Travel Treasures

69018 Yes, I do own an ulu, the legendary knife of the Yukon. I got it at an Anchorage farmer's market, and it occupies an honored place in my kitchen right next to the reindeer antler bottle opener that I purchased in Finland, and the stacking Gorbachev doll that I bought from black-market teenagers in Siberia. "You want Gorby doll?" they whispered as I passed them on the sidewalk. "Take me to your leader," I replied.

What are some of your travel treasures? I'm a great sucker for posters and popular culture items and unusual foodstuffs. In Tokyo, I got my hands on a poster of a cool guy who looked like a Japanese Robert Mitchum smoking a cigarette, with the cryptic message, "Speak Lark." I also bought a pack of cookies because the box said, in English, "Satisfaction of creating deliciousness." I keep them next to the potato chips from England called "teenagers," the tarragon Dijon mustard from Dijon, the Russian canned fish, and the French jam made from violet petals.

I have a Wallace & Grommet poster in French that I bought from a video store in Burgundy for two bucks, but my most sensational poster find came from Dubrovnik, Croatia. There, I wandered into a video store in a quiet neighborhood one morning and saw Bill Murray sitting on a bed in his bathrobe and slippers. The poster was for "Lost in Translation," and it was in Croatian, making it the ultimate pun. I asked the lady behind the counter if I could buy it, and she just gave it to me.

Quite delicious, indeed, with much satisfaction. What are some of your greatest travel finds?


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