pigeon post records

This posts is to help with international shipping in general, useful for but not limited to secret santa exhanges. If you have questions about secret santa gift exchange specifically, try our FAQ.

The wisdom of this post is built on communal experience, and I encourage you to keep on contributing. I will keep the main body of this post updated as you add your comments, to the benefit of all interested parties.

Last updated October 2019.


  • No liquids or perishables that aren’t pre-packed.

  • Just to be safe, look up the list of stuff that can’t be shipped to your destination country: those are usually posted by government postal services or customs agencies (at times in contradiction to each other, but should give you a general idea of dos and don'ts ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

  • I heard some countries get really iffy about what they let leave their border, so it might be worth checking with them in advance. For instance, Bulgaria doesn't allow magnets to be shipped anywhere.

  • On average, international mail arrives anywhere between 10 to 30 days. In high season, sending a month in advance of the date you want the sender to receive your package would be the safest bet. For example, if you’re sending to Russia mid-December, the delivery will likely not happen before mid-January, as the first ten days of January are public holidays in Russia.

  • I would suggest including the recipient’s phone number on the address, if the recipient is okay with sharing that info. Many postal services can keep the adressee informed about the upcoming delivery via text.

  • If it doesn’t offend your aesthetic sensibilities too much, try wrapping the stuff that can get damaged by water in some plastic wrapping. (The dodginess of my CP3’s cover is only rivalled by what’s beneath it, which is, ok, fair, but better books should be spared that treatment.) And naturally, bubble wrap or otherwise cushion fragile or free-rolling items, if you can. The tighter everything lies together in the package, the less damage it takes.

Destination specifics by country are under the cut.
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sai and all the sadness

a short note

Hello friends,
I'm back from my extended weekend with its travels and other mordorous activities, well-fed and with pictures to share. However, the working week met me with unexpected amounts of paperwork, work, and faux work that might have made me say "I wish I was doing real work instead" - but you all know I'd rather be doing more pleasant things:) So I'll try to catch up with replies and things soon, and of course will indulge in picspamming as usual too :P

However, I'm sad to say this entry is also brought to you by LJ fail. Apparently, now the stupid thing started stealthily de-friending people? And mutually, too :< So please, if you see that we've been defriended, know that it's not me throwing hissy fits or slamming doors, it's the goat! Let me know such thing happened and I'll fix it asap, because you are lovely, lovely people \o/

Hope you this week is being kind to you!

Dead and Lovely: Stories about Lyanna (a fanmix)

Here you have it, my first fanmix, devoted to Lyanna Stark. The way different stories and legends surround her life and death is intriguing to me, and I thought it'd be interesting to try and see it as tales told by various people around her, all of them different and neither of them entirely true. 

Hope you like it, and please let me know if any links are broken, I'll try to fix it.


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Hello there! This journal, which I write alternating between English (most posts, actually, on all things fandom and ranty) and Russian (occasional comments under photos and random boosts of love for mothertongue), is friends-only mostly to ward off spam messages. Let it never stop you from dropping by and dropping a comment, because hell yeah to making new friends and meeting friends of old friends \o/
Here is a f-locked intro post if you are new or just curious:) 


and now this means I'm never gonna look at the creep the same way again *af;lahjnkig keysmash*

Ahem. Lemme start again.

St Patrick's gave us a legit reason to go to a pub in the middle of the day (it feels so bloody gratifying to gulp down cold beer and chicken wings after a class of stretching, too!) and then to see a movie from Irish festival list. It was Death of a Superhero, the best comedic take on a tragic story I've seen in a while, and after the credits we had a Q&A session with Michael McElhatton. He was charming, Irish and funkadorable in his scarf, and ong he said he is PLAYING ROOSE BOLTON. I think the three of us screamed at that (second row, too), and we definitely hyperventilated. When I asked him (blushing and stuttering furiously) what he as a comedic actor thought of playing Roose Bolton, he shrugged the question off with some generic reply of how it is a new experience. Having heard just a moment before how he didn't read the book Death of a Superhero was based on we immediately suspected he didn't read Martin and\or the script *lol*

Do they want us to like Roose Bolton?!

amisane amisane

bottom line: Roose Bolton is never gonna be the same again.


He was a hero. A villain too. But a hero to his family. (c)

Dear Mr Sanderson, I gotta give it to you - you have me exactly where you want me to.

I remember once reading in one of his previews that he didn't want instant fame or anything, but rather a readership that will in twenty years' time just as steadily go to the bookshop to buy a new Sanderson book. He's achieved exactly that with me. In twenty years time I will certainly be among those happy ageing fans trotting to their local bookshop to buy the latest Sanderson.

I trust him implicitly to write a good book. I don't have any reservations as to what the book is going to be about - a familiar universe or a brand-new one, magic or politics, heroes or heroines. He's good at what he does, and that doesn't seem to waver. I loved the awesome Mistborn trilogy, I loved the fluffier Elantris (of course, in Sanderson's meaning of the word, which spells it like "beautifully touching amidst suffering, politicking, magicking, character-building and brain-twisting"), I was happy with Warbreaker, and now I've finally read the first book in the Stormlight Archive, The Way of Kings

I honestly can't believe I've committed myself to reading an epic fantasy series (10 books are announced) while 9 are still waiting to be written. It probably means I'll be a whole different person by the time the finale is released, doesn't it? I know I've publicly announced my love to thick books and volumes many times, but it's always been balanced by my unwillingness to read something too epic and wordy, aspiring to recreate whole universes, and even more so - to something yet unreleased. I suck at waiting, and I get annoyed with it and its cause easily.

Why did I do it, then? Because it's Sanderson, and I trust him.

His worldbuilding is awesome. Even his stand-alone novels could boast new, genuine and fascinating magic, religion and politics behind it, as limited as they were to a single book. Given more space to play around, a bigger chessboard with more pieces, he really gets it going. It's never simple, never straightforward, yet it's always clear and it's a living, breathing world.

His plots are great, because just when you think you have some answers he twists the meaning of everything and you realize you've been asking the wrong questions the entire time. He gives you clues, he sets the stones that you think are going to be a steady house, and builds a castle instead. Or an underground city.

His characters are likeable, even the protagonists. How many books today can offer me more than a coupla intriguing underdogs and creeps to like and feel invested to? Sanderson has these strong, humane and essentially good characters that make the journey throughout the book a pleasant, rewarding experience. They have their flaws, obviously, and more than their share of trials and choices and whatever he has in store for them, but you're hardly ever going to lose respect you feel for them.

Ultimately I think his books are of the kind that make you a better person, even if by a tiny degree.

Eye candy time!

Dear people of the internets, I can happily say I'm gorged on eyecandy now. You may judge me all you want for being all teenage, it doesn't stop me from feeling good *happy face*

I have finished The Son of Neptune (Percy I missed you and your awesome waterbending! Hazel I am officially into Hades' progeny now! and Thanatos ooh don't get me even started on you, you goth cupid). I have thoughts on that, and will happily talk to you about it if you want, but I don't know how to do it best and not spoil the yet-clueless:)

And we have seen Percy Jackson and The Three Musketeers. Oh joy, the last time I felt so good after a movie was when we watched X-men the First Class. I do think it's very much a sign of today's Hollywood menu, but the only dishes that feel good lately are those who have a sort of spoofy comic-book feel. Or maybe it has always been that way, and I only noticed it now. 

BUT back to eyecandy now. Except for some very unfortunate choice of wigs, the movie was a constant over-the-top visuals fest, and I seriously wouldn't want it any other way. I respect things that don't take themselves too seriously, to be honest. The Three Musketeers belongs in the same genre as Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, being a movie that cut most of its ties with the original, acknowledged the fact and made a nice show out of it. Dirigibles! Spies! Absurd dresses! Cocky grins! Pretty boys! What else do you need to enjoy yourself for a coupla hours on a Friday night?


I wish I could give you moar eyecandy, but the internetz are being stingy, it being the second day after premier and all *sadface* You could check the imbd's page on that to get proof)) So my picspam has to wait until I lay my hands on the DVD when it's released. Oh the upics are just waiting to be made *siiiigh*

My ramblings are slowly becoming a daily occurrence, aren't they?

Wonder of wonders. Mystery of mysteries. I go on feeling good despite headache assaults, tests, ridiculous professors who think a sexist/nationalistic joke is the best way to win the audience over, and misunderstandings with my wardrobe, which i think is convinced that clothes and me aren't destined to have a happy healthy relationship.

Is that the infamous Aries power of denial and contradiction? If so, count me powerful XD

On other things, I glimpsed the retreating figure of my scientific advisor today, and felt a healthy dose of guilt for not getting anything done. You know, Greece is all rioting whatnot, and I still procrastinate the glorious moment of sitting down and writing about it. I should feel guilty some more and then give up and just write it, if only for reasons of comfort - I hate feeling guilt or any other negative emotion for too long.

And also I talked to my mom on the phone first time in a week, and after such break it actually feels nice to do it. 6 years of owning a mobile phone only have rendered me incapable of holding a phone conversation longer than a coupla minutes. And that's saying something, because I used to talk to my girls every day for hours after school. I guess IM replaces it - less tiring, given that both work and entertainment happen in front of a screen anyway.

Everyone talks about Steve Jobs today, and one of the best things everyone cross-posts is his famous Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish speech. It feels so very American in essence, yet in the best of meanings. I don't know much about the Apple product except the obvious (like they are pretty! and everyone in our uni seems to have them=/) and I've only had my shiny ipod for over than two month, but I love it dearly already. Did I mention it's pretty?) danny_li2 has been saying I should write him a thank-you letter as a joke, but I guess as in the case of Pratchett, it will be something left unsent. 

Coming out of closet

Dear all, 
I decided it was high time I stopped getting on your nerves (you being the term for people who have to listen to me on a daily basis) with my anime-manga talk, and I'm moving my gushings on that to a separate blog, Izumi Has Things To Say. You're more than welcome to share my enthusiasm there:)

For all other intents and purposes this journal is running as usual. I decided not to go for another lj blog because of the recent crushes and to experiment (widen my horizons, all that), so I might be posting here my impressions of working with blogspot later. And I changed the nickname because I plain like the name Izumi, and the word spring feels dear to me.

God, this feels so damn liberating!

Thank you, faintirony, love!<3

Raindrops keep falling on my head

You know what undermines my resolve - any good resolve - most of time?
WEATHER. and fiction.

Imagine sitting late at night at home, mentally picking outfits for tomorrow, then going to sleep thinking you'll look like a pretty thing - or at least like a decent human being - tomorrow only to wake up the next day in a gloomy grey room to the sounds of rain, absolutely loathing the idea of letting go of your cozy, cozy blanket, let alone dressing up. 

But I still had that drive from yesterday bubbling (or sizzling by now) in my veins, so I even put on whatever felt bright and classy (as in dignified, not suit-like) at the same time, and let me tell you, it felt great to actually stand up and do something (I sound like a Mowgli of sorts right now, don't I? Wait, don't tell me.)

I endured the morning rain, and valiantly tried to go on feeling good despite seeing one of those girls from my year who always look so disgustingly polished and ladylike any given time of the day (brr, are they even human? do they never have a bad hair day? Come again, maybe they don't, because the last I heard they have haircuts that cost like your average cellphone). I even tried not to mind my knee too much, so I am rather proud of myself. Work hard, self.

But it's  harder to concentrate on making real life feel good when fiction is so much more fascinating. YES, Yukio Mishima, I'm talking about you, bless your insightful, warped, deliciously Japanese mind. I'll be writing more about you soon, just let me finish the first book of the series first. So far Spring Snow entertains me with its insights into the minds of young aristocrats in the late Meiji era, the most delightful experience coming from ever-so-agonized Kiyoaki fascinated and tortured by his own sensitivity and "abstract anxieties". As Mark put in once, it feels so good to read a book with real sentences again. Simply put, I'm delighted, but as I said, more on that later. 

Why is my life a compromise between reality and fiction, once again?:)