My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Etsomnia™ Volume XXXIIIa: Souvenirs R Us

15 Comments

The ultimate international item: Netherlands souvenir, shipped from the U.S., and made in . . . let’s say it together . . . China.

Et·som·ni·a (/etˈsämnēə/), noun, 1. a sleep disorder caused by obsessive Etsy browsing. 2. the surprising arrival of weird handmade merchandise ordered when one is only half conscious. (True story.)

During my late-night Etsy wanderings, I noticed that the site has a surprising number of so-called souvenirs for sale. Not your run-of-the-mill tourist-trap gold-painted plastic Eiffel Towers and Brooklyn Bridges. No sir! These items are a little more, let’s just call them unique.

For the record, as a native New Yorker, I generally look down my nose at souvenirs. However, I found a surprising number (and by surprising number, I mean more than none) of beautiful items which I would absolutely consider if they were actually from the places they purport to commemorate. And it is hard to consider something a legit souvenir when you’ve ordered it off the internet, but let’s just set that aside for now.

As usual, links to the items for sale appear below each picture. For more Etsy fun, check out all my weekly Etsomnia™ posts.

It may seem like they're dialing this one in, but I have to admit the description is pure genius. "*also available in 800 most commonly used languages in NYC. *May contain traces of Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens or Staten Island." By Cooperativ

It may seem like they’re cheating, but I have to admit I think both the idea and the packaging are genius. “Also available in 800 most commonly used languages in NYC.” “May contain traces of Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens or Staten Island.” They totally get NY. By Cooperativ (other cities available)

How sad. Not even Waldo knows where he is. By Claudes Wonders

How sad. Not even Waldo knows where he is. (Hint: he’s in London.) By Claudes Wonders

I was a big fan of this tuk-tuk (rikshaw) from Thailand until I realized it was made of Coca-Cola cans. Ugh. By SomethingInTheBox

I was a big fan of this Thai tuk-tuk (3-wheeled rikshaw taxi) from Thailand until I realized it was made of Coca-Cola cans. America ruins everything. By SomethingInTheBox

This relief map of the Hawaiian islands is actually a lovely souvenir. Except that it ships from Minneapolis. By Crafterall, who offers a few other locations as well

This relief map of the Hawaiian islands would make a very handsome souvenir (were it not from Minneapolis). By Crafterall (other maps available)

Not great, but at least it makes more sense than the inexplicable proliferation of dolphin souvenirs we found in the Ozarks. By VintageEclecticity

Not great, but at least it makes more sense than the inexplicable proliferation of dolphin souvenirs we found when we passed through the Ozarks years ago.

Epicl hideous plastic German souvenir brooch. By DecadenceandDecay

Epicly hideous plastic German souvenir brooch. I have never hated an item of clothing enough to put this thing on it.

This is reminding me of something, but it's not Poland. By PinkyBijoux

“So what’s that thing around your neck? Don’t tell me, let me guess. Um, hash browns? Small intestines? Trollface? I give up. Poland? I never would have guessed.”

Boy, in the fifties, people really would buy just any piece of crap, wouldn't they? By Vintarama

In the 1950s, people really would buy just any old piece of crap, wouldn’t they?

Aggressively ugly Graceland ashtray with googly-eyed owls. Why? Why owls?

IT BURNS. For shame, Dollywood. For shame.

Of all the iconic shapes that could represent New Orleans' rich history, why an iron? Anyone? By PrettyPaulaProducts

Of all the iconic shapes that could represent New Orleans’ rich history, why an iron? Anyone?

I would only buy this hideous Romania souvenir clock if I was trying to remind myself not to go back.

While the sentiment may be accurate, do you really want it hanging on your wall? Alaska souvenir sold by HeydayRetroMart

While the sentiment may be accurate, do you really want to put this on anything you own?

Beautiful pendant with geometric map of Barcelona in gold or silver. By TaliaSari

Beautiful pendant with geometric map of Barcelona in gold or silver. By TaliaSari (other cities available)

Souvenir fungus from Russia. Because . . . why? By RusDecor

Souvenir fungus from Russia. Alright, sir.

No comment. By RetroFreshTees

How odd that they made that all-important “PA” so small. Must have been the printer’s error. By RetroFreshTees

I have a confession to make. My favorite souvenirs of all time are stolen souvenirs. Small things. Ashtrays. Coffee cups. And matches. This beaut is sold by JetsGoodies

Aside from a curable STD from a famous person, this may be the best Hollywood souvenir ever. By JetsGoodies

Teeny tiny teapot from Istanbul (not Constantinople). By AlalaBanu

Teeny tiny teapot from Istanbul (not Constantinople). By AlalaBanu

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

15 thoughts on “Etsomnia™ Volume XXXIIIa: Souvenirs R Us

  1. Love the Hollywood ashtray…and your pithy, creative comments for all of them! – Karen

    Liked by 1 person

  2. trollface… haha, good one XD

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved the (not Constantinople) thing! 😉 Also, strangely, the Russian fungus-guy…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved the little teapot from Istanbul, but what is with the mushroom- headed thing or that awful. hideous brooch?!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I needed a good laugh today. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When we were in Mali (2005) we saw street-side workshops making amazing things from recycled cola cans. We brought home a motorcycle and managed to straighten it out after it emerged from the suitcase. I doubt that Mali has access to Etsy, even today, but the ingenuity, skill and resourcefulness of the people trying to make even a small income from tourists was impresive.

    Liked by 1 person

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