When my brother and I were just kids, we locked ourselves in our grandparents’ small powder room. The lock was just beneath the knob, and one of us had secured it without knowing how. We were trapped. From the other side of the door, my grandfather screamed at us for ten minutes before we’d figured it out.
That was before my grandparents wallpapered that bathroom with travel brochures from the 1960s and 70s. Now I lock myself in there just to study all the fabulous places they saw. Last night was one of those occasions.
My favorite, hands down, is an onboard map of Asia provided by Cathay Pacific.
It’s definitely from before the fall of Saigon, as North and South Vietnam are separate countries here. But what I love most of all is how Cathay hadn’t switched over to hanyu pinyin, the mainland romanization system that brought us Beijing, Xiamen, and Tianjin. Here they’re still Peking, Amoy, and Tientsin. (Interestingly, Canton was no longer Canton, but Kwangchow.)
The card on the top comes from Japan and has something to do with taking the bullet train to the horse races. I assume the lion card was from one of their long flights.
Besides Asia, my grandparents ranked the South Pacific and Africa as their favorite places to travel. Here’s a brochure from Pago Pago in American Samoa.
And one from Fiji.
This card is from a flight they took on UTA to Tahiti.
For airline buffs, here’s another card from UTA and one from LOT, the Polish airline.
From their trips to Africa, they picked up this brochure in Kenya.
And this cute tea card from Tanzania.
Some of the items hanging in their bathroom are too large for my iPhone to capture, but when I stay with my grandma for a few days next week, I’ll try to snap a few more.