22 August 2007

Tourist shops

I read a travel magazine that inferred that tourist shops were some sort of low brow, second class sort of traveling. I was sort of disappointed to find out I was somehow substandard.

I like cheesy tourist shops with the city name on plates and such. If you go into a bunch of them on one street, you sort of discover the trademark images or ideas of a city. And you discover how much stuff made in China can be stamped with another city name. I don't generally buy all the stuff though occassionally something strikes me as my style or something I'm willing to take home.

I guess to be truly cultured in your travel, you're suppose to disdain these type of shops and only go places that display local artisans or something. Don't get me wrong, I like local artisan type shops too. It's just that I can see the mass appeal of the chanka-chank tourist places.

Also you have to keep in mind that there are degrees in these stores. I think of Florida ones - t-shirts, towels, and sea shells. Not much else. But here the big ones will have swords, ceramics, Toledo styled gold inlaid items, in addition to t-shirts, stuffed bulls, and shot glasses.

Viva la tourist trap!


  1. I never got into tourist shops because my dad always told me they were a waste of money. I didn't really decide that on my own.

    Golden likes to have trinkets from the different places that we travel, and she likes me to get stuff like that for her when I travel without her. So, we have our share of kitchy tourist stuff.

  2. I remember when we first got married, we got stuck in one of those tourist traps in Key West. Ended up leaving with a bunch of shirts we didn't need. I'd like to think I'm a little wiser now.

  3. I like to collect magnets from places we have been. They are usually not expensive and will hopefully last.

    I don't think it's a big deal to like those shops as long as you don't spend lots of cash!

  4. I like to get postcards! I put them in with our photo boxes mixed with our regular pictures! It's Christmas 2000. Christmas 1997. Christmas 2004. "Oh look, remember when we were at Edisto Beach?" That was a fun trip!

    Postcards are also easier to pack! :)

  5. BB loves tourist shops, it's true. I don't find things I want to buy there though, not quality stuff generally, but stuff you bring your co-workers.

  6. I usually collect decks of playing cards. I kind of wish I had been collecting magnets instead. They are smaller and cheaper. What's more, I could have displayed them on my fridge! Good idea Sunrise.

  7. To remember my trips, I skip the shops and go strait to the parlor. Tattoo parlor that is. It is a good way to remember the places you have been every time you shower. Tattoo's are work very well because they are not bulky like playing cards and you won't loose them like you could with magnets.