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Thread: Souvenirs – treasures or trash

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Souvenirs – treasures or trash

    “I Skied Boyne” is written on a t-shirt that I never wear, “Hard Rock Cafe” is painted onto a shot glass that has seen more dust than alcohol, and the Voodoo Doll that oddly looks a bit like Maister that I purchased in New Orleans several years before I worked with him sits in a box someplace... I think.

    On Sunday, the wife and I are going to board a plane bound for a tropical island at the edge of the Caribbean, only to get sun burnt, re-establish a quality tolerance for rum, and acquire far more souvenirs that I think we will ever actually need... or want for that matter.

    Why are people even interested in souvenirs? Often times people take tons of pictures, sometimes of odd things like the plant arrangement next to the front door of the hotel, or a strange looking lizard that wandered into the room. Of course there is almost always a photo of the group standing in front of some recognizable iconic symbol such as Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World. But why do people want the T-shirts (that cost 3 to 4 times more than the ones that the store, and are further advertising if you ever actually wear them), the cheap plastic coffee mugs, and of course, the snow globes (which is ironic in tropical locations and sad because TSA now requires them to be in checked luggage and not carry ons because of the ‘unknown liquid contained in a glass ball.’ )

    Are you the type that will spend way too much money on stuff that you don’t need and will never actually use, only because the name if the location is printed on the side? What are your thoughts on the collection of Souvenirs?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    We're not souvenir collectors in the sense of buying things with locations printed on them. We do buy things along the way that remind us of our trips but they tend to be things we already collect and that will continue to have some value after we get home.

    Now my collection of work/conference related CPS (Cheap Plastic S***), that's another story.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    I usually get the following items on every vacation trip:

    -one T-shirt (sometimes it just has a logo, or maybe I like the color, usually not a screaming advertisement)
    -postcards
    -fridge magnets

    I collect postcards, both the ones I buy, and all the ones I receive. JMAC sent me two postcards as part of the Secret Santa fun, and both he and Dandy sent fridge magents. I've kep postcards since high school, so I have several albums full. Fridge magnets only started once I got out of grad school - don't know why, but I like them!
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    Tend to go to local artist shops, booths etc and pick up pieces of local art.
    When we look at them we remember that special event.Also we do take a lot of pictures.
    We put them in albums or frame some of them,
    I am glad that we did because we have entered that stage of life where friends and acquaintences are dying and we associate the pictures with special events and fond memories.
    But we are all diferent and some would prefer Tees or shot glasses, and that is a good thing

  5. #5
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I don't collect souvenirs, most are tacky. I do buy items that are locally made, preferably from a cooperative or similar entity but it has to be something that I would used on a periodic basis. I didn't buy anything in Thailand or Indonesia, I bought lovely clothes and new eyeglasses in India, local handicrafts and two rings from Sri Lanka. I spent far less than most other people on the trip even considering that I had two people to pay daily expenses for. I took many photos of non-touristy things and prefer that the personal relationships I formed with a number of locals will endure-that is the best souvenir for me.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    With digital photos, taking pictures as souvenirs doesn't take up as much space as it used to. We take lots of pictures and use them as screensavers at work, digital photo frames, etc.

    The only thing I collect religiously is lapel/hat pins from the various places I've been. I've probably got somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 of them. I've used them as wall art in our 2nd bedroom.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Memories can't boughten. They can't be won at carnivals for free. It took me years to get those souvenirs. And I can't believe they slipped away from me. . . ~ John Prine ~

    My wife collects souvenirs when we travel. I have a few. Mostly playing cards so my cribbage games have a little more class.

    I had three shirts that were souvenirs - s from a former girlfriend - they disappeared soon after my wife moved into my apartment.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    It depends on where I go. When I was in Key West, I went to Margaritaville and bought a t-shirt and a Parrothead head cover (for my driver). In New Orleans I bought a cajn cookbook and a CD of local music. In Mexico I brought back a bottle of tequila (its cheap there too). If I play a golf course on a trip, I'll pick up a logo ball and occassionally a shirt. We decided a while back that if it was going to sit on a shelf and we'd just look at it, we ain't going to buy it.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  9. #9
    Cyburbian craines's avatar
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    I hate nick nacks, paddy whacks, souvenirs, trinkets...I prefer to collect Ideas and Experiences!!
    Looking for Sanity
    In this Crazy Land Of Ours

  10. #10
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    It depends on where I go. When I was in Key West, I went to Margaritaville and bought a t-shirt and a Parrothead head cover (for my driver). In New Orleans I bought a cajn cookbook and a CD of local music. In Mexico I brought back a bottle of tequila (its cheap there too). If I play a golf course on a trip, I'll pick up a logo ball and occassionally a shirt. We decided a while back that if it was going to sit on a shelf and we'd just look at it, we ain't going to buy it.
    There is in idea in that... quality Caribbean rum as a Souvenir. Since it is a delayed honeymoon, I think that we might get an extra bottle to save for our 10 year anniversary party.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    I'm generally not a "stuff" person. As far as I'm concerned, I have enough crapola around my house and don't need anymore. I'd rather spend my travel $ on good food and drink.

    That said, I will buy a t-shirt or a fridge magnet or some jewelry once in awhile, IF I find something of quality that's worth purchasing. (Hee, today I am wearing a 20+ year old t-shirt from Spring Garden Bar & Grill in Carrboro, NC... but I won that! )

    Caribbean rum - now that's a good idea. My sister and brother-in-law used to bring back a bottle for me when they visited Puerto Rico... but that was long before all the plane security hoopla. Wouldn't you have to put liquor in your checked baggage now??

  12. #12
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    Caribbean rum - now that's a good idea. My sister and brother-in-law used to bring back a bottle for me when they visited Puerto Rico... but that was long before all the plane security hoopla. Wouldn't you have to put liquor in your checked baggage now??
    Yes and no depending on where the booze was purchased and the rules of either your transit or final destination. For instance...I transited through London from Sri Lanka and had a duty-free bottle of the local swill called arrack. I was informed that although it was duty-free, met quality and packaging standards, there was a receipt, etc. that I would not be allowed to carry it in-flight with me on the London to Newark leg and that if I wanted it that I would have to retrieve my luggage, leave the airport, re-enter the airport, and stow the booze in my checked luggage all because the EU only allows liquor purchased in the EU duty free airport shops to fly on the plane in the cabin . Sadly I handed over my bottle and told the man that I hope he enjoyed it.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    From a great aunt, I ended up with several souvenier spoons from her trip to Europe in the '50's. Since my son was small, we've collected spoons on our trips. They're in a glass case in the guest bath. I think they look very stylish. The latest addition is a Gumbo spoon from NOLA.

    I get some t-shirts too, but not always. Two things we've gotten recently that I like a lot: a winery map from our trip to CA earlier this year, and a cool metal reproduction poster from St George Island, near Apalachicola, that's on the patio. Oh, and RJ's tiki.

    Personally I'm all about "the tackier the better".

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    Usually buy books on local history:

    In Atlanta, I stopped at the Varsity and bought a book of the place and gave it to my dad. Slaw dogs are alright, but if you are going to put cole-slaw on a hot dog use some Vienna beef of similar!! (Chicago bias). Fried peach pie was part delicious and mostly gross.

    Also picked up some books on local history for other family members at Barnes and Noble (Georgia, get some good local book stores for chrissakes!!!) and one delicous unrelated book for a good friend called How to Get Fat, by the self-hurt series.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    I am not a souvenir guy. My family always brings me back something from her trips. I just found a shirt in my drawer that says " I went straight to...the Gay Bar" Gay Michigan. My wife thought it was hilarious when we visited the UP.

    My souvenir rule is like Planit if I can't or won't use it then I won't buy it.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  16. #16
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    .... If I play a golf course on a trip, I'll pick up a logo ball and occassionally a shirt.....
    Same here or a cap. Sometimes I get a turf tool/ballmarker combo. Those little things have a tendency to fall into my pocket while I examine them...the more expensive the green fee, the more likely they end up in my pocket.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  17. #17
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    I like to buy quality stuff that will stay around for a while -- and I'm a girl, so I end up buying jewelry, purses, coats, and shoes -- my weakness really. On a trip to Sweden, I bought a funky pair of eyeglass frames (had my prescription put in when I got home) and a great floor length winter coat that I am still in love with. In Cali, I bought a kick-butt piece of furniture and had it shipped home (shipping cost was more expensive than the piece, but I've had people offer to buy it out of my home!). From Asia, I brought home table linens and bedding, which was heavy but came home before these new luggage rules went into effect this week. [How am I going to travel overseas with only 1 suitcase??]
    And of course, I try to frame a couple artsy streetscape photos around the house so that I can be reminded of the community I visited.
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  18. #18
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    Memories can't boughten. They can't be won at carnivals for free. It took me years to get those souvenirs. And I can't believe they slipped away from me. . . ~ John Prine ~

    My wife collects souvenirs when we travel. I have a few. Mostly playing cards so my cribbage games have a little more class.

    I had three shirts that were souvenirs - s from a former girlfriend - they disappeared soon after my wife moved into my apartment.
    He always knows what to say, doesn't he? I like "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You into Heaven Anymore".
    Do you want to pet my monkey?

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    This Bear is not much of a souvenir freak. When I travel (and it is not very often) I try to slide into the campus bookstore of the local university and purchase a tee-shirt and/or a sweatshirt. Once in a great while a "tacky attack" hits and I buy something really off-the-wall.

    I know I mentioned, in a different thread, "George", the duck plunger I purchased at a little shop on the Toronto waterfront. George now accompanies me when I do travel. He's a riot.

    George has a blue necktie.

    Katie will usually buy a shot glass or some such souvenir. She does like the HARD ROCK stuff, though, so when we do travel she always asks if there is an HR CAFE in the city we are going to.

    If I ever travel to Cyburbia, I will probably spring for a souvenir. That is, if the shoppe is open in the morning. In the afternoon I am quite sure the shoppe will be subject to RJ laws.



    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

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