It was more of a pencil pouch. A thin tube in soft leather that I’d bought for myself in France where such a thing is called a trousse. Over the years I’d filled it with carefully selected treats from my travels: a German pencil sharpener, an eraser from the Czech Republic, pencils from France, a pen from Italy. But all of it was gone without fanfare when I left the poor thing on my seat on the MetroNorth commuter line.
Risk of loss and subsequent heartbreak aside, if you have a soft spot for souvenirs but aren’t sure you need a whole lot of pint glasses or commemorative plates filling your shelves, filling a pencil case is a nice alternative. Picking up a pencil or pen to tote home as a keepsake becomes doubly nice when put to use. (Which is, of course, the point.) There’s something nice about sharpening a pencil picked up from a stationery shop in Paris until there’s nothing left but a tiny nub and then replacing it with another from a tiny shop in Tokyo.
I may not be headed back to school this fall, but that hasn’t stopped me from daydreaming about my ideal pencil case (and travel itinerary). I can practically hear the dull rumble of rifling through the filled pouch. Here’s what I’d put inside:
1. This beautiful Missouri-made pouch.
2. This multi-holed sharpener.
3. This Czech eraser.
4. This extra-shiny pencil.
5. This softer version of a classic.
6. This fountain pen, because why not?
7. The accompanying ink, because of course.
8. A chubby set of colored pencils.
9. This brass ruler.
10. These brass clip numbers. Because, fancy.
More make-believe, HERE.