Knot Spots: August 18, 2017

A good friend was visiting Ireland this spring and thoughtfully mailed me this picturesque postcard of old sailing ships.

On May 20.

I received it on August 18. Yes, that’s three months on the road.

But the best part was that an affixed sticker reads: If undelivered, please return to Budapest 1005-Hungary.

The mind boggles. Somehow a postcard sent from Belfast to Canada ended up in Budapest and was then sent on to North America? But first, a kind soul in Hungary wanted to make sure the card didn’t get lost, and so marked return mail to Budapest.

The “special” stamp.”

My friend’s best guess was that the stamps might have been to blame. Apparently, when she bought the stamps at the visitors’ centre, she was told they were “special stamps” only good for mailing postcards internationally. Curiously, of the various cards she sent with the stamps, several have been delayed, although only mine seems to have enjoyed a leisurely holiday in Eastern Europe.



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  1. Blake H. Williams

    Well how about that “special stamp” ?

    There have been other reported deliveries of stamped envelopes in different parts of the world
    many decades later to a different generation who do not recognize the printing or expressions in the text…..

  2. That is easy to explain. That is a socalled “international remailing”. In you case, that means: The private postal operator (very common in Europe today, see the original postage stamp below) has to use any “official” postal operator to entry into the international UPU-exchange system. And that private-post has a contract with a remailing company (big players are e.g. DHL, Spring) and give all his items to them. That remailer looks for an entry point at an official UPU-postal operator with the lowest postage rate. In your case it the Hungary, Budapest 1005 is the “International Office of Exchange” of the Hungarian Post. Here you saw a private postcard but that remailing system is largely used by all international actice business companies to save postage fees. You might recognize it for eCommerce mailings too, when you get an ebay-item in China and the postage paid imprint shown is from e.g. Germany or Belgium etc. That is the usual pratise of the international mailing business today.

  3. I just uploaded a similar example of my own philatelist collection. It an item from the South Dakota Dept. of Tourism and they sent somes broschures to Germany, via Budapest 1005 too (2018). So even US “governmental” organisations do not use their own but expensive USPS for their international postings.


    It might be possible that the article is blocked for 24 hours for no-members. So wait for one day to see, if…

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