Collecting Souvenirs


Thursday, 25 March, 2010

Content The plan was to leave the UK in February 2009 and move over to East Asia to visit upwards of ten countries in the region. To date, things have gone to plan, touch wood, and only the motherland, China, is left on the list. It would be ignorant to leave plans as broad as that and so we'd obviously made our travel lists covering the macro to the micro.

Key Chains

On the fun side of things, aside from keeping travel journals, I also wanted to find some kind of souvenir from each country. I hadn't really considered what until we had already past Vietnam in March 2009 and were in Japan two months later. It was with the purchase of a small, waxed red cotton owl, I had decided to collect key chains.

I have to confess that even for this little micro ambition, I've failed. In the photo above, I'd already duplicated the collection for a couple of countries and left out others entirely. From Taiwan, is the sharkhead figure and the half-hidden red shirt thing on the right (which is actually a USB key in a Chinese-style, embroidered mini shirt). From Hong Kong is the ghost at the bottom and the white Astroboy figure. That wooden head with the thing sticking out of its left eye (?) was from Malaysia, leaving the aforementioned owl from Japan.

I've completely failed for Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Cambodia and Macau. If I actually take one of the amulets I bought in Thailand and use that as a key chain, then I've only just become half-successful. In my defense, I just felt like I didn't come across anything of interest to warrant adding to the collection.

Picking up on this idea, Linh decided that fridge magnets would be her thing and in fact, starting late, she is only missing Japan. She collected a magnet from every other country we've visited, which has to include the country name, and I've since realised how popular they are everywhere as the most universal of tourist tats.

What I have succeeded in collecting from every country is a bank note of some kind, although I'm not really sure it counts, as this only required a little restraint to stop ourselves spending every last bit of currency before we left a country. No genuine search and discover shopping trips involved.


Products. Stationary. Travel.

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