About Alexandra Heep

About Alexandra Heep: The internet has allowed allowed Alexandra to maintain a semblance of life when encountering an unexpected, lingering health crisis. The Internet is a lifeline which not only allows her to remain connected to friends, but also survive, via writing.While Alexandra Heep is her pen name, she does not hide behind it. Instead, she used it to brand herself on the Internet and to create opportunities.

Alexandra published her first book, a collection of her best poems, on July 11, 2012. You can buy it at Lulu.com

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.


Thursday, December 12, 2019

How to Get a Postcard from North Korea


A few days ago, I received a postcard from North Korea. I shared it on Facebook, and it garnered some attention. So, I thought I would create a blog post to explain the behind-the-scenes stuff.

Since I collect postcards, this was quite an addition to my collection. To save space, I focus my collection mainly on getting at least one card from every country in the world. (I do have others, but that is explained in another post).

That explains the reason why I wanted one from North Korea. Since the USA does not allow mail sent to North Korea, how do you go about getting a postcard from there? Strangely enough, North Korea does allow mail sent to the USA. I wasn't quite sure about that, but now I know.

Anyway, I arranged this trade through a person from China. He did not go to North Korea, but he has a friend who goes there every few months. He occasionally puts up posts asking for certain postcards in turn.

As you might expect, usually he asks for postcards sent from rare places. What is a rare place? Well, any country, nation or independent territory that doesn't send a lot of postcards. Obviously, the USA is not a rare country. Upon a whim, I offered a copper postcard from Illinois (the state in which I live) with a hand cancellation (this means not sent through the USPS machines), and he accepted.

In the postcard world, copper postcards are considered special. I don't use them a lot (I have only sent two) because they are smaller than regular size, not cheap and they are vintage. They can also get caught in postal machines or get lost because of the small size. Only some people like them, so I lucked out.

So, to get a postcard from North Korea is not that difficult. You just need to find a person from China who goes there occasionally and have something to trade that he or she wants.

Anyway, delivery does take a while, and the success rate fluctuates. Many cards sent from there disappear. Also, every postcard gets read by Korean officials before it goes on its way. Some come heavily censored. This one was mailed in August, and, as you can see, the postmark was dated in October. So, the whole transaction took about four months.