Monday, 2 July 2007

Scouting for souvenirs

Friends rave about their shopping trips to Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Shanghai or Bangkok and I wonder if we’re talking about the same places… Why do I return home from these shopping havens empty-handed?

I’m probably not the best shopper. I would rather wander off into the little alleys to seek out the quaint shops selling quirky handicrafts and hand-made jewelry than to step into swanky boutiques selling Gucci and Prada products you can find back home. Is it worth the trouble lugging them around if they’re available everywhere?

If I'm not too busy shooting dilapidated buildings or alley cats, I may still find time to buy souvenirs and small gifts for friends and family. YK hangs a bunch of little camels behind his door. The bells attached to the camels jingle each time he pushes the door, reminding me of my trip to Dubai years ago.

Sometimes I can’t resist a good buy…like the woolen shawl in a shocking pink. Amongst my stash are a suede bag, hand crafted necklaces and pendants, a cowboy hat, sapphire ring, hand-painted metal mug, tea spoons, crystal flowers, hair clips, a tiny pair of wellingtons and an old pair of Levis I got for $5 in a flea market!

But the most precious souvenirs I have are the dried maple leaves and acorn we brought home from Bend, Oregon. It’s souvenirs like these that bring the fondest memories.

Browsing at a night market.

Traditional Korean shoes.
Ladles made from dried gourd. I wonder if SK will like this...
Looking for old posters in Shanghai.
A shop at the Pinnawela elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

8 comments:

JYankee said...

ME TOO! I'm not a brand name girl... but I really like the dark alley shops and unique knick-knacks. Photos are wonderful...wish I were there!

Blur Ting said...

heh heh, there's a shopper in every girl. It just depends on what we shop for!

Mike M said...

Great blog! I will be back for more!!

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The Real Mother Hen said...

Ladles made of dried gourd?! I'm going to try that :)
You know, still can't get the picture of the Chinese Opera House by the seaside off my mind.

The Real Mother Hen said...

OH YES, I remember the maple leaves and the acorn :) Btw, we still have plenty of acorn :)

HollyGL said...

Oh, Blur, I got the chills when I read what you wrote about your Oregon souvenirs. How sweet.

Blur Ting said...

Hi Holly, The maple leaves and acorn were lovingly collected by MH before we arrived. The day we left, she packed them nicely into a box and presented to us. That's why they're so special :-)

Blur Ting said...

MH, these are the kind of ladle that wedding couples use in the traditional wedding. The Koreans believe that when they marry, the 2 halves unite and become one forever, after sharing a drink from the ladle.