The word "souvenir" has, of course, slightly extended itself in meaning until it now denotes almost anything either breakable or useless.
Bits and pieces joined together to make a jigsaw complete. The same is the case with souvenirs. They are the bits and pieces you often get back from your adventures and trips, and it is these bits and pieces that when put together become the living memories of your holidays. The little fridge magnets from Singapore, the tee shirts that proclaim an undying ‘love for Goa’, the ship in the bottle that always made you wonder how they got in there? These are just pieces from all over the world that have found their place in your home. If put together, they can become the best memory box that ever was!
But, not all of us are that lucky to get a desirable souvenir as a gift. There have been people who have chosen unimaginable gifts as souvenirs. You are not alone. Having got postcards from the world over, after reading this article, you’ll probably be more thankful for simple souvenirs.
1. Snake Liquor, Vietnam:
Commonly known as Snake Wine, this unique drink is produced by infusing whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. Moreover, the snakes that are chosen to be induced in wine are preferably venomous but pose no harm to the drinker. It may pose a lot of harm to the animal in question as many claims that the snakes are drowned alive in alcohol. Irrespective of whichever side you choose to believe: safe or unsafe: this surely isn’t a souvenir that can be called ordinary.
2. Dollar Bills, Cook Island:
The beauty of this island remains incomparable, yet there are more than just seashells that you can collect from this lovely island. It’s their unique three-dollar bills that are said to exist more outside the island than on it!
3. Green Tea Kit Kat:
The mention of green tea makes the tongue roll back and the sweet buds shy away. But the mention of chocolate, makes the heart yearn, the mouth water and heads turn. Often cited to be unhealthy (apart from dark chocolate), chocolate is the quick fix for almost everything: mood swings, hunger, cravings, and even a grumpy child! This invention is the ultimate meeting of healthy green tea and the yummy snack of KitKat. Take a break, Have a healthy Kitkat!
4. Bezoar Stone, India:
Said to be a coveted stone of India and the middle east, primarily for its healing properties, the Bezoar Stone is famous for its healing properties. If the story of a stone possessing healing properties does not sound bizarre to you, the fact that the Bezoar Stone being extracted from the gall bladders of goats, porcupines, and camels should ideally make the toughest person squirm.
5. Voodoo Dolls, Haiti and New Orleans:
The idea of Voodoo itself is quite scary and literally out of this world, but surprisingly, Voodoo is used more for healing purposes rather than for black magic activities. The locals in Haiti claim that Voodoo has been healing diseases and ailments for centuries now. The dolls used in Voodoo then, are also very popular These dolls aren’t quite pleasing to the eye and their connection as being the substitutes for human beings isn’t pleasing in the slightest!
6. Elephant Dung Coffee, Thailand:
As undesirable as it may sound, this coffee when tasted by experts is said to be of a really smooth flavor. The process goes something like this: the coffee is fed to and digested by the elephants, the excreta is thoroughly processed to form the smoothest form of coffee. If you can digest the process and be okay with it, the coffee can be something to talk about once you’re back from your Thailand holiday.
7. Scorpion Lollipops, Arizona:
From most of our international holidays, the one thing we all get back is sweet treats. This one sounds risky and dare-devilish, but is quite the contrary.
8. Troll Dolls, Scandinavia:
Coming from a beautiful and picturesque country like Scandinavia, people back home would expect you to get souvenirs that would be just as beautiful. These Troll Dolls beg to differ. Scandinavian folklore is rich because of their tales of Vikings, of the naughty doings of Loki, the celestial paradise of Valhalla, and also of the rascals called the trolls. With beady little eyes, large bumpy noses, and an unpolished face, these trolls are also something you can get back from your visits to Scandinavia.
9. Deep-Sea Water, Hawaii:
Gifts of the deep seas are probably one of the most bizarre things you’ll read today. Pumped from 3000 feet below the ocean’s surface, the desalinated Mahalo water is very popular in Japan! It is said to be rich in minerals and is free of pesky pollutants, with its major selling point being naturally clean water, unlike the packaged substitutes available all over.
10. Scorpion Chocolates, Thailand:
Oven-roasted to retain its natural flavours and give it a crisp smoky flavour, these scorpions are later covered by dark chocolate. Fear not, these Scorpion Chocolates are tried and tested and are safe. The next time you book your Thailand Package, put this on your bucket list; you will have a story worth telling at social gatherings!
11. Possum Woollens, New Zealand:
New Zealand's natural diversity and richness are not a hidden secret. For a country that’s marvelously blessed with an amazing green cover, possum wool is not uncommon. They bet on it to be lighter and is distinctly warmer than sheep’s wool. To make it even more desirable, the locals claim that possum wool is one of the least flammable textiles around.
12. Canned Air, New York City:
Definitely, one of the most visited cities of all time, New York City has a persona of its own. But it doesn’t just end there. Besides having a distinct persona, aura, and buzz of its own, it now has its own can of air! This may seem like a pretty weird gifting idea to you, but if you have ever booked an air ticket to NY, the moment you step onto the New York soil, there’s nothing that can compare to that feeling.
13. Tuttuki Bako, Japan:
Not entirely weird, this souvenir from Japan can be tagged as being highly inventive. There is a hole in the side of the box, in which you can stick your finger. Once that is done, a digital representation of your finger will appear on the tiny screen! This interactive game has many versions one of which includes a tiny stick man who reacts to your finger poking him!
14. Biblical Harp, Israel:
These harps find their mention in the best-selling book in the world, the Bible. The Old Testament has a story of David playing the harp for the ailing king Saul, and apparently, a study proved that the music that was played on the harp did have some healing effects.
15. Tar Syrup, Finland:
Even though the tar syrup is not made out of the tar that people use to fill potholes on roads, it actually is obtained from pine sap! The people of Finland use this tar syrup as a topping for pancakes. It has a strong smoky flavor and has a strong aroma, which may not be very pleasing to your gastronomical universe.
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