I collect junk. I pick it up from the street as I walk; I glean it from the workroom, the garage, the discarded mail, other people's trash pickup piles. I make art with it (or plan to).
One of my favorite forms of junk is ephemera -- the fancy term for paper stuff. In particular I love ephemera from foreign travel -- used Metro tickets, city maps, museum passes, hotel bills, menus, beer mats, newspapers, all the stuff that from home might not be very special but from away is très exotique. I bring home packs of the stuff when we travel overseas, and I tell my relations to not buy me souvenirs, just bring home junk.
So my son, recently traveling in Europe, did as told, even though he travels light, just a backpack for a month's journey, and the pack of ephemera grew over the weeks. Good boy.
As he went through security in Barcelona to finally come home, he was pulled aside for further questioning.
Where did you start your trip, señor?
Where did you stay first?
Ummmm.... some hotel near the train station.... ummmm.... can't remember the name.... Adler, maybe.... if you have wi-fi I could pull up my email and find where I booked it....
[ Then inspiration struck! The pack of junk for Mom! He pulled out the pack of ephemera, leafed through it, and found a bill from the hotel! The security guy was good with that. But wait.... ]
After Frankfort, where did you go next, señor?
The guard eventually said, semi-apologetically, "You understand why we did this -- you have been here so long with so little luggage!" He didn't understand, but that's another discussion.
Different readers might take different morals from this story. The one I take, of course, is that collecting junk can be good for you.