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Author Topic: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind  (Read 4501 times)

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S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« on: July 29, 2014, 02:17:53 PM »
There is a current thread about people asking you to bring back souvenirs for them when you travel.  But what about souvenirs that you didn't buy, and have regretted ever since.  They become your "fish that got away" stories.

Here are my two:

When I was in my early 20s, I was with a tour group in China, and there was a table selling random carvings.  One was shaped like a fish.  It had a very visible seam line down the center of it.  I opened it to find the inside of the fish was carved with very graphic erotica.  I was speechless and didn't buy the fish (because I thought it was carved from bone, which would be illegal to import anyway).  Well, the "p*rn fish" is now the one that got away....

On a trip to Taiwan, my sister's friends took me shopping in the night market.  At the time, the Taiwanese loved t-shirts with English writing on them, even if the writing made no sense.  I picked up a shirt with pretty writing on it out of the bin.  It read:
(large flowery calligraphic script) "I hide my
(big block letters) crack
(large flowery script) with my diaper." 

Yeah, that one stayed in the bin, but is talked about to this day.  What are your "Souvenirs that got away"?


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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 02:36:04 PM »
In Spain, a beautiful geometric print silk scarf and a carved wood, handpainted fan.

"It's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Office coffee cup.


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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 02:45:55 PM »
Mine was in Spain too.  There were these amazing turquise leather ankle wedge boots in a shop in Seville. They were gorgeous, I had never seen anything like them (and I'm a pretty avid fashionista  ;D).  It was early in the day so I decided I would go back and get them later or the following day because I didn't want to carry them around all day.  But then I couldn't find the shop again!  My DH and I looked and searched and wandered the streets but just couldn't find that store.  It was like it vanished.  Sigh.....  I still think about those boots. 


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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 02:57:00 PM »
A necklace

I was in Monument Valley with a now ex-boyfriend, Richard.  It had been a rough trip already.  On the first full day, he had ended up in the hospital with epilepsy (which he had never had before) and had his license temporarily suspended.  I had to do all the driving and he was a horrible backseat driver, when he was awake.  The medication made him incredibly sleepy. 

On day four, I was driving through the Valley and heading back toward the Grand Canyon.  I saw a Native American tent shopping area on the side of the road.  I pulled off and started browsing the amazing handcrafted gifts.  There was a turquoise necklace.  I'm not a big turquoise person and I don't like silver.  This piece was special though.  It was three strands of larger turquoise stones hung on what to my uneducated eye looked like fishing string.  The stones were evenly spaced and looked exquisite!  I had the seller down to $300.  Richard wandered in as I was trying it on and close to purchase.  He told me I was nuts to spend that much for 'cheap' stones.  I was now embarrassed (and mad as heck, but I'm not confrontational.)  He commented that we were behind schedule and needed to get on the road.  We were behind schedule, but that's because he assumed the driver would travel the roads at 80-85 mph.  I don't generally drive over 80 AND I only do it on roads I know (large highways where others are travelling that speed).  I'm not going to go more than 10 mph above the speed limit on mountainous country roads.

I left the necklace behind and wished I'd left Richard instead.   (To wrap up, he did suddenly get epilepsy in his late 30s.  Once back in my home state, he had 4 more seizures, thankfully no one was injured.  One may have been while driving, but I had dumped him by then.  As his personal chauffer I was tired of being nagged about my driving and then he spilled a gallon of milk in my car on a really hot day and thought I was crazy for being mad.  Milk is not easily removed from vehicle upholstery.)

I still wish I had purchased that necklace.

Or the pearl dog collar in Rome.  I didn't have a dog then, but my current little girl would look amazing in it!
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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 04:26:44 PM »
Years ago we were in Colorado City and there was a gorgeous, hand-made shawl with the most spectacular peacock design that I have ever seen.  I didn't buy it and still regret that choice.


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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 04:41:04 PM »
Near Naples a long time ago, my tour group was taken to a coral factory. I wish I had bought a pin with a coral body and gold handles and base that looked like a Grecian urn.

It's not exactly a souvenir since it doesn't come from a foreign country, but there was a t-shirt Benetton sold years ago that had the opening lines of a fable in Latin. I thought it was overpriced and didn't buy it.

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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2014, 07:09:43 PM »
Sophomore year of college, I went to London with a college group.  On one of my free days, I visited 221B Baker Street and bought a bunch of memorabilia, including a "signed" edition of a Sherlock Holmes biography by Rev. Baring-Gould.  It was expensive (probably 40 pounds) for a teenager, but I'm a huge Holmes buff, so it was worth it.  Coming home, I routed through four different airports and three separate planes, and somewhere in the course of all that, I lost my book.  >:(  My parents threw a fit that I'd spent $90 on something that I'd lost on the plane, and I was just so sad that it was gone. 


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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 07:22:38 PM »
I generally do buy the things I see on holiday, but occasionally a few things do get away.

Some serving dishes at Disneyland many years ago.

A few years later we were at Disney World Florida and saw some nice things, but as they were a bit heavy we thought we'd wait till we got to Disneyland California a few weeks later to buy them (we were assured by the WDW staff that just about everything available at WDW would also be available at Disneyland - they were wrong).  We were able to get most of the stuff at DL but a few things had never been stocked there.


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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2014, 07:46:35 PM »
A beautiful walking stick in a jewellery shop in Florence in 2004. I was helping our travel 3rd party choose a bracelet for his then-girlfriend, and I spotted the most beautiful ebony walking stick topped by a pewter Pharaoh's head. It was priced at 80 euro, and I could have afforded it, but it was too long to fit in my suitcase (the largest piece of luggage among the 3 of us), even diagonally. At that time, the airlines were still really strict about big sticks going on the plane as carry-on, and I didn't think it was safe to check it. Sigh
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Seven Ate Nine

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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2014, 08:26:48 PM »
This isn't one that didn't get purchased, but it did get away.

I went to Sweden many years ago, on a short "exchange program."  My mother asked me to bring her back a rock candle holder.  I found one for her, and on my last day before we left my host mother gifted me with another one.  I carried both of them back in the bottom of my backpack carry on.  By the time I made it through customs, my back hurt from all the weight in my bag.  When I got home, my grandma was visiting, and my mother insisted that I give her the second holder since I hadn't gotten her a souvenir (she lived in another state.  We weren't close).  I did, and it wasn't the end of the world, but I do wish that I had gotten to keep it.  At the time it wasn't a big deal for me, but now that the t-shirts don't fit and the pictures are buried on a hard drive somewhere, it would have been a more lasting trinket to have.

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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2014, 08:46:42 PM »
Odd ones I admit.  In 2002 we were at an Autogrill in Italy that had a marvelous selection of Harry Potter tshirts with beautiful designs and quotes in Italian.  I made the mistake of thinking I could get them somewhere else on the trip. 

One trip coming back from New York I had a bag of Statue of Liberty lollipops as gifts I left the bag at the Atlanta airport during a plane change.

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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2014, 10:00:11 PM »
A lapis lazuli and sterling silver necklace with a Kokopelli figure on the pendant.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien


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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2014, 10:09:53 PM »
A gorgeous sterling and malachite cuff bracelet I saw at the Laguna Festival of the Arts almost 30 years ago.  I had just graduated, was unemployed...and I still wish I had gotten it.


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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2014, 10:30:18 PM »
I have another from the Laguna Festival of the Arts, as well! (You just reminded me.) I don't care much for paintings, but there it was:
a deer standing in a forest clearing. The painted light was unreal. I wish I could describe it. But it was so wonderful that I recall it from 45 years ago!
"Half of being smart is knowing what you're stupid at." Anon.


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Re: S/O The souvenir that got away/you left behind
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2014, 10:41:01 PM »
When I was little and visiting my great grandmother, my parents took me to First Monday in Alabam:

I got to buy what I thought was the coolest pair of sunglasses ever, with the name Coca Cola stamped in red all over the frames. A few miles down the road, I realized in a random store I'd left the sunglasses at First Monday. Cue major meltdown. My parents bought me a second pair of Coca Cola sunglasses. A few days later, I realized as we left Alabama I had left the second pair of sunglasses behind. Yeah, no third pair of glasses for me