Toque’s friend returned from Australia with a surf board as a souvenir. Cool idea except her friend is a Prairie boy and there’s no surf in these parts. How about you? What totally ridiculous souvenir have you brought home from your travels? Great idea at the time…but once you’re home all you can think is “what the heck?”
David Tetrault commented:
…a 4 foot didgeridoo from Australia for our son who collect musical instruments. It could be used as a weapon, is hollow, but was completely wrapped in cellophane. We thought we would have trouble getting it through the US border crossing, as we couldn’t check it with our luggage. We bantered with the customs officer about playing it, and he let us through with no problems. That was 7 years ago, and we still need to find out how to play it.
A black sequined dress that I spent way too much on in Paris. I wanted a classy ‘haute couture’ dress for the next Christmas party. The sophisticated shop owner assured me with her lovely French accent that a Canadian dress maker would be able to alter it to fit. Yes, it didn’t even fit me properly! Well having taking it to two seamstresses, they both tell me that the sequins would make it too difficult to take in. So now it sits in my closet as an over-priced souvenir from Paris.
… a sterling silver teapot from a market in Marrakech. I had to have it. Bargained hard for it. Turns out a giant silver teapot is a bit heavy for a backpacking lifestyle; it became the albatross around my neck for weeks before I could get to a post office and ship it home.
Catherine Ford commented:
I was in Berlin just after the wall fell and came home with a piece of it. Granted, it was a small piece of painted rock; it cost me nothing but a smile to the charming German (is that an oxymoron?) who gave it to me. I still have it; it’s a great souvenir, but hardly any of my young friends give a damn. They weren’t alive when the wall between East and West Berlin was constructed in 1961 and don’t realize the significance of German re-unification and what that small piece of stone represents. Luckily, I didn’t bring the guy home with me.
Brian Keating commented:
A bull elephant skull. I worked for several years on obtaining this souvenir: meeting officials, obtaining the necessary permits, getting permission to bring it home without extra baggage charges for my 45 Kg. prize from Zimbabwe. Of course it was all for education, as I wanted to donate it to the Zoo where I worked. I finally pulled it off, and I happily stashed the behemoth in my office late on a sub-zero Friday night, deposited there directly upon my return home. Problem was, it was full of a few hundred thousand eggs of a tiny fly, all of whom hatched over the weekend and then greeted me the following Monday morning, floor to ceiling. Thank goodness for our Canadian winter, which I invited into my office via wide opened windows to deal with the unexpected guests!
I just got back from Paris and realized that I bought a dress that mini mouse would wear! Silly me.