Special option for people living on the border


I live in the Netherlands, but I live really close to the German border. This also means I mainly sent cards with the German post. Sometimes I think I confuse people because they receive a Dutch ID but it’s actually sent with the German post.

I have thought of going into travel mode and take the German flag. However it means I won’t get any cards, and I need to connect to wifi in Germany when I go drop my post off, all the time.

I am not sure if there’s a solution for my problem and if I’m the only one with it. However I basically do sent my cards from Germany, while I receive my post in the Netherlands. Because I live on the border, it’s very normal for me, to do it like this, I also do my groceries in Germany or fuel up my car. It’s the way of life of people on the border.

Maybe people on the border, can get a special mode or something… I don’t know.


How do you make sure people don’t misuse this option?

My solution: Take addresses in Travel mode in Germany when there, switch back to normal mode when in the Netherlands. If you want to your IDs match with stamps, pull addresses only in Germany. Or send the cards you pull with Dutch IDs with Dutch stamps and German IDs with German stamps. Or continue as you do now with mismatching IDs and stamps. Some postcrossers don’t mind this and some do, but it’s kinda up to you.


It’s normal to have card/id/stamps/postmark not matching. I wouldn’t worry.
You can explain it maybe in your profile.

Mainly I was thinking would you like to appear as a German? Because when people choose not to send or receive in their own country, that could mean you send a card to your next door, when they actually don’t want a card from your country/a person living there.

Europe is small, especially middle Europe, everyone is close to a border, I think it could be hard and/or complicate things too much.


I would love the confusion of the recipient :slight_smile:
I think it’s mainly up to you. It wouldn’t bother me at all to receive such a card and would probably use it as a conversation opening.
As when I’m sending, since i send you something and pay for it’s up to me how to do so.

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The problem with pulling addresses in Germany, is that I have to go over the border, pull addresses. Go back home to write the address labels and then go back again. However, I guess I’ll keep mismatching. While some may not like it, I do explain it in my profile, and when I write to Germans, I always write in German that I live close to the border and describe something about the life here.

As for people not misusing this option. I guess it can indeed be abused. However, people could be reported when they abuse the option. Also, I don’t think you can spoof your IP to be on a border. But I think I’ll just keep mismatching it’s the easiest way for me, and it may sound weird, but it’s kinda more authentic as life just works like this for me. I mean there are days when I fuel up my car in Belgium, do grocery shopping in Germany and live in the Netherlands…


Now my main issue is, Germany is a big postcrossing country. And that means I pull a lot of people from Germany. I always feel like I might disappoint them, however I never got a bad reaction from them. So now German people receive a Dutch ID with a German stamp. It would have been better if I had a German ID and Dutch people received a German ID with a German stamp.

@schrizzo Thanks for your input! I appreciate it, and I think I will just keep doing the mismatch. It’s the way I live here, though I hope I won’t dissapoint to many people. I will ask in the German forum how they feel about this.


I would actually think it was kind of neat to receive a Dutch ID with German stamps from someone living near the border. I’m not big on borders anyway - they are just artificial lines, and it’s quite natural for daily life to span them :slightly_smiling_face:


Who knows, I will draw your address someday! I think you’re right, I checked your profile, and you’re in the USA right? I guess from state to state, the borders don’t matter much. In Europe sometimes the language completely changes and so do the products on sale for groceries and the prices. In a way, borders are like entering a new world.

In the pandemic, it was, though. First I couldn’t go to Belgium and then Germany was also kind of locked for me. Many people that had family on the other side, had a though time because of this.


Hello neighbor. I grew up in heinsberg and often went to sittard to go to the movies as I could watch original version there.

I think many people living near a border to send postcards from there. Before travel mode existet you had this missmarch everytime someone sent cards from their vacation.

Do not worry. You are supposed to send a card. There is not rule (at least not that I know of) saying you must send from the country the ID is from.

If you do swaps you should probably ask the receiver if thats ok for them.


Haha I live in a small village close to Sittard! I have often been in Heinsberg, but ussually I go to Tuddern/Susterseel. Our Kitchen is from Schaffrath in Heinsberg though, haha! And that’s a good thing you mention, I should indeed mention this when I do swap! I have never done a swap yet, but it’s good to remember this!

Thanks, a lot for your message. We really are neighbours haha! For the next Helles bier that I drink, I’ll say cheers!


I know people from a number of countries who do this because the postage costs are much cheaper in Germany than in their own country. I wouldn’t worry about it, carry on!


I’m in kind of a similar but not similar situation! I live in the UK, but mail things from a military base that has United States postal service. So UK ID, but US stamps! I’ve always crossed my fingers that no one gets upset :crossed_fingers:t2: Yes, I could use Royal Mail for mailing (and do when people have in their profile that they’re looking for UK postage, but sending mail through the USPS is cheaper and therefore allows me to send more cards & more often!


In the end, I guess it also has to do with the way you live. I have asked in the German forum and most there don’t seem to mind. So I feel like we can just keep doing this, like we do. But thanks for sharing your story, as it is interesting, I didn’t even think of this, when I wrote this topic. So I learned something new.


So far, in 17 years, I have come across profiles that stated, that card and stamps should be from the same country, but I’ve never read, that card and ID should match.

Before the travel mode I have sent from my holidays: card and stamp matching, but not the ID.

I wouldn’t worry about it. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Oh, I think if someone is to disappoint they will soon get over it. It’s though very kind of you to think this, and I understand. But, if this is easiest for you and your way of life there, I would continue that way.

Maybe they will even like this speciality, the mismatch.

If any kind of “special mode” would come, it shouldn’t be only to the ones who live physically close to the border. Some areas are not so populated, and people therefrom still have most of their daily life in another country.

But, once I got a card, where member went to holiday, took the address there, didn’t find stamps, so sent it from Germany, with German stamp. (So, a member from country A travelled to country B, and got this id in travel mode, but send from country C.) She was so sorry that I got another sent from Germany, but this was so interesting, and also good example, stamps are not always easy to find :).
I really like that card, it’s like it travelled too :slight_smile: didn’t bother me at all that it was from Germany (which I like too).


We’re in no way obliged to send cards with matching picture, ID & stamps all from the same country.

After all, even outside postcrossing it would be perfectly normal - for example - to buy some postcards while travelling in Italy, then write some of them when you have already moved on to Austria, but not find a post office before you’ve already crossed into Germany on your way home. So the card could be from Venice, the text saying “Innsbruck, May 5th”, and the postmark “Munich, May 7th”… And what? Your friends back home will be Oooooh so disappointed to receive such a postcard???

Many people here in Poland send their postcards by Deutsche Post, i.e. at half the Polish postage. And during the pandemic, I kept in touch with pen-friends around the world having my mail forwarded by someone who could send there when Poczta Polska wouldn’t… It’s just normal :slight_smile:


I’d draw addresses when in NL and with a NL-ID, put German stamps on the card and explain that I live at the border.

From time to time I send cards showung Vaals or Maastricht (both in NL), but with a DE-ID and with German stamps. Then I write that the places are close to me although being abroad and that I have been there lately (which is true, for they are really close and I go there quite often) and the recipients usually like that. Living straight at the border is a thing that most people do not know, so we are special… :wink:


I once drew a profile of a user who officially was a member in Germany, sent postcards from there, but her address was in the Netherlands. She lived in a border town and the closest post office was in Germany. I think the postcrossing team was involved to get this done, because usually the country of residence (in the address) has to match the country selected for your profile.

But again, for people in border towns - I think it’s a perfectly fine explanation why ID and stamps don’t match.


@Ludek Thanks for your input, I didn’t know this about Poland, but I think your right and your examples are also really good! And I didn’t know Polish postage was that expensive, I wouldn’t be dissapointed if I received a German stamp with Polish ID.

@RalfH Thanks again friend! It’s funny to know you sent cards of Maastricht or Vaals. Those are places I know quite well. However I guess I would maybe sent a postcard of most Western point of Germany in ïsenbruch but I don’t know if those cards even exist. However I can understand why you sent these cards, and I agree with you, that it is interesting as it showcases the life on the border.

@sannah82 That’s really interesting thanks for letting me know! And also thanks for your understanding. :slight_smile:


My situation is very much alike and yet the opposite of yours. I live in Belgium, a 15’-ride away from Sas-van-Gent. I send a lot of cards to your fellow countrymen (mainly -women though) via round robins, tags and games from the Dutch speaking community. I pay less than half the price for postage if I post the cards in the Netherlands. Your international rates are also cheaper, but I only do that when I want to send square cards or cards higher than 12.5 cm. Both cost triple the normal postage in Belgium whereas there’s no difference in the Netherlands. The recipients don’t mind at all.
If I were to live close to the German border, I would definitely do the same as you do.