Tags: souvenirs, souvenir magnets, travel etiquette, travel customs, travel manners, etiquette questions, manners and etiquette
MS. BEHAVING’s tasteful penthouse is sprinkled with trinkets from her travels, but she draws the line at some aspects of souvenir gathering. To wit:
A READER WRITES: At my office, people bring back souvenirs of their travels for all, and it’s getting increasingly elaborate. I’m off to Spain in a couple of weeks and really don’t want to spend my vacation time or money shopping for a dozen people.
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: Stop the madness! Ms. Behaving reminds one and all that what we know as a noun began as a verb – a French one – meaning “to remember.” As in: remember your trip. You don’t want others to remember your trip if they weren’t on it, nor do you want them to remember they spent their week doing spreadsheets while you were tanning on the Costa Brava. So let all know that you don’t have a budget for trinkets and, while you adore them, you’ll return to the office empty-handed. Ms. Behaving firmly believes that by doing so, you will be giving your co-workers a gift beyond measure.
A READER WRITES: When my husband and I travel, he buys every cheap souvenir he can. Our bookshelves are beginning to look like a tacky carnival. Can I save our next trip from this?
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: Make a sacred pact: Tell him that if he limits himself to one or two small – small – cheesy things per trip, you promise to forgo one of those museums he dreads. Ms. Behaving thinks this is also a good time to remind him that the tacky things he covets are probably made in a distant Asian land far, far from the city you’re visiting, aren’t local … and therefore not really souvenirs.
WHAT’S YOUR QUANDARY? Have questions about etiquette, local or global travel customs or awkward moments on the road? Fear not! Ms. Behaving is ready to answer. Send your queries (putting "Ms. Behaving" in the subject line) .