maybe there won't be enough students next semester and I won't be able to continue like attending an official course, but I will get my work done on my own...it is different now when I have the basis and continuing from there, than starting on my own from scratch.

If you are curious about my opinion about the language...well, it is not a difficult one..at least the grammar is of like medium difficulty, and i understand a great deal of written Norwegian (even though I still lack a lot of vocabulary in order to make some really complex sentences).
But if written Norwegian is easy...don't get me started about the spoken one! Spoken Norwegian is like something outside this planet :D I love, really love the sound of it...but being able to understand when they speak is like mission impossible...I may catch a word over here and a word over there...but the concept? oh boy, no :D
I dont know....maybe I should just move to Norway and learn it in the natural surroundings...anyone in Norway who would like to adopt me for a few months? =)))))))

I think I'll watch some Norwegian movies later tonight to kinda celebrate this...there is one awesome Norwegian movie I watched not so long ago, called Headhunters...I really recommend it!



and well, lets not forget the stamp - issued in 2014 in a set of 3, portraying the Oslo Viking Ship Museum

Djerba, Tunisia

a nice surprise card I received from Anne from her trip to Tunisia



it says, 'a corner of paradise'...and markets like this certainly are...mhhm all those colours and different smells and textures...so beautiful! Last time i had seen a market like this was when I went to Turkey last summer...and it was actually very very near our hotel...and so full of fruits and spices and nuts and all...a joy for all senses!
Hmm, I really should visit Tunisia...at least it is still one of those countries for which I do not need a visa to go to



the stamp is from a set of 4 issued in 2013, representing famous Tunisians (here you can see Taher Cheriaa, who was a Tunisian film critic and the founder of the Carthage Film Festival in 1966).

Thank you again Anne for the lovely surprise!!

Radom, Poland

A card coming from the Polish town of Radom, showing the Garrison Church...



The church is located in the Constitution Square and was formerly an Orthodox church....there is just some information in Polish about this church, but not really in English...





from the set of 3 Christmas stamps issued in 2015

Hong Kong

For my final post today I decided to share with you two Hong Kong maps I received recently, both sent by Cally



I prefer this one a bit more to the other...it is more cartoonesque (but the other one has a bike on it on the other hand :))
The card says: "Hong Kong is located at the South China Sea coast. It is formed by Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the first Opium War, and now is a Special Administrative Region. It has a reputation of the Pearl of the Orient, shopping paradise. (the map card is designed by www.lazygala.com and published by www.mumubooks.com)





two nice stamps, and a nice cancellation...the bird stamp was issued in 2006 in a set of 12....this birdy here is called Haliaeetus leucogaster. The other stamp was issued in 2014 in a set of 12 definitives portraying different landscapes in HK - this stamp here shows the Kang Lau Shek rock.




this map card was probably designed by some postcrosser, at least that's my impression (www.postcollectionhk.com)



here comes the birdy stamp again...and the newest Year of the Monkey one! You know, when Nalini posted something about the Year of the Monkey the other day, since she was born in the Year of the Monkey, it dawned on me that I am a monkey too! I totally overlooked it! And yeah, I know it is not really a big deal, but I remember well that during the previous Year of the Monkey I was all kinda excited about it (dont know why)...and now it didn't even cross my mind, even though there were so many people talking about the new lunar stamps mentioning the monkey so many times...but I was just clueless..I guess it comes with age :)))

well dear all, that would be all for today..hope you liked at least something....till next time, stay well!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Green Mountain, Ascension Island

It is about time to make a new update (and I can say my silence since last time is somewhat justified :P ) well, I have like work to do for an assignment next week....but my brain has been barely able to absorb anything it should....it just cant focus (and frankly it is a bit hard to focus when you have to read about Clostridial diseases in Sheep or Contagious Agalaxia in sheep and goats...yeah, that's not really fun now, is it? esp not for a Saturday night....but then it is so cold outside, I'd just rather hang around in the warmth of my absolutely chaotic room...and then I said, it's better to use the time wisely and brag with some postcards, instead just trying to figure out what does' submucosa haemorhages in abomasum' mean...

and yeah, ill be a bit mean with my first card for today...yep, a brand new country, written and stamped....from that place called Ascension Island :D :D :D



a big hug to dear Sissel for this extraordinary surprise!! Ascension Island has been such a remote hope to me that didn't even have it placed in my "countries' list" document....like, who does even get a card from there?!!
Well, obviously, I was a bit ignorant about it all, since *I* am the one to get a card from there! :D
At least google is not as ignorant as I am, so it gave me some information about the "Green Mountain" - which is the common name for "The Peak", the highest point on Ascension Island, which has gained some fame for claims that it is one of very few large-scale artificial forests.

There is such thing as an artificial forest?? Hah....something I definitely wouldn't have expected on an island like this but the world is just full of surprises....

Sissel says that the island is small, but that you still need a car to get around where you want to go...btw, the island is 1600 km away from the coast of Africa and 2,250 km from the coast of Brazil...well, still no one beats Tristan da Cunha :)




and here come the stamps! the absolutely gorgeous stamps!! I love them!!

the one on the very right is from a set of 4 WWF Birds stamps issued in 2011, showing the Phaethon aethereus.
The middle stamp shows the Bothus lunatus (from a set of 4 Coral Fish stamps issued in 2012).
And the last one (on the very left) is from a set of 6 birds' stamps issued in 2013, under the name 'Reintroduction of the Frigatebird'

Cancelled in Georgetown, the island's capital...

a million hugs and thank yous to Sissel for this one...it is just incredible to have such a card in my collection! (ok, ill admit it, she actually sent me two, not one :D)....
but if i tell you that I dont have any new countries in my collection...for now...maybe you will hate me less =)

Auckland, New Zealand

a lovely map card that arrived last year as a surprise from dear Anita...




Seems that NZ has issued map cards like this not only for the entire country but also, for some of its areas as well...it is only ME that is completely lost about what I already have in my collection...

the back of the card says: The area of greater Auckland is home to 24% of NZ' population. As well as being a major commercial centre, Auckland has a pleasant climate, beautiful harbour and beaches, as well as many and varied recreational opportunities for both resident and visitor alike.

I know that NZ is a very cool country to visit...but boy is it far...one of the conveniences of living in Europe...where you can get to so many different countries...even by bus...even if it maybe takes 48 hours....but it is doable...back pains are inevitable, but I get them either way even when travelling by car/plane..



and a beautiful matching stamp showing the Auckland Harbour - supposed to be issued in 2013 for international postcards only...

thank you so much Anita for your lovely surprise! Im sure you have had a great trip!