Ten Thousand Villages

When I was in Boston I did a bit of shopping. While highlights include a mug and some tea, it was entering the Ten Thousand Villages shop that stole the show. Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade retailer. In the United States, if something is Fair Trade Certified it means that the individuals who made the product were fairly treated in their work. This includes being paid well, safe working conditions, and fair treatment. You can read more about fair trade on their website.

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Upon entering the shop, I was so overwhelmed by the many options of things to purchase that it took me a while before finally deciding what I wanted to take home with me. I found a collection of a variety of things made in this white and blue style. I was tempted to buy a little trinket box, but determined that I had too many of those. Instead, I opted for a measuring spoon set that I could actually use regularly.

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Along with your purchase you are given a print out providing details about the product and the artisans who made it. My favorite part is knowing that this measuring spoon set was made fairly by women in Vietnam.

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Vienna Souvenirs

When I was younger, I got a purple seashell on a family vacation. It currently sits on my bookshelf, always reminding me of that vacation whenever I catch a glimpse of it. That is why we buy souvenirs when traveling to new places. As reminders of the memories we made there. Here are the things I picked up while in Vienna to remind me of her.

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The Vienna Melody

The first thing I picked up, which as a book lover is no surprise, is an actual book. This one is called The Vienna Melody, translated to English by Ernst Lothar. It tells the story of the wealthy descendants of Christopher Alt, the piano key maker.

Many people have the tradition of picking up a particular souvenir item every where they travel to and growing a collection. I have noticed that one of the most common items collected are mugs. I have decided that I want to buy a book at every place I visit. In this way, I can grow a little international library. This particular book was purchased at Frick Ihre Buchhandung bookstore (www.buchhandlung-frick.at) located in the center of the city. I actually quite enjoyed it a lot because it was very modern and had a good diversity of both German and English books. It also had a good collection of architecture books on sale which was icing on the cake!

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Klimt Bookmarks

Speaking of books and collections, I also have a growing bookmark collection (hey, don’t judge me!) and picked up two with paintings of Gustav Klimt on them. I love how shiny they are.

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Klimt Mug

I actually do not believe I will ever be a mug collector. Mostly because there are only so many mugs you can use at a time, right? But right before this trip I actually ended up breaking my everyday mug. I decided to not go out and buy new one and instead pick one up on this trip. This is the one I ended up going with. And of course, it has a Gustav Klimt painting on it.

I actually did not buy this mug in the center of Vienna, where most of the souvenir stores are located. Instead, I got it at a store right across the street from the side (not the front) of the Hundertwasserhaus. There was the kindest old man who owned the store and it ended up being my favorite shop we visited.

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Sisi Compact Mirror

And lastly, I picked up this compact mirror with the fascinating Sisi on it. Actually, the legend and story of Sisi is quite the interesting one that I enjoyed very much learning about. I couldn’t help it. I might have fallen for Sisi.

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Do you pick up any souvenirs when you travel? Do you have a collection going on? Have you found a piece that you absolutely love?