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Today was a good day for mail. I received this great postcard from Moscow, and it came with a bonus envelope, a great stamp, and lots of Cyrillic for me to puzzle over:

RU-568690 from Moscow

front side of great Russian envelope

back side of great Russian envelope

I really love this envelope. Other than my address there’s not a speck of English on it. I’ll have to get my Russian speaking friend to take a look at it.

Also, I didn’t realize before that Russian stamps aren’t square! They aren’t even rectangular. The one on this envelope and on a Russian postcard I received about a month ago are both square on the bottom, but they have these round little flanges at the top. I’ve also seen cross-shaped stamps on my mail from Finland.

It makes me wonder, who decides what shapes stamps should be? Apparently, stamps can be rectangular, triangular, octagonal, circular, heart-shaped, even banana shaped! Rectangular or square shapes are the most efficient to fit on a sheet of stamps, but why make stamps other shapes?

The stamp that came on my postcard was a rectangle, but it is an intriguing stamp:

I don’t know the story behind it, but it says “CCCP 1988” on it. So maybe it’s a Soviet era stamp? It apparently depicts a “Russian Hound.”

Finally, a part of the postcard that everyone can understand:

This was a sticker on the postcard. Cuteness is an international language.

UPDATE: The senders had written an inscrutable message in Russian on the card. I had my Russian-speaking friend translate it for me. It says “Best wishes from Russia.” So now I’ve got that going for me!

Postcard: views of Moscow, printed in Russia by pol.s.tar, http://www.moscowcards.ru