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, April 18, 2019

A to Z Challenge 2019: P is For Postcards

I have always loved postcards. I did have a collection when I was a teenager, but I had to start over again about two years ago. In that time, I have amassed over one thousand of them. I don't have just one favorite, I have many favorites. To illustrate this post, it was difficult to choose one. I decided to showcase this postcard from Kazakhstan, for several reasons:
  • It's from an uncommon country.
  • It shows a sunset.
  • It has an unusual size.
There are many ways to go about collecting postcards. I mainly obtain them through Postcrossing, a postcard exchange site. I am also a member of PostcardUnited, it's another postcard exchange site. Sometimes, I trade postcards with people on Facebook or the Postcrossing forum because the sites match you up with random people only. Other times, friends send me postcards from their vacations.

Now, you can just buy postcards online from any place. However, I prefer those that are stamped, written and sent from the point of origin. To me, it's as much about the journey as it is about the actual item. I do have postcards from each continent (including Antarctica). 

What is my rarest postcard? Well, that is difficult because ... what is rare? Is it a hard-to-get postcard (North Korea)? Is it from a place with few people (Vatican)? Is it from a remote place (Tristan da Cunha)? I don't know the answer, but I am especially fond of a card I received from Antarctica (South Pole station). I am also stoked about a card I got from the Faroe Islands.

So far, the strangest place I've sent a postcard to is Tromso in Norway. It's above the arctic circle. Strangely enough, its lowest temperature in the winter isn't that bad: It is 9 degrees Fahrenheit. In Chicago, so far we have had a low of -23 Fahrenheit, and in Michigan I experienced -31 Fahrenheit.

However, summers in Tromso aren't that warm, only in the 50s. Also, it does have some mind-blowing long winter nights and summer nights. In the winter, the sun stays gone for 1.6 months, and in the summer, the sun stays for 2.3 months. What on earth can you grow in that climate? Also, they have unending weeks of Aurora Borealis. 

If you're wondering, there are over 245 "countries." This includes territories and independent observer states. Google will tell you that there are only 197 countries right now. That's because places come and go. My number is based on Postcrossing, which lists 248 countries. The site uses ISO 3166 standard for compiling countries and territories.

As of the date of this post, I have postcards from the following countries and territories: (If you want to exchange one with me and you live in or visit a country I don't have yet, please let me know)!

1.   Algeria
2.   Antarctica
3.   Australia
4.   Austria
5.   Bahamas
6.   Belarus
7.   Belgium
8.   Brazil
9.   Canada
10.                   Chile
11.                   China
12.                   Croatia
13.                   Cyprus
14.                   Czechia
15.                   Denmark
16.                   Estonia
17.                   Faroe Islands
18.                   Finland
19.                   France
20.                   Germany
21.                   Great Britain (England)
22.                   Greece
23.                   Guernsey (Channel Islands)
24.                   Hong Kong
25.                   Hungary
26.                   India
27.                   Indonesia
28.                   Ireland
29.                   Israel
30.                   Italy
31.                   Japan
32.                   Kazakhstan
33.                   Latvia
34.                   Liechtenstein
35.                   Lithuania
36.                   Luxembourg
37.                   Macau
38.                   Malaysia
39.                   Mali
40.                   Moldova
41.                   Monaco
42.                   Morocco
43.                   Netherlands
44.                   New Zealand
45.                   Norway
46.                   Peru
47.                   Philippines
48.                   Poland
49.                   Portugal
50.                   Puerto Rico
51.                   Romania
52.                   Russia
53.                   Serbia
54.                   Singapore
55.                   Slovakia
56.                   Slovenia
57.                   South Africa
58.                   South Korea
59.                   Spain       
60.                   Sweden
61.                   Switzerland
62.                   Taiwan
63.                   Thailand
64.                   Turkey
65.                   Ukraine
66.                   United Arab Emirates
67.                   USA
68.                   Uzbekistan
69.                   Virgin Islands (U.S.)


Glorygarden@msn.com said...

I want so go to Liechtenstein! Don't ask me why, just like the sound of the name. Silly I know! Now I wonder that you don't have one from Monte Negro.It's a tiny principality and Tom actually met through work the man who will be its next ruling Duke. Want to go there too, it sounds lovely!

Narayana Rao K.V.S.S. said...

Interesting collection. It is long time back that I received a letter. People are a phone call away now. But yes, I feel nostalgic if I come across an old letter. Best wishes.

A to Z participant Narayana Rao Resource Planning and Resourcing for Effective Operations

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

I collect postcards, too, but never had to start over. Condolences about that. I have only 56 countries represented, but have never done an exchange. Mine are all from places I've gone or were sent by friends and family who have gone there. I'm sure you have some really amazing ones. Antarctica and Faroe Islands sound cool.
Black and White: Q is for Qilin