Whenever I travel out of the country – or out of the state for that matter – I try to pick up a few keepsakes to take home. For me, choosing the right keepsake is a very delicate process. I am not one for tchotchkes or knick knacks, so I stay away from key chains, shot glasses, and such. But, what I do love are little things I can use around the house. The items can be fancy soaps, high-end teas, or other gourmet edibles to savor with friends or just by myself.
Because I am not able to get to Europe as often as I would like, whenever a friend is heading overseas, I politely remind her how much I love European goods. Ok, I actually beg and bribe my friends to bring me back something! So, when I heard that a girlfriend of mine from work was heading to Central Europe – Prague, Vienna, etc. – I promptly slipped her 10 Euro to pick me up some goodies.
So, on Tuesday of this week, I arrived at my desk to find that Central Europe had arrived to brighten my morning. And my goodies came in the form of:
Little scented guest soaps, shampoo, and hand cream – Budapest and Prague
Lip balm and a bath bar – Prague
Chocolates – Vienna
The chocolates were actually Belgian chocolates, but the box was purchased in Vienna. The box included seven pieces of dark chocolate-coated nougat (like marzipan), all wrapped in gold foil displaying a prominent picture Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of Austria’s primer composers.
Seeing a chocolate-covered Mozart (well, sort of) was a little wacky. But as I sat there taking a bite out of Mozart, I wondered … if New York or Chicago did something similar, who would the city include on the foil? President Obama? Abraham Lincoln? Michael Jackson? One thing is for sure, it wouldn’t be Kanye West!
Well, no matter who is on the cover of American chocolates, I sure am enjoying my Belgian chocolates and all of my other Euro fancies. These very simple trinkets are all I have to keep me physically connected to Europe – and that will have to do, at least for now.