Shot glass? Cow­bell? Sou­venir time!

The Washington Post Sunday - - TRAVEL - Travel@wash­post.com

Mon­days at 2 p.m., The Wash­ing­ton Post’s travel writ­ers and ed­i­tors dis­cuss read­ers’ travel ques­tions, com­plaints and more at live.wash­ing­ton­post.com. Last week’s Talk About Travel chat in­vited read­ers to share the most ridicu­lous sou­venir they’ve ever pur­chased. Here is a sam­pling of their re­sponses:

“I bought a cow­bell at the Van­cou­ver Olympic Bob­sled track. Be­cause, yanno, ev­ery­body needs more cow­bell.”

“On a road trip, I pur­chased a shot glass at the Amish Cheese Shop (now closed) in In­di­ana near the In­di­ana/Ohio bor­der. It’s green porce­lain, with horses and bug­gies on it. I still have it 10-plus years later.”

“We were in Aus­tralia, where cer­tain parts of the coun­try have an in­va­sive an­i­mal species called cane toads — they have no nat­u­ral preda­tors, and they don’t even con­trol the pest that they were im­ported to eat. I now own a gen­uine cane toad coin purse — made from an ac­tual cane toad — head and two arms still at­tached on the front side, the pouch made from the frog’s body, and a zip­per at the rear. To make things weirder, it has be­come a fam­ily Christ­mas or­na­ment. I for­get why it was ever placed in the tree in the first place, but a cousin’s kids loved look­ing for it ev­ery year after­ward.”

“I bought a chan­de­lier in the souk in Mar­rakesh . . . for­got that I would need to get it home af­ter but fig­ured it would fit in a fold up duf­fel bag I al­ways travel with. It didn’t. Af­ter some ne­go­ti­at­ing with the ho­tel staff, I got it boxed. I love it. Makes me happy ev­ery time I look at it!”

“Decades ago, I was vis­it­ing At­lanta and spent an af­ter­noon at Un­der­ground At­lanta, where I was cap­ti­vated by a glass blower work­ing at his shop. I was so cap­ti­vated that I pur­chased a hand­blown Klein bot­tle (not cheap). Then, I faced the dilemma of pack­ing it well enough to bring home in my (checked) lug­gage with­out break­ing. I wrapped lots and lots of cloth­ing around it, and it made it safely. Still have it, un­scathed more than four decades later, safely en­sconced on dis­play in a china cab­i­net!”

“Prob­a­bly the most ridicu­lous sou­venir we’ve bought in re­cent mem­ory is the mono­railthemed rab­bit plush that we bought from the vend­ing ma­chine in the Seat­tle mono­rail sys­tem. Though I sup­pose the rab­bit isn’t that strange. It’s more the fact that we took the mono­rail trip from West­lake Cen­ter to Seat­tle Cen­ter and back for the sole pur­pose of buy­ing the rab­bit af­ter we had de­clined to buy it ear­lier in our visit. We got off the mono­rail go­ing one-way and al­most im­me­di­ately got back on go­ing the other way (stop­ping for a quick photo with Mono­rail Man as one does), con­fus­ing the heck out of the staff. Our dig­i­tal photo al­bum for the trip has a se­ries of pho­tos re­lat­ing to rab­bit ac­qui­si­tion, in­clud­ing our group suc­cess photo at the end.”

“Many years ago, dur­ing a busi­ness trip to Den­ver, I pur­chased a flower vase shaped like a cow­boy boot (just slightly smaller than ac­tual size), painted cobalt blue and dec­o­rated with mul­ti­col­ored dol­lar signs. I can­not re­mem­ber what prompted the pur­chase, but it proved an amaz­ing con­ver­sa­tion piece over the years in many dif­fer­ent apart­ments. Now I’m slightly nostal­gic be­cause I don’t know what ul­ti­mately hap­pened to it. For­tu­nately, there are pho­tos.”

“Back when there was a DDR, and I was a col­lege stu­dent trav­el­ing in Europe, you had to ex­change real Deutsche Marks with the com­mu­nist kind, i.e. worth­less out­side of East Ger­many. So I spent mine on a non­de­script Ger­man beer mug, de­pict­ing a pas­toral scene the likes of which weren’t com­mon in East Ger­many back in the day. I still have it 34 years later, as it re­minds me of how things change over time.”

“Does buy­ing a whole ’nother suit­case to put all the sou­venirs in count?”

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