GeekNights Thursday - Souvenirs

Tonight on GeekNights, we talk a bit about souvenirs. In other news, I hope you voted in the primaries if you could. There are two power seeking coalitions in the US, so if you can vote, you have to join one of them. Uranus Opens And Closes Every Day To Let Out Planet’s Solar Wind.

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Things of the Day

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My problem?

I am a fan of souvenirs that are useful. Mugs and drinking glasses are good ones.

Do concert posters count as souvenirs? If so that’s probably my favorite (ok technically it was a podcast liveshow but that doesn’t sound as cool), up there with a mug I use a lot.

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In Japan, souvenirs are a bigger deal, because each place has its own famous local thing. In America, it’s just the same stuff rebranded for location

Yeah, it’s a totally different souvenir culture. I always like picking up a cellphone charm of the local mascot character and when I worked in Japan, I would get a medium box of individually-wrapped local specialty to bring back to the office to share.

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@Apreche You still totally collect souvenirs still, every PAX hoodie is proof of that. The closest I go is badges at previous conventions , I keep them and have them on a hanger I keep in the closet and bust out when I want to relive some nostalgia.

That’s something you can wear. It’s not a do-nothing like a snow globe.

I have one PAX shirt from each location and every non-ugly PAX hoodie. I otherwise don’t buy clothing as souvenirs.

Lately I’ll get a mug if it’s some place I really like. Even that is pretty infrequent. In the last five years, that’s a mug from the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library and a Rosetta Stone mug from the British Museum. They’re not on a special shelf or anything, just in rotation with the other mugs. I get a nice memory when I use them.

It used to be a thing where gaming conventions would include a commemorative die. I haven’t gotten a new one in ages, but I do have a transparent cube to display them on my bookshelf.

I buy shirts from concerts as souvenirs. For vacations I usually just buy something that I’ll remember is from that place but I would buy anywhere.

I remember going to an Anime convention long ago. I hadn’t ever been to one before. I’d saved loads of money to buy stuff there. Once I got there I discovered there was nothing worth buying. It was all just junk. Bought nothing.

Went to india recently. Bought a small carpet.

Oh, sweet! Marc Hendry is Rym’s TotD!

I discovered him a couple of years ago. He makes really detailed analyses on scenes in famous animated movies.

I can’t stop myself from buying stuffed animal souvenirs. I’ll be disdainfully browsing through all the lame tchotchkies in the gift shop, and suddenly I’ll see a plushy and my brain just sort of shorts out, and five minutes later I’ll walk out with my brand new plush tiger cub, or bear wearing a t-shirt with the place’s name on it. Or a Catbus that doesn’t even make sense to be sold there, but hey, Catbus plushy.

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Japan is the worst for that. I have a stuffed fugu, apple, bunny, & frog that I have to figure out where it fits in my attempt to minimize my adult life.

I curbed that impulse in my 20s, and now I am having a baby who could have gotten use out of plushies. The nursery is going to be Ghibli themed. I really could have used those things - even the less expensive little stuffies that I denied myself could have made a really great mobile. But no, self denial, financial priorities, and pragmatism bit me this time.

At least it gives me an excuse to buy them now. X-D

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I have souvenirs from places I’ve traveled and worked. A traditional Afghan hat, oil directly from an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, an antique dagger from Saudi Arabia… they are wonderful memory aids for me for place’s I’ve been and thing’s I’ve done. Are they “better” than a plastic snow globe? They weren’t mass produced, they aren’t meant for general consumption by a tourist, but no they aren’t any better as a memory aid as a spoon or a snow globe or a any other item.

Istanbul is an amazing city and yes, you can go to the museum and touch 2000 year old Roman sarcophagi, it blowns my mind.

As far as scams in Istanbul go, the cab driver tried to charge me 300 dollars US for what should have been a 10-15 dolar US cab ride. I didn’t budge and he got very threatening and scarry, but when I insisted we get the Police he reset the meter and I left without incident. I also had someone try to hand me my “wallet” that a I dropped, which allows them to see where you check to check your wallet and lets them know where to pick pocket you. I didn’t react and told him to stop trying to scam me and they left me alone. I also had a guy follow me and after doubling back twice I was able to dodge him, not sure what he had intended. So yeah, Istanbul is amazing, but lots of scams for sure.

This was a pretty surreal Thing of the Day for me, because I actually know Marc Hendry; we’re from the same small town and he went to college with my wife. I had no idea he was so well known online, so I didn’t connect the names at first.

I showed him the episode and he said it was weird watching himself being talked about, but he’s glad you enjoyed it.