Surely you’ll have some souvenirs at home from your past holidays. A keychain of the Colosseum in Rome, a magnet from ‘mind the gap’ in London, a miniature Eiffel Tower from Paris… These are the typical, plastic junk, made in China and sold for exuberant prices in shabby tourist shops. But this year, it’ll be different. You are going to come home with the most interesting souvenirs that will make everybody jealous.
Rahela Khorakiwala is an Indian woman who has a passion for water. Everywhere she goes, she takes her labels and plastic bottles with her to collect samples of water. Her large collection of 360 bottles includes water from the South Pole, Lake Michigan, The Jordan river and the Masai Mara in Africa. You could do the same thing with sand, rocks or seashells.
If you want something more exotic, how about Panda poop? In the Chinese province of Sichuan, the officials were fed up with cleaning more then 25 tons of Panda poop every month. Now, it will be smashed, dried and sterilized and a local handicraft shop will turn it into bookmarks, notepads etc. It also comes in all colours! It is said that panda poop doesn’t smell bad at all, and even has a sweet aroma that smells a bit like tea.
How about a piece of rusted barbwire in a box! It is sold at the border between North and South Korea, and for less then 15 dollars it’s yours. Maybe it’s not something to hang above the fireplace though. If you’re looking for some kitsch for your bedroom, why not buy a Mosque alarm clock during your visit to the Middle East? It comes in pink, blue or ivory and wakes you up every morning with the Azan (the call to prayer). Nice!
Are you in for some adventure? Then take some typical souvenirs from your home town with you (especially if you are going to another continent) and ask the locals if they want to trade it for something strange. You might end up with beautifully decorated chop sticks in Asia, a weird poster or table cloth from Eastern Europe or some useless gadget in America!
In Spain, you can find loads of ‘typical’ souvenirs such as fans and plastic flamenco dolls. But why not by something useful and more special, such as a bottle of olive oil, some saffron, a flamenco CD or Jamón (cured ham). Rent the best apartments in Malaga, and take a bit of Spanish culture home with you.