We have arrived in the Twenties and I am ready to see a lot of new stamps. Promo artwork is fine but it is so much nicer to have an actual stamp to hold in your tongs as you place it into an album or stockbook for the first time. I will have my first chance in 2020 when Thailand’s Year of the Mouse Zodiac stamp is issued tomorrow.
My New Year’s Eve was a quiet affair spent at home although I did go out to the balcony at midnight to watch the fireworks over Phuket Town. They may not have been as impressive as those in Singapore or North Korea (both of which were broadcast live on television here), but there was a nice breeze making it much cooler to be outside than in my non-air conditioned apartment.
I did take the time to create a new handstamp inspired by one I saw on Timbre Phil-Ouest’s Facebook page:
Unfortunately, I didn’t have much of a philatelic week last week as most of my time was spent working on school-related tasks. The end of the long school year is upon us and next week is comprised solely of final exams — tests in English and Chinese subjects Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with the Thai language exams occurring on Thursday and Friday. My M3-level students (roughly equivalent to the Sophomore level of high school in the United States) will take entrance exams for different schools on Monday before starting their holidays next Tuesday). The 2019-2020 school year will begin in early May, probably the Tuesday following the Royal Coronation of HM King Maha Vajiralongkhorn (Rama X). There should be plenty of Thailand Post philatelic items surrounding that long-awaited event.
Since November 5 and continuing until early March 2019, the Republica Phuketia government (that’s me) has been in exile, residing in the neighboring province’s Thai Chang subdistrict of Amphoe Muang Phang Nga. Of course, that includes Posta Phuketia which will become a cross-provincial service with the release this weekend of ten definitive stamps, rather than merely a local post. We may have to annex a small piece of territory (namely the Foreign Teachers’ Room at Ban Thai Chang Municipality School) and initiate overprints to denote the longer reach.
However, I still must return to Phuket (a two-hour drive from Phang Nag) each Friday in order to teach a two-hour class on Saturday mornings and, thus, the first Phuketian definitives will be released today, November 24, at Posta Phuketia Headquarters. These consist of ten denominations:
Long-time readers of this blog and Asian Meanderings may recall that, from time to time, I have dabbled with creating “fantasy stamps” for my own local post. The Muang Phuket Local Post had its first releases in October 2013 and had a total of 26 designs through early August 2015. The stamps were printed on sticker paper (imperforate!) and affixed to the lower left of any correspondence I sent. I mailed first day covers to myself from a postbox near my work and these usually took between ten and 14 days to travel the two miles or so to my home (I think most of them went via Bangkok, 525 miles away!).