Take 2 — London Calling
Great Britain creates a souvenir worth writing home about
I am not a big fan of souvenirs. Photographs of places that I have visited and of people that I have met sustain my memories longer than any key chain, pennant, sweater, coffee mug or other trinket can.
This is even truer of the London Olympics where the mascot is a single-eyed creature that looks like an oversized thumb and where the logo is a map of London broken into four pieces. However, there is a special souvenir, actually a series of souvenirs, which I will bring back to Seattle.
Whenever a member of Team Great Britain wins a gold medal (and there have been 16 at the time that I am writing this), the Royal Mail goes into overdrive to design and print a commemorative stamp honoring the champion. These stamps are available at the local post office by 9:30 a.m. the next day.
A souvenir sheet of six identical stamps costs 3 pounds and 60 pence, which is about $5.75 USD. The stamps contain a photograph of the athlete(s) that was taken at the time of his or her victory, so the stamps aren’t prepared in advance.
While I am rooting for Team USA, I also am happy whenever someone from Team Great Britain wins. I hope that they win many more golds … but not so many I that have to eat ramen noodles to afford all the stamps.
George Liu and his Olympic souvenir stamps. Photos courtesy of George Liu