Tag Archives: trinket

One person’s Mexican sugar mold is another’s bludgeon

Before becoming a favorite home d├ęcor item, wooden molds like this one were hard at work creating cones of brown sugar in Mexico. But as I found out when I tried to get one home on an airplane, a sugar mold isn’t just a great souvenir; it turns out one person’s Mexican sugar mold is another’s bludgeon.

Too large for my checked luggage, I affixed a rope handle and then slipped it only the belt of the x-ray machine. In a pre-9/11 world, little thought would have been paid to my travel find. But with post-9/11 goggles on, security told me that it would not be allowed as a carry-on. “It could be a bludgeon,” I was told.

Luckily, I had plenty of time to get back to the check-in counter and check the mold through to my final destination. However, with a tight connection, you can kiss that puppy goodbye. USAToday travel writer Laura Bly’s recent travels sidelined a precious memento. Read the saga here.

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Filed under Authentic, Home Furnishings, Mexico, Uncategorized, Wood Carving

A decade of starfish

silver bracelet from Hawaii

Heather bought this bracelet a gift shop near Waikiki Beach in 2004.

This silver bracelet with starfish charms is no ordinary piece of jewelry to its owner Heather Gooch, co-owner of Gooch & Gooch. Not only is it a fond memento of her trip to Hawaii in 2004, it also became a source of comfort on her flight home.

“I’ve always been a nervous flier,” she says. “When I saw there were ten starfish, I realized it was the same as a decade of beads on a rosary. I could say the rosary discreetly on my way home on the plane without freaking out other passengers.”

Purchased at a gift shop near Oahu’s famous Waikiki Beach, the bracelet’s charms are inlaid with mother of pearl.

“I wanted something nice,” Heather remembers. “This was a once in a lifetime trip and I wanted something nice to remember it by. I still wear it six years later. If there’s an important meeting that I have to go to, you might find it on my wrist. Truth be told, I see it as my good luck charm.”

Cost: approximately $12

Can’t get to Hawaii? Here are a few starfish bracelets you can order online:

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Filed under For Her, Hawaii, Jewelry, Oceana, United States

The Sumo Wrestling Radish

Sumo Wrestling RadishBecause the Taiwanese name for radish, “caitao,” sounds like the word for “good luck,” radishes have long represented luck at temples, elections and ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

But what’s the story with the radish in the sumo loincloth? Is it a cartoon imported from Japan?A good luck charm for wrestling matches? A Google search turned up nothing but a recently released Mandarin film called “Radish Warrior.”

This particular sumo-wrestling radish is intended to go on a car license plate, thus the nut and bolt on its backside.

The item was purchased on Jan. 19, 2009, in Taipei. It was a gift for a friend who likes personified fruits and vegetables.

Cost $80 TWD or $2.50 USD


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Filed under Car, Cartoon, Food and Beverage, Miscellaneous, Souvenir, Uncategorized