Postcard: Kiasma

Kiasma is a contemporary art museum located in Helsinki, Finland. Designed in 1993 by American architect Steven Holl, the museum opened its doors to the public in 1998. In 1992, an architectural design competition was held, attracting 516 entries, mainly from the Nordic and Baltic countries. Today, the museum displays the contemporary art collection of the Finnish National Gallery, with a goal of promoting contemporary art.

Publisher: Janne Harala Tmi
Photographer: Pentti Harala


Postcard: Palau Nacional

The Palau Nacional, is located in the city of Barcelona, Spain. It is the symbolic building of the 1929 International Exhibition and houses the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. It is located on the Montjuïc mountain, where visitors have a magnificent view of Barcelona.

Publisher: Triangle Postals
Photographer: Pere Vivas


Postcards: Embrace our Diversity

Recently, colourful postcards on the theme of ‘Embrace our Diversity’ have been made available across the island. This social campaign by Central Singapore aims to answer questions on cultural and religious taboos, while encouraging Singaporeans to treasure their multicultural society. In this series, there are three different postcard designs.

‘Many people have used the word rojak to describe Singapore. The rojak is a fruit with spicy peanut sauce. Each ingredient retains its distinct taste and appearance, yet together they make a delicious dish. Singapore is home to people of different ethnicity, language, faith and nationality. The TRUST website is a celebration of this diversity. Read about the many cultural and religious festivals, weddings and birth customs. Get answers to your doubts on cultural do’s and don’t’s. Try our recommended ethnic food outlets and send your wishes to friends with our festival e-cards.’

‘Take a walk through the heartlands and in your neighbourhood and you will be surprised at our rich ethnic and community heritage. We share with you the stories behind some of Singapore’s ethnic landmarks and places which serve good ethnic food.’

‘What gifts should I avoid giving at a Chinese wedding? How much hongbao should I give? Why do Malay ladies not shake hands with men? What gifts can I give to Hindu friends? Many of us have asked these questions. Many of us are afraid of offending our friends by giving the wrong gifts, wearing the inappropriate clothes, etc. Rather than causing offense, we may find it easier to stay away from people of a different race and religion. Surely, this is not the solution!’

To find out more information, visit the TRUST website at

Visitors have repeatedly asked where they could get some of the collections featured on The Restaurant. To make things easier, we introduce I Want One!, where we give these items for free, including postage!

If you would like to obtain this set of postcards, simply let me know by leaving a comment below. Do include your name and email address as I would be asking for your mailing address via email. I will try my best to fulfil as many requests as possible. Note that I have a limited number of postcards to start with!

Don’t forget to share this post with your friends!


Postcard: Beijing 2008

This week, we feature a postcard showing a bird’s eye view of the Beijing Olympic Green. On the left side is the Beijing National Stadium, colloquially known as the Bird’s Nest. With a construction cost of US$423 million, the 80,000-seater stadium is the world’s largest steel structure. This postcard also shows the Beijing National Aquatics Centre illuminated at night. The exterior is surrounded by 4,000 bubbles and is commonly known as the Water Cube.

Sent: 19 February 2010
Received: 26 February 2010

Also, check out the earlier post on the HK$20 Beijing Olympics commemorative note!


Chinese New Year Postcard

Today is the fifteenth and last day of Chinese New Year, as well as the last day of February. Families usually celebrate this special day by eating glutinous rice balls, commonly known as Tangyuan.

Every year, China Post would issue postcards for the Chinese New Year. Also known as lottery New Year postcards, each of the cards bears a unique serial number. A list of winning serial numbers will be announced on the China Post website later today. Prizes can be redeemed from 5 March to 5 May 2010.

The postcard has a simple hand-drawn design which reflects the Chinese culture during the New Year. Regardless of age, people are dressed in red, as this colour is regarded as auspicious. On the fifteenth day of the New Year, children would walk around with lanterns, as shown on the postcard.

Sent from a friend in Beijing on 19 February 2010, the fifth day of the New Year, this card arrived in my mailbox yesterday, just in time for the last day of the New Year.


Postcard: Tallinn


Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is the home to over 400,000 people. This city is located along the northern coast of the country and is the largest city there. Tourists can explore the place easily on foot, especially in the two old towns, Lower Town and Toompea.

Sent: 9 October 2009
Received: 20 October 2009


Postcard: Rotterdam

Rotterdam - Sea Port City

Rotterdam is a large sea port city located in the Netherlands and is the second largest municipality in the country. Its port is the largest in Europe and can be accessed via the Meuse and Rhine rivers. This port used to be the world’s busiest port from 1962 to 2004.

Sent: 12 October 2009
Received: 20 October 2009


Postcard: Autumn


This postcard from the Netherlands shows golden leaves of autumn. In the northern hemisphere, this season is from September to November each year. On the postcard is a Dutch phrase:

‘Voor ze echt gaan vallen, worden ze eerst van goud, neem je de tijd hiervoor…’

This can can be translated as:

‘Before they fall from the trees, they first turn gold, take your time to enjoy…’

Sent: 13 October 2009
Received: 21 October 2009


Postcard: Water-Bean Curd Load

Starting from today, The Restaurant will upload postcards from time to time for your viewing pleasure. As there are many postcards coming in every week, we sincerely apologise if your postcard is not shown here. Please do not be upset, it may appear on this website some time later. For those who are interested in exchanging a postcard, please drop me an email.

Bean Curd Seller in Xitang, China

Today’s featured postcard is a black-and-white postcard. It shows a beancurd vendor walking down a narrow street in Xitang, an old town located in China. A long shadow is cast behind the man, suggesting that it is early in the morning. Xitang is a water town, divided into eight sections by nine converging rivers. The various sections are linked to one another by stone bridges.

Sent: 10 October 2009
Received: 27 October 2009


Postcards from Singapore

Over the week, the (physical) mailbox at The Restaurant was clogged up by an ever-increasing number of mail items received from different places around the globe, such as Finland, Germany, Italy, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom, and mainly consisted of postcards (via the Postcrossing Project). In order to prevent further clogging (especially by advertisements which force their way in every now and then), clearing of litters letters are now carried out on a daily basis.

Amidst the haystack of assorted postcards which arrive in my mailbox every day, there were, at times, one or two postcards from Singapore.

A postcard from Singapore
A postcard from Singapore

 This postcard was printed on a 4 inch by 6 inch plain index card on both sides. It was dropped into the postbox on Monday, 20 July 2009, at 1600 hours, and should have arrived at its destination on Tuesday. I waited for a few days, thinking of possible reasons for the non-arrival of the postcard. It could have been eaten up by the machines, either because the cardstock is too thin, or that it had exceeded the maximum allowed postcard length of 148 mm by 4 mm, of which both would be considered non-standard mail.

Surprisingly, the postcard arrived in the mailbox, in the afternoon of Friday, 24 July 2009. More surprisingly, there was no cancellation on the stamp. Even more surprisingly, the postmark dated 23 July was on the reverse side (which featured abstract art which does not resemble a stamp in any way), indicating that the postcard was processed and cleared at the Singapore Post Centre on 23 July (and not on 20 July). I have no clue as to how this unique cancellation originated. Also, the three day delay remains a mystery.

Postcard Back

Unconvinced that index cards cannot be used as postcards, I sent another two postcards on Monday, 27 July 2009. The design used this time was much simpler than the previous one. Both postcards were identical, right down to the postage stamp. The next day, these two postcards swiftly arrived in my mailbox without any delay. Spot the difference!

 Hand Cancellation M10

Machine Cancellation (C1)

One of the postcards could not be cancelled automatically by the machine but had to be cancelled by hand. The other postcard, however, was successful in getting a machine cancellation.

Postcards from Singapore are strangely interesting!