I don’t know about you, but I don’t need little ceramic busses cram-packed with figurines and chickens on the roof. And I’ve seen them in Ecuador, in Guatemala, in Bolivia. Certainly I don’t need one that says Arequipa, Peru. I’m also all squared away on weavings, having bought more than my share at earlier points in life, and long ago learned that I don’t need or use them. I was tempted by the small reproduction rocoto (national pepper, if there is such a thing, in Peru) with a little person inside, but I knew it would just look dumb beside my fossil and rock collection, collect dust, and then probably break in the next earthquake (the fossils and rocks fared just fine, thank you very much).
I wasn’t really looking for anything in particular to commemorate my trip to Arequipa, though I did buy a prettily-colored hat (no earflaps) on my last night in town, which I then wore to a going away party for a friend of mine that’s moving to Buenos Aires. It’s said to be made of “baby alpaca,” which I pray means “wool from baby alpacas” and not actual ground up baby alpacas.
But back to the souvenir. I happened to wander into this shop:
Where I saw all manner of old things. Typewriters, pottery, china, pins, and boxes of 60s and 70s era postcards, with bizarre tones of green and yellow that don’t exist in nature, or at least don’t exist in modern days. Many of the postcards depicted parts of Peru, including many, many postcards of the Plaza de Armas in Arequipa. Here’s a picture I took so you can see what we’re dealing with.
And then there was this. Two soles, about 75 cents for a simple little black and white photo of the plaza, shown here held up in the plaza itself. That’s the Misti volcano, snow-covered in the black and white photo. It had no snow on it on our visit, as it was too late in the season. More pics of mountains in the next post (coming soon).
And then I tried to impose it into the shot itself, which required many conversations with many people, and visiting a woman named Maria in her office who found a guard with the key to let me up onto the balcony from which it was taken, but not before quizzing me on my marital status, and assuring me that love knows no age. And the photo didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted, but it was fun to give it a try, and I think I’ve found a new favorite souvenir for wherever I travel. And maybe (finally) a tiny piece of art to hang on my wall (the photo itself, not my recreation, though I’m fond of the above shot and might put the two together in a single frame).
The gauntlet has been thrown down. Whatcha got?
Hat tip to dearphotograph, which may have inspired this attempt, though I can’t remember actually thinking of the site at the moment I decided to do the shots. I love the site though, and you should visit it often.
You’d probably love the site dearphotograph.com !
yes, I think it was in the back of my mind. Perhaps I should give credit. In fact, I think I will!
Love, love, love this concept! totally agree that the whole cheesy souvenir thing is way beyond me… I accept your challenge and will try to come up with something challenge worthy on my next trip–can you wait a month?
absolutely. Have you checked out dear photograph? You could definitely do some with your family and home photos from back home. I’m going to try to make this a recurring event, but it’s not always possible to find old photos. I wonder who took the original and if they used to let people up on that balcony all the time. Now it’s only if a foreigner asks to go up, according to María.
Love your photos. The “dearphotograph” site really takes you back, doesn’t it? What a great idea.
Thanks, Sally! Also, thanks for your concern about my radio silence. Happens sometimes, not to worry. And yes, dear photograph is awesome, I love reading people’s short snippets. This photo doesn’t have any snippets, though I’d love to know about the original photographer!
Ace souvenirs…though why you didn’t buy a typewriter is beyond me? They are the best eva souvenirs and are allowed to be taken as carry on luggage!
Dearphotographs extra ace…i like your version, i think it works a treat.
oh I was so sorely tempted. But where to put it? how to keep it clean? How to prevent me from playing with it all day every day? I didn’t even ask how much they cost. And I’m sure they would have gotten along great with my old cameras. Oy, the old, it is so pretty!
I’m not the type to bring home souvenirs, but something like this – it’s a memory in the making. So very neat that they let you up to even TRY to recreate this image. 🙂 PS – your links don’t come out as links on Twitter…
Thanks Suki! I wasn’t thrilled with how they came out, but I will try again some other time with some other photo. And I copied some links that wcould be why, maybe something got lost in translation. Thanks for dropping by (And reteweeting!)
That looks super cool!
I am really regretful for not buying this awesome embroidery during my last trip to Peru. It would look really nice hanged in my room.
BTW, baby alpaca (or “maybe alpaca”, as a friend likes to say) is not made from baby alpacas, it’s just the name that identifies the wool from the first shearing, because it’s softer.
I love “maybe alpaca”! that’s hilarious. Sorry you didn’t get the embroidery. I’m not good at decorating the house, which is why I don’t need such things, though I was tempted by a painting or two. Then again, I was tempted by a couple of paintings at Bizart as well (U Católica), but I didn’t buy them, either. I guess I’m just like that. Still laughing at “maybe alpaca.”
I got one..it’s not a photo or a postcard…but the commercial image of a beer can in Torres del Paine But I didn’t take the can home in the end.
Hey Colin, tht’s cool! I’ve tried to get a good shot of the old 2,000 peso bill together with the church at Los Dominicos, but I can’t see one right now on my hard drive. Sounds like a challenge for later. BTW, I think I have a pic of me cold and forlorn on that hanging bridge. But I’m wearing gaiters, and there’s no way I’m showing that pic.
Great idea. I am always disappointed by the majority of souvenirs that look the same wherever you go.
What an interesting position the old photograph was taken from. Why didn’t the photographer go to the edge of the balcony? Was the view better, more artistic with the balcony rail included? Or was it the old fashioned equipment that needed a stand and space? Isn’t it fun trying to guess about the photographer.
I imagined that maybe they used to have tables up there, but I really have no idea. I like the pics better without the railing, and why wouldn’t you try to get both spires in? It’s a mystery, for sure! Thanks for weighing in!
Hey those photos w/in the photos are great! So very cool you found them and the same spots. Side note- wish they still made that Polaroid film that offers the scalloped edges.
I love the scalloped edges. I’m already thinking that if I frame it sometime, I’d want to mat it on something so that you could still see them. I wonder when thy stopped making that? It’s a good clue to the age of the photo! thanks for pointing it out!