Long ago, my mother taught me that if you see something you really want during your travels, buy it. Don’t wait. Because you might not see it again, and then you spend the rest of your trip searching in vain for the clear umbrella with matryoshka dolls on it. Oh, sure you’ll see lots of blue ones, but the clear one will elude you.
It feels like a silly travel rule when tons of souvenir stands sell millions of seemingly the same thing. But time and again, I’ve made this mistake.
We flew Dutch airline KLM for our European adventure, which meant we passed through the Amsterdam airport three times. The first time, we were here more than seven hours which was enough time to go into the city, have some beers and see the Anne Frank House. We had one minor glitch, though, because we put our coats in a locker near the gate where we arrived, without paying attention to where it was, or where our departing gate was, which led to our having to go through the security line and passport control twice, and being the last ones on the plane. They did not, however, call our names, tell us we were delaying the flight, and threaten to offload our luggage, which we heard them do to others on our second trip through.
After we’d been through security once, before we knew we’d have to do it again, we passed a chocolate shop called Leonidas. That’s our dog’s name!! I cooed, we hastily took a (not very good) picture with Rob’s digital camera, and I made a mental note to come back. Because it would be silly to buy a box of chocolates with your dog’s name on it at the beginning of a two-week trip to Europe. Not when you know you’ll have another chance on your way home.
Unless… getting back to that store on your way home would mean having to go through passport and security twice more. I mean, I love my dog, and I love chocolate, but he can’t read. Or eat chocolate.
Still, I’m pretty sure this is the biggest disappointment of the trip. Worse than not getting to see Lenin.