Friday, December 26, 2008

CHRISTMAS TREES IN ASIA and Some Christmas Reflections

Below is a Christmas Reflection of my good friend Fides Bagasao. The foto below was taken on Christmas Day when she accompanied me at Incheon International Airport and bade me goodbye.


From 100NCD40




I traveled around several countries in Asia these past weeks :Cabanatuan City and Metro Manila in Philippines, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Bangkok in Thailand ,Taipei (airport ) in Taiwan, and then Seoul, South Korea. In each of these places, pretty Christmas trees ,decorated with balls and blinking lights, made me reflect on the Christmas trees and décor I have seen in these different cities , on past Christmases and what Christmas means for me at this period in my life, that I am overseas and living in Seoul, South Korea.

First, was the Christmas tree in my youngest brother Vicky and Helen my sister -in-law’s home in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija.. The Christmas tree was set up right before All Saints Day ,probably in middle of October 2008. The tree was green and tall and had local materials to make it look festive and pretty. Looking at it, really made me feel happy, something to look forward to.. images of “noche buena”(Christmas eve midnite meal) and almost two weeks of Christmas holiday with family and friends. A great time for reunions, recharging and reflections.

In Phnom Penh, I was surprised to see many places festooned with Christmas trees and glittering décor. Phnom Penh is thoroughly Buddhist, but shops, stores and window displays showed colorful Christmas décor as well as pretty chrismas trees.Golden and red glittering Christmas balls were aplenty. I was intrigued why a Budhhist city had sprung out with glittering Christmas décor.It was interesting that after less than 20 years after Cambodia had its first elections, following a horrible Pol Pot genocidal regime, its people specially in commercial Phnom Penh are putting out Christmas decorations.. it was specially interesting that a friend who has been in Cambodia since the early post war mentioned that people only wore black and white during those years right after the war and a peace treaty was signed.

Back in seoul, I was getting restless thinking about the Christmas décor I will put up for my little noche buena dinner on December 24th with young Filipino and Korean friends. Besides, I was starting to feel very homesick, that I will be missing Christmas this year in the Philippines.. I dressed up one Saturday afternoon in middle of December and headed straight for the store near the Miari-gogi bus stop that displayed a number of colorful Christmas trees.

I bought two Christmas trees that afternoon, one taller at 20,000 korean won (about US$16) .I realized later, this taller tree, all covered in white seeds to pass for snow,was a very ugly, almost hideous looking Christmas tree. I looked worriedly at the white tiny seeds that heavily covered the tree to pass for snow, and felt relieved that I had no pets who could get poisoned eating those seeds .The white tree was overloaded with red ribbons and Christmas balls and lights.. I was probably half asleep or half out of my mind to get this Christmas tree.But I thought I t would look pretty in the evening when it was all lighted up. Up to now, I could not set up this chritmas tree, cuz I still have to buy an extension cord. My housemate says just to borrow the one in the office. Brilliant.

The smaller tree I got for 5,000 korean won,(about US$3) I bought looked less hysterical. It was decorated by pink lilac Christmas balls and ribbons, that looked kinda delicate and really looked quite pretty when I turned the lights on with the whole room in darkness.

Last weekend, when the seoul winter temperatures were hitting below zero, I found myself in my bedroom, feeling cosy and content ,while I was curled up under a warm blanket reading a novel , with the Philippine radio on internet playing familiar Christmas carols while my little lilac christmas tree lights blinked merrily .

I felt I was really in my own room at home in the family house in Cabanatuan City very warm and secure in that feeling.

Next day, I went to Sunday mass in the Korean church in hehwah dong in a Filipino mass with about 500 pinoy OFWs, I was relieved to see two Christmas pine trees, so starkly bare and simple, in contrast to the ugly plastic ones that I bought the day before to ward off my loneliness and homesickness in the time of Christmas.Those plastic Christmas trees made in capitalist china(with chinese characteristics) reflected the hideous, distortion that Christmas had become in the hands of commercial profit, without any spirit or symbol of the spirit of christmas.


All the Christmas trees I saw, whether green or white, decorated with Christmas balls, ribbons, glittering stuff,whether in duty free of Taipei, or hotel in Bangkok, or shops in Phnom penh, contrasted dramatically with the two bare Christmas trees that stood at the altar of the Catholic Hehwadong Church in seoul. The trees provided a backdrop for the belen /nativity scene where the Holy Family, Mary ,Joseph, the infant Jesus, shepherds , and the three wise magi from the East knelt in adoration for the newborn Jesus.

But what I really miss is the Christmas tree that my Mommy used to set up at home in Cabanatuan while she was still alive. My Mommy’s Christmas tree was tiny and old, almost shabby, but its various décor,obviously some faded from many years of use, (ala velveteen rabbit) held for me an endless fascination everytime I encountered it : angels, stars, santas, cloth cut- outs of a round and cute doll.. then the Christmas lights that blink the whole night.

During her time, it was still safe to leave Christmas trees on overnite, but not anymore nowadays, when the market got flooded by Christmas lights made in china. My Mommy’s presents to her old amigas, the Bishop and a few priests in the catholic church , as well as the gifts for family members ,helpers, gardener,driver, all of which she asked me or my sister to wrap every year on Christmas eve would be all placed under this Christmas tree on Christmas eve.

After the noche Buena, when my father was still alive, my Mommy or brother would play the piano and we would sing Christmas carols after the midnite meal. Later,the whole family would gather around the christmas tree and the family after enjoying arroz caldo(traditional noche Buena in my father’s family in Ilocos) and macaroni salad or some rice cakes, one or two of the children would get a gift and call out the person’s name and hand out the gift to the noisy cheer of the whole family and househelp while pets were absorbed by the scene. Once in while, there would be some nuisance gifts- huge wrappers with tiny,tiny gift inside a huge box. These would draw a lot of noisy heckling and laughter.

Three years ago, the first time, we celebrated Christmas without Mommy, I could not bear seeing that old Christmas tree put up by my mother through the years without crying, so I decided to put up a new green pine Christmas tree for the family house and bought gold and red Christmas balls. Together with the kids and the househelp, I also decorated the tree with the local sinamay material in lieu of the ribbons…that Christmas,

Thank God, that particular noche Buena and exchange gifts, the children brought all their gifts to the family house and arranged them under the tree on top of the table in the living room.The children had internalized in their young age, the spirit of Christmas and New year:on Christmas Eve and New year’s eve, my young newphews and niece came to wake me and my older sister May to greet us Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. My sister and me had a late breakfast on Christmas day in 2005, something she and I haven’t done for a very long time. We chatted endlessly and there was a sense of warmth and bonding from that lengthy conversation. It felt like the old times.

I didn’t know that this was going to be our last Christmas together-she died suddenly from diabetis complications in September 2006. Our last time together was in early June 2006, when she drove me to the corner of Commonwealth where I waited for a taxi to drive me to the international airport for my flite to New York.

My Mommy’s and sister’s May passing away were quite close to one another- almost two years apart. This was in 2004 and 2006.

This year, I decided not to come home to the Philippines for Christmas. I coordinated a project that allowed me to come home four times since July 2008 and attend big events like the wedding of my eldest niece and stand as one of the ninangs.Then there was the “Todos Los Santos” which aside from my older brother Titos fixing props and chairs,tables at the memorial garden, I had to organize everything from flowers, to food, to drinks and desserts together with my sister in law and the househelp and import from the farm for that day, Violy. Usually, my younger brother would be making “abala”.

This year, it was only me and older brother who made abala, as my younger brother was still recovering fro a mild stroke and wasn’t feeling very strong still. Still, I was very happy to have been in those events. I missed watching the flicker of hundreds of glowing candles in the dusk, with Filipino families huddled around the candles watching over the graves of their beloved who had passed away. I had to travel to manila with my sister in law and we left before the dusk came .

This Christmas eve, I will still have dinner with a few friends, including one Filipina with her Indian boyfriend.. I will prepare chicken macaroni salad and the embotido I bought from the hewah pinoy flea market last Sunday.The rest of the menu,I don’t know yet.: maybe, some pasta and salad etc.. let us see. My Korean host, Rev. Kim, a Presbyterian pastor, invited me to his church, for the liturgy, dinner and children’s performance.


Last nite, I attended the Korean Coalition for Housing Rights fund raising annual dinner and it looked very much a success. The hall was filled to the rafters, as the saying goes.I enjoyed the salmon shashimi, and tuna eaten with raw pieces of garlic(Korean style) and then dipped in soy sauce. I also helped myself to the hot rice noodles soup with crushed seaweeds, tiny pieces of kimchi, something that I usually eat when I go to the supermarket in my neighborhood in samyang-sageori, in the northern part of seoul.Then, there was the delicious chapchae, Korean version of glass noodles pansit . I didn’t miss kimchi ether,even if thai friends said, I should avoid that to prevent attacks of gout. I washed down the food with cider ( Korean version of sprite ) and small dose of soju, the local alcohol.

I was fortunate that Fr. Frank, an American Catholic Jesuit priest who has lived in Korea for more than thirty years , came and sat with me during dinner and I got to converse with someone in English. Our conversation would be continuously interrupted by numerous people coming to greet Fr. Frank and I got introduced to most of them, so I had to stand and shake hands or bow while shaking hands to say anhyeong haseo (how are you)or kumapsamhida(pleased to meet you) :. there were a poet, a female parishioner, one of the community leaders, so on and so forth. Fr. Frank said he just came from the scouting event of their community and he narrated about that early morning up in the mountains, they enjoyed the snow fall.Okay, I thought that sounded really pretty but in my mind, I still chose being under warm blankets on an early morning…hehehe.



Many Korean friends,mostly from the communities and also NGOs, came and hugged, greeted me and invited me to their table. After the dinner, guests sat and listened to an arirang song (each region or district had their respective tune and lyrics) and a pansori(sung in Korean traditional performance) which made the guests started swaying in their seats with their arms on each other’s backs…the drums and the strange sounding chant copped the evening ‘s highlights.Earlier, a group of little girls dressed in santa sang a song but the noisy chatter of the guests drowned out their little voices.

I was very surprised to find the little girl , a daughter of one of the CONET trainors, had grown very tall and so cute. I said goodbye to her while she was playing with her friends. I was deeply touched to see her come suddenly to see me off as I waited for the elevator to bring me and other guests to the ground floor when I left later.

What is my plan for Christmas even and Christmas day 2008. I will be spending Christmas day with the families who got evicted recently here in Wangshimi in seoul. The catholic mass will be held at 11am ,most likely in the middle of the streets (the road will be shut off to traffic. I am not sure how I can survive being out in the cold for mor than an hour..iBut the thought of attending a catholic mass for a community who got evicted in the past few days, seemed to be the quiet but dramatic alternative for me to spend Christmas away from home. Away from kainan, gift –giving, reunions, holiday lull..


I feel secure and happy, totally at home in the thought that I will share Christmas day with homeless elderly Korean men and women,halmonis(grandmas) and arabojis(grandpas), little Korean children all bundled up in their winter clothes, and recalling the same event thousands of years ago, when the Holy family had nowhere to go and the Infant Jesus had to be born in a lowly”sabsaban”, a cave or a shed” just with animals and shepherds guarding their sheep on a cold night.

I look forward to that “spirit” of humility and inclusivity that marked that moment: animals, shepherds and wise men ,angels rejoicing in the birth of the Baby Jesus. More than two thousand years ago, no Christmas trees,green or white, ture or fake,,blinking lights or red and golden balls or ribbons or parties. Just a cold, quiet night, a family without a home, a lone bright star that brought the three magi from the east as well as the shepherds.

Suddenly, I didn’t feel afraid anymore that I will get homesick on Christmas day or Christmas eve. Spending Christmas day with the Korean families, grandpas and grandmas, and kids and their parents whose homes were demolished few days ago and currently struggling to get a new place to stay, made me feel I had come home for Christmas.

I hope you too, find that spirit and joy of Christmas this year with or without your family, at home or elsewhere-that truly, Christmas is welcoming not only our own beloved families and friends , but also those who have none or who have lost a lot in the recent days.

Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat!!

Hugs,

Fides

Seoul, South Korea
Dec. 22, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

LP -Mahalagang Regalo: Mata




Kagabi nanood ako ng concert para sa selebrasyon ng 60th Anniversary ng Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Humanga ako sa mga bulag na nag-perform ng drums. Bagamat hindi sila nakakakita matalas naman ang kanilang kakayahan tumugtog ng drums. Subalit gawa ng kanilang kapansanan hindi nila nararanasan na tumangkilik ng ibang bagay tulad ng ganda ng isang larawan o kaya malasin at danasin ang kapayapaan dulot ng magandang tanawin.

Kung kaya't malaking pasalamat nating mga litratista na kaya nating tangkilikin ang magagandang bagay o kaya i-capture ang mga larawan na nagdudulot sa atin ng kasiyahan.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

UDHR at 60 - Messages of Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Awardee

Below are the video messages on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights taken from the website of The May 18 Memorial Foundation. The message came from Gwangju Prize for Human Rights 2008 winner Mr. Muneer Malik of Pakistan and 2007 winner Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi of India.





Good day ladies and gentlemen!

While commemorating the Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights we must at the same time ask ourselves whether up to the passage of 60 years since the declaration; distinction of color, creed, sex, religious or social origin still impede the realization of the rights and freedom enshrined in the declaration? The answer unfortunately yes they do.

The gap between the rich and the poor and the developed and underdeveloped has only grown larger. Half of humanity comprising of women remain the victim of gender bias. They are by and large stereotyped to subordinate roles that deny them the right to realize their full potential in the world as human beings.

Equal pay for equal work is the exception not the rule. Torture and degrading punishments are yet to be banished. The right of a fair and impartial trial does not extend to every inhabitants of the world. The rights under articles 22 to 27 remain only on paper, much remains to be done.

On this day, let us recommit ourselves to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and pledge to work together for human rights, peace and democracy.



Every Human Has Rights









My name is Lenin. On the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the most important thing for Asia – we have no equality and equity and no equal opportunity for women especially in the region in Asia.

What is provided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948; in our area there’s a lot of exploitation and attack on the Dalit women, domestic violence, killing of girl-children in the fetus.

The girl children has less educational opportunity they are not going to school but involved in siblings care. There’s child sexual abuse, rapes, assault on them. There’s lot of discrimination in the family, society, school and the workplace.

This is high time and right time on the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we take pledge and vote especially the men of the South Asia and the Asian Region. We will implement and make a reality the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the ground level for the women also who compose 50% of the population of the world. Then we will ensure rule of law and democracy especially participatory democracy in Asia.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Dream Match Victory for Manny Pacquiao



"He's too fast. Stop the fight... that's it? . . .

The foregoing 30 second decision making/exchange between Nacho Beristain and 10-times world champion Oscar de La Hoya translated from Spanish to English sealed the victory of Manny Pacquiao on their "Dream Match".

Just on the first round of the fight you can see the agility, speed, and preparedness of Manny Pacquiao, debunking the opinion that he will lose the match against de la Hoya (weight/height/breadth/reach, etc). On to the 2nd and 3rd round saw some good exchange of punches, but the succeeding round you would wonder if de La Hoya was in for the fight. It seems he made himself a punching bag. He never threw his fist and arms. None of his signature boxing style was ever put to display. So with a left eye closing his coach and trainers decided to end the fight. That was at the 8 round of the supposed to be 12-round fight.

For this Manny is likened by the announcer to a revered boxing figure - Henry Armstrong (http://www.henryarmstrong.net/BIOGRAPHY.html).

Although this it was a not so pleasant milestone on the career of de la Hoya it would be nice that he continue his charity and philanthropic work, that will make him a real champion not necessarily in the ring but in the heart of the people he serves.

Which in the case of Manny Pacquiao being courted to become politician bodes distaste to many of his fans, they encourage him to remain their boxing champ. Very visible was the presence of VP Noli de Castro hugging and sharing the moment of Pacquiao's glory. Indeed Philippine politics conquers even the boxing ring for their publicity.

Thanks to the internet that even without an HBO-PPV access I was able to see the fight from this site:
http://en.justin.tv/sportcast
(fotos used here were taken from the online vid).I learned of Manny's victory at church today from other Filipino boxing afficionados.



Dream Match Fight Stats

Punch Stats: Total Punches:
De La Hoya - 83 of 402 (21%)
Pacquiao - 224 of 585 (38%)

Total Power Punches:
De La Hoya - 51 of 164 (31%)
Pacquiao - 195 of 333 (59%)

Scoring: After eight one-sided rounds, all three judges had Pacquiao way ahead in the fight: 80-71, 80-71 and 79-72.




moment of celebration - Manny praying on the ring side corner that happened to be the same place where George Foreman said his victory prayer 13 years ago.


Manny Pacquiao's Title

Reigning WBC Lightweight Champion
Reigning WBC Super Featherweight Champion
Reigning RING Super Featherweight Champion
People's Featherweight Champion, 2003 - 2005
IBF Super Bantamweight Champion, 2001 - 2004
WBC Flyweight Champion, 1998 - 1999
53 Fights
48 Wins (36 knockouts), 3 Loses, 2 Draws


Links:
http://www.mannypacquiao.ph/

http://philboxing.com/news/story-20754.html




Friday, December 05, 2008

Pinay swept to sea during marriage proposal

My attention was caught with the headline among others in the list at yahoo. Reading through it I found that the woman is Filipina who went to the States on a visa to meet her future husband whom she met on the net. But it ended very tragically...





Woman swept to sea during proposal on Oregon coast

NESKOWIN, Ore. – A romantic marriage proposal on the Oregon coast turned deadly for the bride-to-be when a wave swept her out to sea. Scott Napper had taken 22-year-old Leafil Alforque to Proposal Rock near Neskowin Beach to pop the question at a place that got its name from couples ready to marry. Napper and Alforque had been dating since they met on the Internet in 2005.

But Alforque had arrived in Oregon on a visa from the Philippines just three days before the fateful trip to the coast.

Napper said the tide had receded around Proposal Rock on Saturday when the couple began to walk to it. He planned to propose and give her the ring he carried in his pocket.

About 10 feet from the rock, a wave about 3 feet high suddenly came toward them.

"I turned into it to keep from getting pulled under it," Napper said.

By the time he turned to find Alforque, only 4-foot-11 and 93 pounds, she had been caught by the receding waters.

"She was about 30 feet away, getting swept away," Napper said.

The 45-year-old Silverton man tore off his jacket to get rid of any extra weight, and when he looked up again she was gone.

"That's the last I saw of her," he said in an interview Wednesday, breaking into tears.

Emergency personnel called by a someone on the beach arrived within minutes. His own phone no longer worked after being exposed to the water.

Along with rescuers, he searched for any sign of Alforque.

"I yelled for her," he said. "I was praying to God."

At one point, he saw someone wearing red — the color of her jacket — on the shore signaling for him. But he quickly realized it was a rescuer.

Thick fog and dangerous water conditions hampered the rescue efforts before the search was suspended on Monday.

Her 25-year-old sister, Nova Alforque, said the family hopes the body can be recovered.

"My mother is always crying, day and night," Nova Alforque said by telephone from the Philippines. "She wants my sister back. Even if she is dead, she wants her body to bury."

The Tillamook County Sheriff's Office is routinely checking the beach and looking for possible witnesses, said Sheriff Todd Anderson.

Police don't suspect foul play, he said.

___

Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com


Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081204/ap_on_re_us/proposal_death

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Signed up with NUFFNANG-PHILIPPINES




I've seen nuffnang among bloggers with entrecard from Malaysia and some pinoys too. And the internet ad company is now in the Philippines. I've came to know this months back but am really very slow at picking up on ads. I have signed up with several ad schemes only to neglect and give up on them.

So this is another attempt. So dear readers, bear with me please. Let's see if I can really earn from blogging like other bloggers. Considering myself more of a blog romantic more than a blog pragmatic, I try again to be pragmatic this time. Good thing I got a nice job that brings food to the table.

What I like with these ad though - it forces and excites me to write but what I don't like is their requirements of writing with their feed sentences and titles. It is fine with me to mention their required phrases but: let me compose and create my own sentences, please.

Anyway am not sure for how long I will be able to sustain, but, well... give it a try.

There's an ongoing promotion of the Sony Expo 2008 in Manila.

It will be held at the Hall 3 of SMX Convention Center, beside Mall of Asia. It will run from December 5 to 7, 2008. Sony will be presenting their eight products with world breakthrough technologies that they launched just this year. At the same time, people can avail of the discounts and special deals that Sony is offering at the expo for their various products.





Bloggers are encouraged to write about the event for a chance to win a brand new Sony Cyber-shot T700 camera and Sony VAIO C laptop! They will also shortlist 50 bloggers with the best contest entries and will be given VIP invitations to the Sony Expo 2008 Christmas Treasures event on December 6, 2008. But it is only open for all Nuffnangers but the shortlisted 50 will get VIP invites. And the winner of the blog entry contest will win the brand new Sony Cyber-shot T700. Check this out if interested:
http://www.nuffnang.com.ph/blog/2008/11/15/sony-worlds-firsts-contest/


But the deadline is soon - 4th December 2008... hurry up !







I am not joining the contest, but an invite would be nice... so I can buy a nice pouch for my laptop.

Why?

I already own a Sony Cybershot DSC-W200, my second digital camera and laptop. I think the prize is the same with the one I am using now blogging. Well, I don't expect to win since I have it already, I let others get the chance to win, so I am less to the competition. Good luck folks...

My new notebook is a Sony Vaio(VGN-CS13L), I was eyeing for a Dell but my good friend Dony suggested that I get a Sony, so I did.

Monday, December 01, 2008

2008 WORLD AIDS DAY

Fight HIV!

BE INFORMED!

Bloggers Unite



Bloggers Unite


Bloggers Unite


rESourCES:





Postcrossing - post cards for the world


From Shelfari, I was lead to bookmooch where I  came to learn about postcrossing. Definitely postcard is something that I would want to collect and receive. Tatay (father) as a seaman would send us those beautiful postcards of countries where they dock, an admiration that keeps me dreaming and aiming to visit those cities where he had been. Especially Greece, since the owners of the ships he work were mostly Greek shipping magnates.  I also liked so much those postcards he purchased from Japan, which we still keep up to now, those pagodas and other landmarks where very interesting, well flickr and CNN were  not in existence then.

So I signed up for postcrossing. 

“send a postcard and receive a postcard back from a random person somewhere in the world!”
About the project 
The goal of this project is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, for free. Well, almost free! The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you will receive at least one back from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world.
Why? Because, like the author, there are lots of people who like to receive real mail.

The element of surprise of receiving postcards from different places in the world (many of which you probably have never heard of) can turn your mailbox into a box of surprises - and who wouldn't like that?


How does it work?

First, the short version:

  1. request an address from the website
  2. mail the postcard to the address
  3. wait to receive a postcard
  4. register the received postcard in the system

The first step is to request to send a postcard. The website will display (and send you an e-mail) with the address of another member and a Postcard ID (e.g.: US-786). You then mail a postcard to that member.

The member receives the postcard and registers it using the Postcard ID that is on the postcard. At this point, you are eligible to receive a postcard from another user. You are now in line for the next person that requests to send a postcard. Where the postcard comes from is a surprise!

You can have up to 5 postcards traveling at any single time. Every time one of the postcards you send is registered, you can request another address. The number of postcards allowed to travel at any single time goes up the more postcards you send!

Still have questions? Check out the help section, or the forum.

 

Below are the assigned folks that I am to send postcard:


Username: smurfy
Country: United States of America
Gender: Male
Speaks:English
Request date:1 Dec, 2008
Distance:11358 Kms

About:
hi love creative arts, so feel free to be creative and express yourself anyway you like. write me a letter or a postcard, whatever you like.

i do love creative stamps though, so it's great to have the stamps on the card itself. otherwise share with me whatever makes you happy :) thanks!

website link is not mine but a friend's site who collects and scans his stamps so i just wanted to give him a boost!



Username: Acatmiu
Name: Minna Lehtinen (female)
Country: Finland
Speaks: english; some swedish, german, russian and italian
Distance: 7,296 Kms (4,534 miles)

About:
Hi, (or meow)! I`m 39 years old; living and working in Helsinki. I have two cats, called Olga and Nelli.

In the freetime I like very much of travelling, and seeing different places and meeting new people.

My interests are like;
- museums, art galleries, architecture, art history,
- secondhand shops, flea markets, market squares, handicraft, auctions; an any old object which goes with story on, specially old furnitures.
- also trekking, tenting, cycling and kayaking in the summertime
- dancelessons. I have been enjoying different kind`s of, but now I´m hooked in flamenco. Olé!

No matter what your postcard would be, I`m pleased with any postcard your`ll send to me.

Happy Postcrossing;9)


Username: luciasafi
Name: Lúcia Safi
Country: BrazilBrazil
Speaks: Portuguese, English, German
Distance: 19,406 Kms (12,058 miles)

About:
Hello, I'm Lúcia, and I'm a biologist and a photographer.
I like ANY kind of postcards, but I really love pictures from different parts of the globe and handmade cards. I like to receive cards written all over about any subject.

You can also write your msn or email on the postcard so we can have a chat.


Username: xaxas
Name: Susanne (female)
Country: Germany
Speaks: german, english, french, spanish
Distance: 8,445 Kms (5,247 miles)

About:
Hi,

i would be interested to learn something about people, who live in other countries.
How old are you, what are your hobbies, what are you doing on a "normal" day ... something like that.

In exchange:

- 27 years old
- like to draw and am terrible at it :)
- like to read (SF, Fantasy, History, Economy, Statistics)
- like to travel without a plan, just take a small bag and drive where-ever (Spring of 2009, I plan on Denmark - or perhaps Sweden)
- have a Diploma in economy and work as Controller

And if you don't want to write much: tell me a quote/ slogan you like or a secret :)


Username: Cenda
Name: Zdenek Sima (male)
Country: Czech RepublicCzech Republic
Speaks: Czech, English, Russian
Distance: 8,499 Kms (5,281 miles)


About Cenda

Cenda, Czech Republic

Mail Art, Postcards collecting, rock music listening, LPs and SPs collecting etc.

I prefer pure geographical postcards, like towns, lakes, mountains etc. But in fact, I like to get any postcard :-)


Well it is an alternative way of receiving Christmas card, so for you readers who would want to receive postcard from Korea, just email me your snail address and I will do my best to send you one, promise...