Collector: Um, do you have any, like, souvenirs you’ve gotten from any place?
Informant: Yes. I collect keychains from different places.
Collector: Where have you been?
Informant: Florida, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Maryland, London, Germany, Switzerland, France, um…
Informant is a freshman at the University of Southern California. She is studying Theater Arts in the School of Dramatic Arts here. She is from Austin Texas. I spoke to her while we were eating lunch at my sorority house. Much of what she told me was learned from her sister or her own experiences.
This seems to be a common thing that people collect when they go somewhere. I think it’s a pretty stereotypical traveler or tourist thing to pick up, and there are often many different types, so the appeal is that you don’t get the same thing as everyone else all of the time, These can be taken with people wherever they go, and might represent some special part of the visit.