I went out early today, not knowing what to expect. Traffic was great in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (you really do not want me to type the full name!).
Turned out, I was the first at the counter in Thaipex 2015! Yes, ASEAN Community Joint Issue day is finally here. Thailand Post only released the ASEAN Community Joint Issue in Thaipex 2015. It was not even on sale in the General Post Office attached next door. Neither was this available elsewhere (I asked a few bureau branches). So today’s sale is limited release.
It was a story of many fellowships. Read on and find out.
To start off, a dealer was kind enough to help put my luggage to one side while I shopped and then returned to his stall. I found a few items that I have been looking for sometime.
I managed to get similar serial numbers for the Miniature Sheet (Thailand Post calls it Souvenir Sheet) and the stamp sheetlet. The serial numbers are also low enough.
Half way through my postmarking (we call it chopping in Malaysia!), I realised that Khun Udon Niyomthum (designer of the Thailand FDC) was autographing FDC and any other thing the attendees have on their hand. He patiently stamped his name, let it dry and sign the covers. Such professionalism!
It is an opportunity too good to pass. Here is my autographed FDC:
Sitting next to me were visitors from Vietnam and Thailand and a few farangs who are more local than locals. I managed to share my stamp sticking method: https://myfdc.me/2013/09/25/making-a-nice-first-day-cover-with-a-clean-cancellation/
From then on, the table was using this method. Tissue paper was in demand!
The next topic was the sharing on how to do a proper metal circular postmark using a method I learned from the Thai dealers. However the rubber base was depressed in the middle. Today is the 6th day of the exhibition and the rubber based has seen some though hammering.
I thought it was fun exchanging intra-ASEAN ideas.
I realised that Thailand Post also released customised stamps. It was a bit late but I just jumped at it and made these:
Before long, my table was also queuing to buy the customised stamps to make similar covers.
To top it all up, I made the whole group gasp by finally sticking the miniature sheet (or what is locally called a souvenir sheet) to make a composite cover. Here is the result. I thought it was okay as I can still see Thailand and Malaysia.
I have 2 versions with the ASEAN Day and Thaipex metal circular postmark interchanged. I could not figure out which is better.
Why the gasp? Well, in Thailand, there is no miniature sheet on FDC unlike in many other countries. Even less heard of is a composite cover some of us oldies here used to make. I really like MS on FDC, so there is no stopping me, even if I had to stick over more than half of ASEAN (map)!
It actually started a trend, actually a lady started it by showing to the designer and then made her own similar design. That was it….many more started to do the same thing. Great sharing for half a day!
We had a short time lag to wait for our turn to use the rubber stamp, so we chatted. The Vietnam group shared their preference of having posted FDCs or for that matter, posted anything and registered too! The Thai in our group said that it was quite a balanced group of posted and clean covers in Thailand. My take in Malaysia we generally prefer clean covers except for a group heavily influenced by the trend in China of posted covers. Anyway, it is best we collect what we like, after all it is a hobby. Trends come and go.
The final sharing was an couple who did not manage to buy the 10 nations folder. They were existing Thailand Post customers. However their spend for the day was below the minimum threshold. The folder is only sold to Thailand Post existing customers who spend a minimum of 5,000 Baht. They were short of a few thousand Baht’s receipt. I had some receipts that managed to fill the gap and they happily went off to buy a folder. The folder is limited to only one piece per person.
It was then late and I really need to run to the airport. The roaming wifi was deplorable and I had a though time communicating on social media.
Anyway, it was half a day of fun and meeting new collectors and lots of ASEAN fellowship in that morning.
Here are some tips on how to save a bit:
If you want only the 10 nation’s mint stamps, I am bringing in for Malaysia some folders and will release it at low mark-up to cover my shipping. I think it is worth sharing. The packs has been ordered. Sorry no pre-order. I am broke and cannot order so many.
As for FDCs, I am not taking orders for any country as it is a project too big for me and I do not have enough time to curate a nice set of cancellations on FDC. I will be listing along the way.
If you want to start off with Thailand, here they are:
The prices are lower than eBay.com and those rarities, I am trying to reduce my expenses. If I charge you my air ticket, it will run up to hundreds of USD per item.
Delivery is from Tuesday onwards.
Before I end, I really want to thank Thailand Post staff in the exhibition, they made sure an visitor is never lost and will find the answer for me. I do not feel that I have been left hanging. The hospitality is great!
A special thanks to TK and the security guard who gave me a place to wait away from the scorching morning sun!