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Discussion Starter #1
The smallest item I ever brought home was a star sapphire ring from Ceylon.

The largest was a rolled-up carpet from Cal.

In between, binoculars, electric dog-on-a-lead, (seen similar on 'Flog it!' on t' TV for £50!!), Rolex Submariner, Schaefer pen-set, electric robot etc. etc. from Aden, coffee table, (Cal.), hand-made pair of desert-boots, (a legend of their own!!), umpteen pairs of boiler-suits, (Cal.), boxes of tea, (Ceylon) etc. etc.

The 'largest' was the rolled-up carpet. VERY heavy and 'awkward'. Phil
 

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I brought home a tiny baby mona monkey from West Africa. He was tied to a coil of mooring rope and attached himself to me as I walked past . I gave the bloke 200 **** for him.

I meant to give him to my GF's brothers as a pet., or give it to a zoo, but my mother would not hear of it. She kept him as a pet for 7 years and became well known round Didsbury cycling round with the monkey in her front basket !!!

ATB

Laurie
 

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Bought a pair of Zeiss lens binoculars in Aden. Gone now, but they were excellent value for the money. And I bough a cotton work shirt in Detroit that was something in-between a shirt and a jacket (lots of studs). I used it for work and it was pretty worn when a rich man's son started begging me to sell it to him. He was really desperate, and I believe I got the original price several times over for it. I bought a couple of LP's in Djibouti, Al Hirt with the Boston Pops, and Johnah Jones. Still got them, and still at times hums Hirt's Java and Bugler's Holiday . Bought a couple of ivory figures in Kilimane, a photograph of which I posted in a similar thread earlier. And there are a couple of books I never returned to the British Seaman's Club...
 

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So many things brought back home as presents for unsuspecting family and friends:

Two stuffed small Cayman from Venezuela for display over the bar of my local pub. Intricate tiny ivory carvings of mystical figures from China for my parent's mantelpiece. Tiger carvings from buffalo horn from India, and a camel-hide handbag embossed with hieroglyphics for my mother from Egypt (and she never used it -- understandably perhaps!).

A travel hold-all also in camel hide and suitable embossed for my dad who never went anywhere. Two intricately decorated tubs of coasters made from Lignum vitae purchased in Aruba in the Caribbean for an aunt who didn't drink, and two teddy bears from Sweden for the two little girls of my cousin, who was married to a farmer and already had all the animals she could handle around her.

Over the years the recipients of all these valuable presents have passed away or moved on, and the presents have been returned to me with the explanation that they had been in same keeping for years but they really think I should have them to remind me of my generosity in those long-gone days. As a result I have now an attic space filled with the memories of days past, all gathering dust and cobwebs, to the extent that my house foundations are beginning to suffer under the stress of excessive weight.

I am tempted although reluctant to offer them on Ebay, but I have yet to work out a suitable sales pitch for a small stuffed Cayman from the Amazon, fifty years old with the rear left hind leg missing, and with the stub end of a *** stuffed down his throat by a so-called drinking mate who challenged a bet that he could do that without being bitten.

In retrospect I wonder why I ever bothered with such things when I had more than enough trouble getting myself home! (Jester)
 

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My first trip 1952 I arrived home with 200 cigs. A bottle of Peruvian Pisco, a model shark made from a cow horn (Cuba), and a set of mechanical drawing instruments from Brake, Germany. The largest items ever were a Chow Bench and large wood chest from Hong Kong purchased on successive trips. My first Suez Bum Boat buy was Binoculars which served me well for my 10 year MN career, I still have them.
 

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Oh, I forgot to mention that in those days (1950's) if you didn't bring home a couple pair of nylons from the Americas you were in big trouble with your Mam, Wife or Girlfriend. I think it was 1954 I arrived home after 4 months away, entered the house and everyone were sitting around the new tangled TV watching Yogi Bear. NO one got up to greet me, just "Oh, hi, did you bring my nylons ?" and " Hope you have the cigs ? ". I dropped my bag, went into the kitchen and took a swig of milk and walked back into the room ... no response so I left with my gifts, got on the bus. As I got off I gave the Clippy a pair of nylons and walked around to the driver side and gave him my bottle of Rum. I gave a pair of nylons to a bar maid and the 200 **** to the barman ... I never smoked, just brought the last draw home to give to family. What we did with our weekly shipboard draw was to hoard the cigarettes and exchange them for American Dollars in Guayaquil, Equador, as the Consulate exchange rate was always a rip off in Peru and Chile.
 

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Paddy McDonnell. I brought home a butterfly tray from Rio or Santos, I'm not sure,thatwas in the '50s, I still have it, also several tea sets from Yokohama, still have one of them,of course,the leather jackets from Brazil or Argentina were very popular.
 

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(Applause)
Oh, I forgot to mention that in those days (1950's) if you didn't bring home a couple pair of nylons from the Americas you were in big trouble with your Mam, Wife or Girlfriend. I think it was 1954 I arrived home after 4 months away, entered the house and everyone were sitting around the new tangled TV watching Yogi Bear. NO one got up to greet me, just "Oh, hi, did you bring my nylons ?" and " Hope you have the cigs ? ". I dropped my bag, went into the kitchen and took a swig of milk and walked back into the room ... no response so I left with my gifts, got on the bus. As I got off I gave the Clippy a pair of nylons and walked around to the driver side and gave him my bottle of Rum. I gave a pair of nylons to a bar maid and the 200 **** to the barman ... I never smoked, just brought the last draw home to give to family. What we did with our weekly shipboard draw was to hoard the cigarettes and exchange them for American Dollars in Guayaquil, Equador, as the Consulate exchange rate was always a rip off in Peru and Chile.
That gave me a chuccle. paddy mcdonnell.
 

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HI all. I have not posted for a while but Reading this post brought back many memories I joined Shaw Savill at 21 in 1962, First time out of my home city
Aberdeen Scotland, Roamed the world for most of my working life.

Aussie. New Zealand and many others, Then later in life I joined the oil industryand then it was Korea,Japan and Canada mostly supervising rigs being built,

Like most of us I was always bringing gifts for my wife, family etc.from every country I visited, I started buying dolls especialy from Korea and Japan. my
wife had them all displayed on top of the living room unit, All the colours were lovely. about 20 dolls over the years,

Most unusual happening was I BOUGHT a good Voiglander camera off a bum boat in ADEN, ALSO A BUSH radio, and many other things

When we arrived back in LONDON I duly paid the customs duty on the radio and camera as required, I would be travelling with these items
for many years to come. That was in 1962.

Several years later I was caught up in the seamans strike 1966 I think.the camera film winder was playing up, so I took it into the camera shop in
east ham., Gave them the ship as my address, mv MEDIC, shaw savill

I then went to the cinema. On my arrival back at the ship, there was a police car at the gangway, I got a surprise to find out they were waiting for me,

I WAS ON WATCH AT MIDNIGHT SO THEY KNEW I WOULDNT BE LONG,

They wanted to know where I got the camera, I told them ADEN IN 1962 Can I prove that, I said no, but I have a duty paid slip from the customs,

They said the camera was stolen from a warehouse in London 1961.and they had confiscated it, and I wouldn't be getting it back. I asked if I could
get the film back, as there were many sentimental photos of my friends in NZ. and Aussie.

The police could not guaranty it. but I gave them my home address, about 3 months later the film was delivered at my home, in Aberdeen Scotland.

I never mentioned the radio.

Think I now have the urge to start posting to S,N, again

GOOD HEALTH TO YOU ALL









.
 

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The smallest item I ever brought home was a star sapphire ring from Ceylon.

The largest was a rolled-up carpet from Cal.

In between, binoculars, electric dog-on-a-lead, (seen similar on 'Flog it!' on t' TV for £50!!), Rolex Submariner, Schaefer pen-set, electric robot etc. etc. from Aden, coffee table, (Cal.), hand-made pair of desert-boots, (a legend of their own!!), umpteen pairs of boiler-suits, (Cal.), boxes of tea, (Ceylon) etc. etc.

The 'largest' was the rolled-up carpet. VERY heavy and 'awkward'. Phil
Smallest was a tiny swiss army knife given by a mobil oil rep - -just after the rules changed after 9/11......so was given its own baggage label and put in hold instea of cabin baggage!
Dannic
 

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A tatty boomerang in the mission in Freemantle. Springbok hide from the mission in Port Elizabeth. Little wooden box inlaid with camel bones from bum boat in suez, also sold the guy my dodgy old Sekonda watch. Sheepskin from Kiwi. Trousers from a tailor in Port Kelang, he took measurements from the ones I was wearing at the time which had baggy pockets and bum , new ones arrived with same baggy pockets and aft end, oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
ANOTHER 'iffy' purchase------

------to match 'baggy-bum Bill Greig' (Post 13), was a pair of desert boots, (remember them?), I had made in Cal.

'Tiddly-wink' cobbler came aboard, measured my feet and produced my new boots the following day but, apart from trying them on to check they fitted, (not really the type of footwear for 'The Tropics!), I never wore them 'til I got home.

Went into York to meet-up with some buddy's for a tincture or several.

Whilst 'partaking' it started weeing-down and, when it came to going-home time, the pavements were well-and-truly wetted.

Left the ale-house and nearly fell on my ar*e as I felt as though I was walking on ice!

The only way I could traverse the wet pavements was by holding onto the walls of buildings I was walking by!

I could tell from the looks I was getting from people when they saw me clutching-on to the buildings they were thinking "Disgusting!! THAT p****d he can't walk without holding-on to buildings!!".

The REAL reason for my instability was the leather the soles of my boots were made from! The leather hadn't been tanned properly which meant there was still a lot of fat left in it hence, when I was walking on the wet pavements, I was literally walking on grease!

I HAD been heading for a bus stop but opted for a taxi as their 'Rank' was closer!

STILL got those boots but never been worn for yonks! Phil
 

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Sheepskin rugs from New Zealand, three ivory balls inside one another pendant
From Cape Town,moorahs (bar stools) from Calcutta, radios and watches from Aden, parrot from Ceylon,Tonga toys from the States plus many other items lng since disappeared
 

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I still have the China tea set I bought for my mum, in 1958 in Kobe for 1000yen- £1.00 in those days. My mum had it in a display cabinet until she died 21 years ago and now its back with me, still perfect and never been used in 61 years. It is one of those very delicate sets with a silhouette of a geisha embossed in the cup base.
On the same voyage as I got the tea set for my mum, I bought a beautiful blue silk kimono/dressing gown for my dad. It had a big silver dragon on the back, and my dad was made up with it.
Some lowlife stole from his bedside locker in the hospital while he was in his last hours in 1967.
 

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Those postings bring back memories! I remember my father bringing back camphorwood chests for my mother and grandmother and lots of materials such as silk and my mother would sit and sew , making them into some beautiful creations such as skirts nightgowns and many more garments! Nothing was wasted back in those days, wooden elephants from India amongst "many acquired "items from the various ships he was aboard including ashtrays, towels and many more interesting "gifts".
 

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I bought a box of seven ladies knickers which had the days of the week attached to them each one a different colour. I presented them to a young lady at her house fully wrapped, she opened them in front of her parents I nearly had to do a runner.
 

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Sheep skin from NZ, Coffee Table Fiji,4 Watches from Las Palmas for father and brothers all still working I believe, Whole frozen Lamb from NZ which we hung on the back door of the kitchen as we had no refrigerator to put it in, mate was a butcher carved it for mother.
 

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I bought a box of seven ladies knickers which had the days of the week attached to them each one a different colour. I presented them to a young lady at her house fully wrapped, she opened them in front of her parents I nearly had to do a runner.
Like you I worried about what her father would say.
They were called Weekies. I bought a set in Houston. They are a set of seven ladies silk panties, each of a different colour, with the name of the day stitched into the fabric. Sunday's pair is white and Saturday is black. They are rolled up, in a line inside a multi-coloured striped bag. I read about them in an American novel set in defeated Japan, Sayonara, by James A Michener. It's a touching story where an American officer's Japanese lover, Hana-Ogi, craves for a set of Weekies so she can be more like American women and so better please her US man. She pleads: You go P.X. Pleeze, Ace, I not able to buy weekies.
 
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