Readers name items brought from overseas

By Armond Noble
This item appears on page 77 of the December 2011 issue.

An ITN subscriber e-mailed, “I subscribe to other travel magazines. Yours is, easily, the most useful.”

Thank You. We work hard for it to be so. Of course, it’s also due to the efforts of all of our great readers who send in their travel experiences, describing the good and the bad.

We’re looking for some more input. Sports! When you are overseas, do you enjoy sports, either as a participant or an observer? Golfing in Scotland? Fishing? Watching the Grand Prix in Monaco? Birding? If you write in with the details, others may share in the enjoyment you receive.

I asked you to tell us what everyday items you bring home from overseas. Evenyl Roemmich, Stockton, CA, wrote, “While I treasure my Russian lacquer boxes, artifacts from Egypt, Lladro from Barcelona, cloisonné and cinnabar from my first trip to China, a statue of David from Florence, handmade souvenirs from Peru and Argentina and many others, my most useful souvenir is the silk comforter I purchased in Suzhou, famous for its silk, on my last trip to China. I’ve used it 24/7, except in the heat of summer, for 12 years now.”

Gordon Fowler, St. Joseph, MI, related, “My wife and I are both interested in antique maps and cheerfully recommend The Map House of London (54 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW3 1NY, U.K.; phone 44 [0] 20 7589 4325, fax 7589 1041). We have done business with them, both on site (be sure to go upstairs) and over the overseas phone. They’re knowledgeable and honest, which is important for us amateurs.

“Similarly, in Australia, we had a great experience with Gerard Willems Antique Prints, Maps & Framing (10 Argyle St., Constitution Dock, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia; phone +61 3 6234 7024), who shipped our inexpensive purchases with great care and efficiency. We were most impressed with the stock and, more importantly, the people.”

Theresa Egan, Odenton, MD, tells, “While on a day visit to Cordova, Spain, I was in a small boutique in the Jewish Quarter. I heard this wonderful guitar music and asked about it. I wanted to buy the CD, but it seemed too expensive. Well, the music stuck in my head. When I was in Sevilla, I went to many music stores looking for the CD. I finally found it. When I asked for it, the elderly gentleman acknowledged the gifted ability of the artist. The CD is ‘Rincones de España’ by Maria Esther Guzman.”

Theresa added, “On another occasion, I was having a late lunch in an elegant restaurant in Morelia, Mexico. The singing I heard caused me to ask about it. I ran down the street to Sanborn’s and bought it, ‘Un Bolero Por Favor’ by Nana Mouskouri.”

Ed Graper, Goleta, CA, said, “I brought home a family. I have traveled to the Philippines three times to visit Holy Family Home and brought home a wonderful family of girls. Of course, they are in my heart and not in my house. But that makes them even more visible, for they own my heart. What I can do for these wonderful, once-abused girls is a pleasure. Their hugs and squeals of joy make my visits the highlight of my life.”

Ed continued: “It may seem hard to do, because it takes a bit of relation building and, of course, a bit of generosity. It’s not hard. There are, tragically, a vast number of similar facilities in most third-world countries. Virtually all welcome visitors with amazing warmth and joy. Nothing you bring home will give you more happiness than a bunch of goofy kids! For others who may be interested, visit

To close, don’t forget, we’d like to hear from you. Tell us what you’d like to see more of in ITN, what you’d like to see less of, and on.