Thursday, May 21, 2009

Vacation Trinkets

Today’s Theme Thursday is VACATIONS. I’ve covered so many angles on vacations. If you’re recently unemployed then you might actually have the time to read some of them:

It was here that I first conceived that since my company was “global” I should therefore observe all global holidays around the world. This, combined with my vacation, etc. meant I was free all year with the exception of one day.

It was here that I focused on the oddity of people actually going to some place because it is recognized in pop culture (Abbey Road for instance).

It was here that I first suggested becoming a professional vacation doer. You know…take vacations for those hard working people that don’t have the time or opportunity because they are climbing the corporate ladder. You send them post cards about how great their vacation could have been…trinkets and stuff like that.

And to build on that concept, I thought I’d take this Theme Thursday in a different direction and ponder the oddity of bringing home trinkets. Trinkets are crap-that-we-don’t-need-but-buy-anyway-to-prove-we-were-there! Its ok, I know you do it too. It’s not even a travel unique experience. Concert goers are notorious for having to have a T-shirt or memorabilia item. Conferences regularly give crap away. It’s not a new concept.

But invariably every travel area you go to has all of this manufactured crap designed to imitate real crafts and items that are unique to the area. I see them all over the world. You can’t get through a shop in France without seeing at least one Eifel Tower statue or photo. There are more wooden animal statues coming from Africa then there ever were animals in the entire history of the world.

Some countries have more unusual trinkets of course:

- In Pakistan you can buy those fun mini CO2 suicide bomber belts to bring home for the kids.

- In Iran you can get your yellow cake uranium necklaces

- In Somalia you can get your Do-it-Yourself Pirating kit

- In Angola you can get your own personal landmine

Fun stuff like that…

53 comments:

Brian Miller said...

lol. and you can probably get a magnet for each of these as well in the attempt to recreate the globe on the front of your refrigerator.

Mrsupole said...

I always bought toys for the girls and dow we buy them for the grandkids. I usually try to make it something usefull if I can, it if useful than something fun. Then they get picutes. Or I tell them there was nothing to bring back that was any good. That always works too.

God bless.

Quirkyloon said...

Heh heh heh.

Only you VE could think up something like this. Actually, you know what? Those things will come in very handy with the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse.

So perhaps they are not trinkets, but valuable commodities?

Just sayin'.

ReformingGeek said...

I'd like to go to Australia to work on my boomerang collection. I'll wear my "cowboy" hat and boots once I finally get around to purchasing them.

lime said...

hey in angola, if you get a landmine you could leave them a trinket like a hand of foot or leg or something.

Roy Scribner said...

Wow, I'm a VE neophyte, because the only one of those that I recognize is the professional vacationer one. I've been pondering the trinket issue, since the economy is so bad. Do you have an gnome statues in your yard?

VE said...

brian - He who has the most magnets at death...wins!

mrsupole - My kids travel so they know better than to fall for the nothing bit

quirky - Sounds like you're going to be the most prepared for the zombie apocalypse. I'm procrastinating until I'm dead...as usual.

reforminggeek - Just be careful about tossing those boomerangs...they might end up back in Australia. You know how they return...

lime - Good idea...that's why we have two of everything, right?

roy - Gnomes? I've got freakin' gnomes everywhere and they're all cranky. But I think gnomes would make excellent trinkets. They love to travel you know...

Elizabeth said...

Do you ever bring home t-shirts for a gift? There are tons for sale around here that say "My parents went to Alaska and all I got is this lousy t-shirt" (I hate those t-shirts)

subtorp77 said...

Trinkets. Oh yes. My aunt just has to have a plate of every state she's visited. I can imagine if she ever left the country; oy! And you can get a stuffed armadillo in Arkansas( tho' if you can't find one in the shoppes, just get one from the road-side ).

And I'll mention all the stuff we brought back from South America. The stuffed crocs were confiscated and destroyed while all the textile products( sweaters, serapes, etc ), went into quarantine for week! Wouldn't want any infestation of "foreign parasites, now would we?

Holly said...

I find a ornament to hang on the ole tree in December "for the memories"

thevinylvillage said...

The best job ever belongs to Samantha Brown of the travel channel. Now thats how to be a professional vacationer. What do you think she does when she's off work?

Wings said...

Except for the pirating kit, I think I will pass. Cute post! :)

Jacki said...

...my trinket from Denmark turned out to be Emma.

As a kid I really looked forward to my dad coming home from deployments and other trips...he always had cool stuff for us. Like the two 6-month deployments around South American and West Africa...WOW. I still have all the neat jewelry items and bags and whatnot.

Now when we take vacations, most of my trinkets are books and pictures that we take.

The Hussy Housewife said...

Ha! I can't stand that crap people bnuy to show they were there. No I don't want a sea shell, ugly hat or t-shirt...well maybe the shot glass I want?

I think I am gonna employ the idea of "Stay-vactions" where you stay home or in your local area a discover the hidden gems..to avoid the crowds and freaks!

The Incredible Woody said...

I'm the winner. I confess I have a zillion magnets. The cheesier, the better. Like a Vegas snowglobe with a pair of dice!

Kurt said...

Don't forget all the great pharmaceuticals you can get over the counter in foreign countries.

VE said...

elizabeth - I don't do T-shirts very often...they hardly wear them and I go to too many places so they're would be too many of them. I do key chains for my son that go on a bulletin board he has and lapel pins for my daughter who also has a bulletin board. I keep a post card for myself. I try to find one unique non-mass-produced item for each kid and then one craft thing for the house (small).

subtorp77 - That's interesting that you had that stuff confiscated from South America. I've been to South America many times and never had that situation.

holly - That's a good idea. I have so many ornaments now though that I'd have to decorate a tree outside in the forest to fit them all

vinylvillage - Yeah...and I hate her for that. Wonder if anyone would notice if I just pushed her off a cliff during her travels and took her place...

wings - The pirating kit doesn't come with the parrot though...that's extra

jacki - Emma huh? Well then Angelina and Madonna are both following that same trinket collecting path...

hussy housewife - It's amazing how many people don't even visit what is in their own hometown.

incredible woody - You just got that snow globe, didn't you?!

kurt - Now that is a wise and useful idea. Good call...

moooooog35 said...

You mean all this time Angelina Jolie and Madonna could have been bringing home nickknacks and shit instead of children!?

I've never figured out how they make it back through customs with those things.

Beth said...

I think one hell of a lot of travel shopping is done in airport gift shops – and I have the souvenirs (junk) to prove it!

VE said...

moooooog35 - I know...people are mostly made up of liquids. How do they get past the 3 oz limit?


beth - I've had to resort to them when I couldn't find any other place a couple of times. Mostly just to fill in one thing I couldn't find elsewhere.

Jaime said...

I'm in the market for one of those personal landmines. how much will something like that set me back?

Ronda Laveen said...

We certainly do love junk, don't we. We love shopping for it, buying it, lamenting on how to get it all home, giving away to people who probably forget about it them minute they get it home, finding a place for it, not dusting it, and throwing it away or better yet, trying to hawk it to some other sucker at a yard sale. I just love shinny stuff!!! Sparkly!

Hey! I think that hat in the side bar pic just stole that guy's neck.

VE said...

jaime - It's ridiculous. They want an arm and a leg for those things...

ronda - See...shiny and sparkly...just more ways to tempt us.

Baino said...

Well I'm unemployed and never been so busy in my life . .I'll have to come back and click the links. I always bring back inappropriate trinkets. Charms that never get put on bracelets, Thai silk that looks bloody disgusting here . . .I did have a friend buy a didgeridoo while he was here . .uses it to drive his flatmate insane . .working nicely!

gab said...

If its Salt and pepper shakers (Ive got over 400 sets) or snowglobes (I've lost count) Then yep I buy it lol. Do I need them NOPE! Do I want them Yep! But lately I've been asking myself why. The salt and peppers started with my mom before she got sick. The snowglobes just lately yet Ive gone over board. I sell on E-Bay and have seriously started thinking I should sell some snowglobes. The S&P's NO WAY! even if they severe no purpose. It's now in memory of my mom

subtorp77 said...

VE, seeeeems there was a bit of a problem back in '86. Then again, it could've been a Navy thing. The military can be funny in what they consider contraband, infested or not. Ach...

Sandra Leigh said...

Ahem. I did once call my daughter to say that I was standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. It was on my route to Santa Fe, though. I didn't plan a holiday to a corner in Winslow, Arizona. That would be silly. It was only a little bit out of the way.

Gladys said...

Long time ago I had a guy friend go to Thailand and he brought something back, but it wasn't a trinket. Sometimes there are things that you can't get rid of... I'm just sayin...

Kathryn Magendie said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. The Big Chill - you know, that one part where Glen Close gets that smarmy look on her face after she sends her hubbie up the stairs to, um, bada-bing with her friend - I always want to throw something at the screen and yell "ARE YOU AN IDIOT" *laughing*

GMR loves the movie - I just ....don't....guess people will throw things at me for hating a classic!

Leah said...

This made me laugh!

but I confess to loving cheap crappy junk from other places...

VE said...

baino - I used to do the charm thing, but then I got divorced. That solved that perdicament!

gab - I know how you feel. I'm a collecting nut!

subtorp77 - I'm trying to forget the 80s. It was all a problem!

sandra - That's hilarious. I've got to do that next time...

gladys - Ha! Yeah, that seems to be mass marketed too...

kathryn - Well we're in agreement then. Watch High Fidelity some time. They make a reference to avoiding anything involving the Big Chill...very funny.

leah - Most of us do...and that is why it is so funny...

Megan said...

I love trinkets. I wish I had more of them. Landmine might be a bit awkward, however.

I see those Big Chill comments. Does that film follow you everywhere?

The Silver Fox said...

"No One Here Gets Out Alive," the early 1980s bio of The Doors' Jim Morrison, related an obscure incident in his life that took place in a certain room of a certain motel... When I visited L.A. in 1982, I couldn't resist staying there.

VE said...

megan - What am I, some sort of Big Chill magnet? (speaking of trinkets...)

silver fox - Wow, I don't remember that scene...but it has been awhile since I saw it. I'll bet they haven't ever changed the sheets since Jim was there too...

Dee said...

funny haha

Kris said...

You can get some pretty weird gear in Cambodia.

The Silver Fox said...

The "motel scene" was only in the book, and not in the movie, so unless you read the book, you wouldn't recall it. And as far as the sheets... they seemed clean...

VE said...

dee - You have a house full of trinkets, don't you. You're just not telling us...

kris - But you can't bring the jungle back with you...dept of agriculture doesn't like it when you bring a jungle through customs...

silver fox - The book. Those are those things you read, right? I hire people to read out loud for me and they follow me around so I can listen to the story while I pick my nose and do other important things throughout the day...

Wow said...

Have you actually been to those countries? And you came out alive?

VE said...

wow - No, death and maiming isn't high on my travel experience list so I've therefore avoided those...

Anne said...

isn't a travel writer a professional vacation-goer?

VE said...

anne - I've looked into it. They take all the fun out of it because you have to do all these things and check all these things in order to be one.

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

I'd love the "Vacations R Us" idea, but only if I could go to warm locations far, far away from Canada.

Janna said...

Yellow cake uranium is awful.

I like the Devil's Food version a lot better.

Totally worth all the radiation sickness and expensive therapy and baldness and glowing.

VE said...

perpetual chocoholic - Just pass on the cold vacations...give that to your intern that works for free...

janna - It must be the moistness. Nothing is too much to scarifice for moist cake...

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

My MIL once brought home a shell with the words "San Diego" painted on it and gave it to us as a gift. The moment she left I tossed it in the garbage. I think she knew it because it was the last trinket she brought back for us!

Hit 40 said...

How about an empty piggy bank that you can't put any $$ in for America!!

Maureen said...

Oooh! I want a "Do-it-Yourself Pirating kit". Do I have to pay for it?

And more importantly, does it come with my very own Captain Jack????

VE said...

arizona - Threw it away? You know how rare a natural shell with San Diego is to find in the sea? Man...

hit40 - Does it say "you've now contributed to stopping the defecit for .0000000000000000009ths of a second" after you put the penny in?

maureen - Alas...captain jack sold separately...

Dalton J. Fox said...

I've really never been one to buy trinkets while vacationing. I'm usually the person trying to get other people to hurry up with their silly shopping so we can go do fun stuff instead.

VE said...

dalton - Good for you. You probably see more than half the people...

leelee said...

now thats a catalog I would request!

HUGS!

VE said...

leelee - I see you have eclectic tastes...