On the hunt for tourist tat of a certain satisfied quality – an intangible enjoyment in the crap yet strangely appropriate ; postcards and fridge magnets are my too main joys. From a nearby extremely Englishified seafrontah I obtained a choice selection of this and that, tit and tat : postcards ; an image of sardines skewered on spikes and barbequing in white ashes, an uncalledfor caption reads Torremolinos transforming a beautiful picture into pure tat ; two dramatic black and white postcards, one showing the extreme Spanish masculinity of a bullfighting matador cooly sweeping aside a goring bull, the second is of Spanish femininity, a flamenco dancer with arms held high and dress spinning widely ; a third in black and white is an 'ilarious image of a painted wall indictating the directions to male and female servicios, while in the foreground a dog marks his servicios by pissing on a wall ; in the 1800's three hatted ladies in sepia tip-toe out of the sea while holding up their long dresses to knee-level , but in the 2000's three topless touchy-feely thong-wedgied women gaze toward the horizon ; in Costa del Sol a shivering man on a sunny beach shits in a fridge ; and evolution becomes mainly about the importat developments of tits, long hair, and high heels.
In other places, whose names have temporarily escaped me, along the Costa del Sol I have aquired a Spanish style fan which partially fell apart after less than one hour, some Gibraltar postcards and a fridge magnet (more about that later), a bottle opener/sardine barbeque fridge magnet, a fantastic white sun hat with a black band, and two new octopuses for my collection (both cuddly, three euro each from Carrefour, one is named Pulpo Paul and has the look of Zig and Zag about it). Aside from all that crap I have one bottle of Powers, bought in Gibraltar, as my duty-free allowance.
Imagine you were in Spain, perhaps visiting the country for the first time – maybe even it is your first visit abroad. You are looking for that one idea souvenier of your brave voyage - hurled hundreds of miles through the air in a gigantic steel bird, immersed in a strangly familiar, yet disturbingly different culture – what single item could you take home to best remember your times abroad? You trawl the countless souvenire shops stocked largely with the same stuff – postcards, paper-weights, snow globes, plaques, bells, Haribo, international newspapers, t-shirts...
You stop at the t-shirts... What a great idea ; with a t-shirt you could both remember your travels and advertise to strangers that you have been somewhere. Maybe the strangers haven't been there, and they might experience jealousy. You look through the racks of Spanish bull t-shirts, someone went to Spain and all I got was this lousy t-shirt t-shirts, beach babes, place names, local symbols, sun, sea and sand – all emblazoned on t-shirts. And then you come across one grander than them all – what better way to remember those blissfull few days spent in the sun of Southern Spain than a t-shirt baring the image of a squidgy alien smoking a joint next to a pot leaf. Yes, this must be the ideal souvenir – unless you buy this you will entirely forget every enjoyable moment abroad. I didn't buy it.