Souvenirs - the good, the bad, and the ugly
To bring something back from a trip taken is an older tradition than most would think and it’s one that’s still going strong today.
As a traveler, you probably have a motley collection of souvenir paraphernalia. Or maybe you’re the type that picks up that one “thing” from each place you visit *cough patches cough*.
Whatever your fancy, we hope you’ll enjoy our ranking of “the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” in the souvenir world.
The Good:(Street) Paintings
Ever wonder why the street paintings you see on your travels look like they’re as good as anything you’d find in a gallery? Because they probably are, for a hundredth of the price. If you can verify that said street artist actually painted what he’s hawking, then in our humble opinion paintings are the way to go because:
They’re made by a local artist (or should be)
They’re relatively inexpensive and if you do buy in the upper range at least it’ll be something beautiful you’ll appreciate for a long time
They roll up to travel size
Once you’re back at home you can invest in some nice framing and add something to your home that sparks joy whenever you look at it
We rest our case.
The Bad: Magnets
Ok so……this choice is admittedly political. As a company that sells patches, magnets are our natural enemies in the souvenir shop. They offer travelers a similar value proposition - a small and inexpensive keepsake that you can display on another item.
For example, you could stick our patches on a favorite jacket, travel bag, hat, laptop, shirt, pants, notebook, phone case, or pretty much any other non-organic item on planet Earth. And magnets go on fridges and….mini fridges, I guess.
Right, so maybe magnets are actually terrible souvenirs that you should never buy unless you plan to live for the 500 years they’ll take to decompose. Also, leading scientists have neither confirmed nor denied that magnets have disrupted the planet’s magnetic fields and are responsible for climate change. Or that baby seals don’t choke on them. Still wanna buy a magnet? You sicken me.
We patiently await the magnet industry’s rebuttal (who we’re guessing is an oligarchic monopoly crime syndicate).
The Ugly: this thing
The infamous Cane Toad souvenir
Why…….do these things exist. We’ve all seen them, abominations of the souvenir world, ghastly to behold and yet….the darker part of our soul kinda wants to buy them. What are they? The oft used term is - kitschy.
As defined by Oxford Languages - “considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.”
Gah we can’t look a-way. What secret power does a taxidermized toad with a walking cane, or a flamingo wearing a sombrero, or a snow globe inside a snow globe have over us? These things are everywhere so people must be buying them right? There’s even a book about them!
Like black magic, we assume the power of kitschy souvenirs is not real, yet we’re not sure enough of that to risk upsetting the dark forces that may seek revenge on us. Therefore we withhold any official judgement on these…special souvenir cousins of ours.