Not quite sure how it began but I developed the custom of trading an article of clothing with someone in each country I visited. In this dim photo I am in a pair of those great, baggy Turkish pants some women there wear. We were at the temple in Ephesus when I spied a young lady selling postcards who was about my size and who had on the kind of pants I wanted. I went over and in sign language explained I would like to trade my jeans for her pants. The idea a appealed to her, so we stepped behind a magnificent temple pillar and switched pants. Our friends seemed to approve.
In India we were in some sort of clothing store and the young man behind the counter had on a wonderful wool, embroidered vest. I went to him and arranged to get that vest by trading him a light windbreaker jacket I was wearing. I can’t imagine how he was happy with that trade but he seemed to be.
Africa presented more of a challenge when I tried to trade some costume jewelry with the women in a small Masai village. I admired their beaded jewelry and showed them my fake gold necklaces and bracelets, thinking they would be dazzled with the sight. But no, they took one look and then broke into laughter of the kind only a Masai woman can produce.
What happened in Australia really couldn’t be called a trade at all. Someone there has lots of my clothes and my favorite sport shoes. We were at beautiful Bondi Beach and my friends decided to go back to our hotel in Sydney but I wanted to stay. After a bit I was terribly sunburned and decided I’d better leave, so I headed for the locker room to get my clothes.Everything was gone and when I reported it to the beach police they just said, “it happens.” So I had to go out to the street , barefoot in my bathing suit, to hail a taxi for the city. It is one thing to run about the streets in a bathing suit when you are young and quite another thing when you are an elderly woman. A taxi finally stopped, took me back to Sydney and deposited me at our hotel.
I crossed the large lobby to the elevators at the back of it by hiding behind the large potted plants conveniently placed about the lobby. No one saw me but when I got on the elevator I had to explain to the people in it what had happened. They were most sympathetic and very amused and none of them were from our tour group.