Why did I buy that?

I think I am getting past it – shopping that is – when I am travelling.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love shopping for things I can use – like clothes or shoes – especially in exotic places like the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul or the Silk Markets of Hanoi.  But cut me out with knick knacks.  I am really done.  I think I am moving into that part of my life where I yearn for simplicity and order.  Really – I have to look at some of the things I have from my travels and say to myself  “What the hell were you thinking of when you bought this?”.


Take this alabaster cat.   It’s horrible.  It’s heavy.  It’s not particularly well made.  It was at the end of our tour in Egypt and we were taken to the alabaster shop, shown ancient tools still used today – to make badly carved cats and vases.  I felt bad.  The shop owner followed me around the store while I desperately looked for something that wasn’t going to cost an arm and a leg.  I felt I should really buy something – and I like cats.   Mmmmm – this was one of my mistakes.

Let’s not even talk about the bangles that made my wrist go green or the pure cotton woven shirts that disintegrated in the washing machine.

My colleagues are just as bad … look at their desks…..
anni desk amanda desk

Vered desk  donna desk

Mind you – I do have a few little bits and pieces that I am quite fond of.  The peat Celtic cross I bought in Ireland, the medieval soldier from Germany and the Buddha from Vietnam.
cross buddha and soldier






And then there are those cute hats I bought in Vietnam which I have hanging on the wall.  And they are special because I saw the lady making them.
DSC_0352   hats

How can I throw any of these away?  They are all memories – some good some bad but on a snowy day in Calgary they remind me and take me back again and again.

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. A very good friend came up with a great idea several years ago. She takes pics of some outrageous trinket and then sends the pic with the caption “I did not buy this for you while I was on vacation. Aren’t you glad?” and I always am!


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