“Many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased.” – John Steinbeck
After reading a fellow blogger’s wonderful post (a bunch of old bus tickets) about saving her bus tickets meant for recycling in order to revisit her travels, I realized I had a stash of the very same thing – tissue paper thin bus tickets from the colourful local buses of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) as well as the newsprint texture of tickets saved from urban journeys in San Francisco (USA) and Toronto (Canada).
I left an enthusiastic comment and her reply inspired a closer look at the ephemera I had carefully tucked away in a vanity drawer. No matter where I travel or find myself sipping on a cup of tea, I’ll often collect a business card, napkin or menu – I’ve even brought home empty tea sachet packets and tins. A beloved masala chai tea tin from the Samovar Tea Lounge in San Francisco sits on my writing desk holding favourite pens and three feathers (an eagle feather discovered on a sea-kayaking trip off of Northern Vancouver Island (British Columbia, Canada), a crow feather found on a walk through the park and a raven feather brought home after its owner plucked it out). Just looking at that tin evokes a memory of a pastel coloured sunset over the city as we sat outside enjoying a fragrant tea after a long day of sightseeing.
A slim paper menu acts as a Harry Potter port key sending me back to New York (USA) and the mouth-watering dishes of TA Cocina, a Mexican Grill we came across on 9th Avenue after we were denied service at a well-known Italian restaurant for having our suitcases with us ready to catch the overnight Greyhound bus back to Toronto. To find shelter there amid familiar scents became one of the highlights of our whirlwind three day trip.
Some of my cache are too precious to recycle despite being wrinkled and creased – one, a folded square of paper showing us the way to the Hotel Socovan in Guanajuato (Mexico), faded from too much handling helped us to locate this cool hotel accessed by a dark tunnel in a Mexican city new to us. We will never forget its hidden tropical hued courtyard, copper sinks and unique tunnel entrance!
Other nostalgic paper offerings remind us of local farmer’s markets we frequented (Puerto Vallarta), Thai restaurants we ate at (San Francisco, New York) while some pieces were kept for their quotes and poetry (Bryant Park, New York, Mt. Shasta, California). Complimentary pens and notepads find their way to a blue and white Wedgewood creamer on top of the vanity or are added to a stack of repurposed notebook paper.
A battered travel journal is beginning to fill with some of my unruly collection – one item is a bill left in our standard suite at the very retro Asta Apartment Hotel in Barbados. After a long flight from Vancouver with a layover in Toronto, the sweet staff had left some amenities for us and I never fail to smile when I see one important notation – a bottle of rum! Any items not wanted or needed could be returned and the bill altered. That thoughtful gesture set the tone for a wonderful week in the sun.
One dear business card was picked up from a simple pottery shop in Kyrenia (Cyprus), called “Savvas” Pottery Ltd. I chose a lovely glazed terracotta cat figurine covered in black and brown spots with kohl rimmed almond eyes. It sits on top of our hallway bookcase and every time I glance at its mysterious face, the scent of lemons and the bright blue Mediterranean sea fill my mind.
Those saved bus tickets and other papery bits allow me to time travel during a time when wandering has been curtailed leaving me grateful that memories like these are just an open drawer away.
Note: If you want to read the post that inspired mine, please check out : https://shrubaboti.wordpress.com and look for her post, a bunch of old bus tickets.