Adictos T-Shirt, La Paz, Bolivia

When this week’s #FriFotos theme of Brands was initially revealed on Tuesday I did not expect to take part, as I don’t consider myself much of a brand follower.

I would not be able to tell the difference between a Toyota and a Porsche: to be honest I don’t even know if they are very good makes of car at all. I could not explain why a Jimmy Choo shoe is more, or less, desirable than a Manolo Blahnik, I hate wearing clothes with any kind of logo or writing on them, and I honestly cannot understand why anybody would ever pay more than $50 for a handbag.

I think I may lose a friend or two over that last statement.

I have always struggled with money: either I haven’t had it, or I have been saving for travel. This is why I don’t tend to buy branded items apart from when it is unavoidable – like with a car. But to be honest, if Tesco sold an unbranded car at half the price of all the others I would be first in line.

The only real brand that I would always choose over any other is GHD hair straighteners.

But the fact is brands are hard to ignore, because they are – quite literally – everywhere. Especially when you travel.

Perhaps the most recognisable brands to travellers are associated with food. Can you deny that pleasurable feeling when you alight from a long and bumpy bus journey to the sight of the Golden Arches, Pizza Hut, or Subway, like in this picture from St.Petersburg?

Even in Russian the ‘Subway’ logo is recognisable

Or maybe when you find a new, local brand that you know you will miss once you have left that country? This is mojo sauce  – a spicy pepper sauce from the Canary Islands.

Canarian mojo sauces

Although trying out new food is one of the best parts of travel, sometimes you miss your favourite brands from home. Especially when that food is hard to find outside of your own country. Mention Kalles Kaviar to a travelling Swede and you will see what I mean.

Caviar in a tube!

Maybe there are some brands that remind you of long summer days in your home country? Pimms certainly reminds me of a (rare) sunny day in Britain!

Enjoying Pimms in an English country garden.

Maybe when you’re travelling you might want to take certain brands with you that you trust to do the job, such as sunscreen…

Silly Pictures on the Salt Flats of Bolivia

…as in some countries it’s hard to tell if the brand is authorised. Is this garage in Bolivia a real Volvo garage, with a qualified mechanic?

Car troubles in Bolivia?

This taxi in Saigon has taken the brand name and appearance of Vinasun; a reputable taxi company in Vietnam, and changed it to Vina Sum! This taxi will charge you twice as much as the genuine company.

Counterfeit Cab

Despite being an obvious fake, I can’t imagine that popular brand Adidas would be very happy about the sale of these these Bolivian copy-cat t-shirts using their logo and name to promote drug-use.

Adictos T-Shirt, La Paz, Bolivia

What brands do you come across on your travels? Have you seen any copyright infringements of popular brands when you are away from home? Or even at home? I’d love to hear your comments, or if you enjoyed the post then please share :-) 

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