The Ultimate Kitsch Collection.
Even though we may have a love-hate relationship with funky junk, somehow these ash trays, key chains and stuffed animals end up in our luggage. Doug Lansky believes most of us have a hidden urge to accumulate tacky trinkets while we travel. In the 14th and 15th Century, metal badges were highly sought after souvenirs for Pilgrims. When the postcard was invented, people were able to send impressions to their friends. Finally, the World Fairs of London, Philadelphia and Chicago let to a massive growth of the souvenir industry.
Due to our recent decluttering efforts, there were not that many souvenirs in our house, which is probably a good thing. There are simple ways to create the perfect Souvenir. Take an icon or architectural building and turn it into household items, like bottle openers, clocks, coffee mugs, salt and paper shakers or shot glasses. Use something already kitsch and put the name of a city or country on it. Think snow dome or artsy umbrellas. Most things will turn out kitschy, when decorated with sea shells or naked body parts. Some of those souvenirs are not incredibly pc. I doubt anyone will need testicle key chains but as long as they are out there, there must be a demand for that. Apparently, you get fined in Pisa for selling obscene souvenirs.
According to Lansky, souvenirs boost the economy, are an inexpensive marketing tool and satisfy tourist needs. For an average of $ 2 – 25, they offer us a brief substitute from the everyday life. Lansky presents us a cornucopia of crap that is pure eye candy. It makes you wonder, why people throw all good taste overboard once they travel. These guilty pleasures are cheaply made and often useless and even though we are very aware of that, we still love this kitsch. They remind us, of good times long gone.
His definition of souvenirs only includes bought items. What about hand-made tokens from friends, pinched keepsakes or photo souvenirs? Bath robes magically disappear from hotels and places like the Hofbräuhaus probably lose dozens of glasses every week. (Little One “collects” stones from kindy.) In the age of cell phone photography, most of us have hundreds and hundreds of random pictures on our phones. The millennial selfie might be an entirely new form of souvenir.
Recommended for: kitsch collectors and souvenir hunters.
The Author: Doug Lansky is a mindful travel writer and the creator of signspotting. .
Perigee Trade, 2012
Do you collect Souvenirs?