Creative China

Nobody could ever say China does things by halves.  That includes postcard folios issued by China Philatelic or any of their subsidiaries.  Someday someone will write the definitive book … and we wish it could be us, but for now, this Blog entry will have to do.  Prepare to be amused.


Here’s how we will do it, starting with the picture illustrating this entry.  We have a theme category called “China (PRC) – Oversized and Specialty” holding anything exceeding the definition of an ordinary postcard.   These items all start with index number 20307, and with rare exceptions, all include one or more postcards.  So let’s start with what you see here:  look closely — it is a jigsaw puzzle (20307377).  We know for sure there is at least one maximum card inside, and more; but like a time capsule, everything is sealed and we won’t break it open.  That large title, by the way, roughly translates as “Lined Up!” or “Strive to push forward!” or something equally encouraging.


Then maybe see (20307)461, a school or office-style spiral notebook that doubles as postcards with national lottery tickets.  And 649, with cards as Buddhist thangkas — redefining “ornate”.  On to 509, which took us forever to try to describe:  classical Chinese traditional villages — stamps!  cards!  maximum card made of wood!  a silver ingot!  a certificate guaranteeing the ingot!  Gosh.  But when we think we’ve seen it all, we get:  387, one long postcard of historical Shenzhen, the length of 19 normal cards.


To celebrate the efficiency of China Post in reaching all corners of this vast country, see 603 (a tiny mailbag stuffed with something, accompanied by a small postcard), or see 617, a miniature delivery van (ditto).  Want to travel?  See 462, a really heavy item where travel brochures have been turned into postcards and tickets and a jumble of other designs.  Need to pay for the trip?  See 526, whose folio would include a kitchen sink if someone had thought of it, but one of whose features brings a series of currency notes with special serial numbers.  It also has a 3D card with a Buddhist blessing if you want that support.


And then, three of our favourites.  First, item 20307478, commemorating Sun Tzu’s Art of War.  In our dreams we could not imagine anyone designing this as a philatelic or deltiologic item.  It’s a hardwood box containing a magnifying glass and bamboo scroll and certificate and postcard and mint stamps and … we do recommend you have a look at that theme entry to get the full impact.  Second, we won’t forget the kids:  644 with a yo-yo and CD that we have resisted playing, presumably for your listening pleasure while writing on the postcards.


And, finally for this entry, consider 20307525.  The Shenzhou spacecraft programme has been going on for awhile.  Along with postcards and a certificate of authenticity, the cover holds an embedded metal token made from the remains of Long March 2F, a manned orbital rocket.  Yes, folks, if you own this folio of postcards from China Philatelic, you also own a piece of the rocket.


No wonder we enjoyed our periodic trips across to Shenzhen while we could still go and see what was new.  It doesn’t seem as though those visits will resume anytime soon, so we are happy to have what we have, and awed by knowing someone in China is sitting in a room thinking up new ways to impress the postcard-collecting public.


Be well, everyone.  Until next time …