Monday, March 13, 2006

Travel Trivia: souvenirs

I was catching up on my teetering pile of magazines this weekend (you know you're in deep trouble when the new edition of something arrives and you still haven't read the last edition. Especially when the old edition was a double one) and was captivated by an article by Jane Withers in Dec/ Jan's Wallpaper* entitled "No more straw donkeys" (sorry, can't find the article online anywhere).

Its byline is "It's time souvenirs were sexy and sophisticated rather than tacky and cliched" which got me to thinking about what I might be wanting to get in The States and what I've bought as souvenirs in the past (no straw donkeys, you'll be pleased to hear!)

I won't mention souvenirs already discussed here (kitchen dresser goodies) here (round things), here (garland light) and here (tea towels). OK - I lied on the last one: here's a gratuitous shot of some tea towels:(L to R: Stockholm (Sweden); Conran Shop, London (United Kingdom); Wellington (New Zealand)

I have to have an I heart NY tshirt to add to my collection of gym T shirts. I love that I now have a reason to buy souvenir T shirts...
(top to bottom, L to R: Moomintroll, Helsinki (Finland); Vespa Cafe Aroma, Napier (New Zealand); Legend of the Seas kids tshirt from first cruise 2002; Mini The Minx, Glasgow (Scotland); Mickey to Tiki, Christchurch Art Gallery (New Zealand); Nice/ Monaco/ St Paul, Cote D'azure (France)

I seem to have a habit of collecting cheap "art" (in quotes in case you don't agree that it can be considered art) from wherever I find myself: 1. One of two metal relief pieces from The Glasgow School of Art. Total cost for both including frames: $AU30.2. Very cheap etching from Red October in St Petersburg showing the ports we visited on that cruise. Framed courtesy of IKEA. (Shall I mention the TaTu Cd I bought on the same day? Nah....) 3. Two little somethings I found in the back streets of Venice. Debated about which one I was going to get (almost resorted to "eeny meeny miney mo" until I discovered the 10 Euro quoted were for both. Frames and mats cost more that the prints!)

Books, of course, are always an excellent souvenir except for their weight. I have been known to take advantage of Book Rate postage but try to limit myself and carry the offending objects in my hand luggage (along with the piles of CDs I usually purchase - main reason I don't own an MP3 player) Dolls house furniture is small and easy to tuck away (shoes are a good place)(From the London Dolls House Festival)

Oddest souvenirs: A tie between the pegs I got in New Zealand and the black and white mop (also from New Zealand) which caused a few raised eyebrows in the customs hall.
Oh and the toothpaste and toothbrushes I bought in bulk from Boots The Chemist in London, England: Or maybe the very funky BEE cleaning range from New Zealand:

What's your favorite or oddest souvenir??

And should I consider this seriously as a suitable purchase in the USA?

Rogue Traders, We know what you're up to)

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