You may remember when I explained my love of (and fear of hoarding) knick knacks. I vowed to try to be better. So did I totally kick my collecting knick-knack habit on our recent trip to Thailand and Bhutan?Short answer: no.
Long answer: I was betttterrrr. Right DH?
I claim there are a number of important complicating/compounding factors.
First, how many of you have gone to Thailand for the first time and not purchased anything? If this is you, I want to know how you did it. While I actually thought the markets in Cambodia in 2013 were better, I still couldn’t resist picking up something in Thailand.Second, will we ever return to Bhutan? I do not know. I’d love to, but it’s a long way and we have a lot of other bucket list priorities in the meantime. I wanted something to remember Bhutan by when I strolled through our condo, which is already overflowing with travel memorabilia.
Third, what, exactly constitutes a knick-knack? I contend I did better on the knick-knack front this time. I did not bring home any wooden phalluses (from one inch to three feet, you can find them in Bhutan), Buddhas, prayer wheels, or elephants. Success!
So the real question…what did we buy? Well, we purchased some gifts for others, handmade in Bhutan. We bought stamps in both countries (that seems like a legit collectors item…not a knick knack). We also bought DH a t-shirt in Thailand, and I got a tuk tuk charm for my charm bracelet. Yes, I did get another scarf, which coincidentally matches perfectly with my newly acquired teal better sweater. And no, I didn’t need either item. But they’re pretty.
And we bought one “big” item from Bhutan. I say “big” because it was about $35 (1800 ngultrum). It’s a carved, wooden mask, similar to those the Bhutanese use in the huge festivals they hold each year (called Tshechus). It’s a deer, and DH spotted it in the market after saying no to the scary ones I pointed out that had skulls as headdresses. He is easily spooked, so we had to get something that let him sleep at night. It’s awesome, and we both love it. We also purchased a wood carving at the national school that teaches Bhutanese crafts in Thimpu. It was not expensive, and is a flat wall hanging of a snow leopard. I think it’s cool!
I even turned down Tin Tin paraphernalia in Bhutan. Why would you only make Tin Tin embroidered shirts in child sizes?! And I’m not talking American child sizes that I can fit into, I’m talking like toddler sized shirts. I guess I could have purchased one for Toasty, but DH pulled/dragged (kicking and screaming?) me away from the Tin Tin table before I could really get a better look. All the more reason to move Brussels up on our bucket list…hehehe.
So all in all, incremental progress, right? I seem to be collecting less on every trip. Maybe my hypothesis was right after all–that the more you travel, the less you want to purchase? I do admit that more and more of it looks similar after awhile. Though both DH and I had our eye on a beautiful, huge, elephant painting in Chiang Mai. It’s a good thing we are out of wall space more or less. And there will be no upsizing our condo just for the sake of fitting more travel “memorabilia”, that’s for sure!
What did you buy in Southeast Asia? Did you find anything in Bhutan you just had to bring home?