gift

A pandemic-era ode to every tourist’s guilty pleasure: The gift shop

Right now, of course, I can only do one of those things and when it comes to future travels, my outlook is far less sunny than that of Mr. Poe. The evil twins, pandemic and penury, have turned my Bucket List into a Shot Glass List.

When I have a minute to escape this Bosch painting we’re all in, I indulge in my new hobby — coveting. I look at websites of places I long to visit and, of course, the lovely trinkets I would bring back, and I wonder if I’ll ever go anywhere again.

I accept, for example, that I may never get to go to Zagreb, Croatia, to give live appreciation to the conceptual brilliance of the original Museum of Broken Relationships. (There’s also a Los Angeles outpost.) Thanks to its virtual component, though, I can feel the heartbreak and think “Wow, that sucks,” from afar. I

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