I am so sick of tourist shops. I was wandering around Old Quebec City, and at least every other shop on the street was a tourist shop. And we went into all of them. And they all had the exact same stock of beer pong signs, belly-button rings, shot glasses with stupid puns, bracelets that looked like they were made by 5-year-olds, and zippo lighters. Those I can get in abundance in America. Or probably China, because I suspect that's where they're made.

When I go somewhere, I want to bring back something that's normal there that I couldn't get in America and that I will actually use. I am a packrat; I need no help gathering shit in my closet. Me, I generally look for clothing that I like, because it's individual and I will wear it.

Here's the interesting thing about shopping for clothing in that section of Quebec: on the street we were on, there was an American Outfitters, a San Francisco, and three medieval clothing shops, and one or two boutiques. Which makes we wonder first how those three medieval shops get enough business to survive and compete with each other. Oh, and there was also a store devoted to making crocs, including heeled boot crocs, moon boot crocs, and fuzzy slipper crocs.

Apparently (and I ran into this over in Europe this summer), if you wear t-shirts, it is cool for them to be in English. And say things like "Track and Feild, Oregon, USA". Great. If I wanted a track and field shirt from Oregon, I would go to Oregon. Not Quebec.

Paris might be the center of high fashion, but if you're going to go counter-culture, you go American, I guess. Which, given our society, is an irony that makes me laugh and die a little inside.