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Off topic: any ideas on what American gifts French people would like to receive?
Thread poster: Carolingua

Carolingua  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 6, 2005

I live in the US and for my upcoming trip to France would like to bring gifts to my French cousins that will be useful/welcome as well as not break the bank.

Unfortunately, my relatives are sort of on the picky side (they are socially conservative, into "status symbols" which I cannot afford, and are not fans of "american" culture--i.e. I can't bring any "pop culture" type stuff which they would consider de "mauvais goût"). Hard to buy for, in other words, and I'm on a tight budget (I'm a translator, after all!)

As for me, there are certain things I love to bring back from France, none of which are too expensive but definitely harder to find here (salt from Brittany, mustard in a tube, chocolate, Bourjois cosmetics, kitchen/baking equipment, the latest sunscreen, clothes from H&M...). Is there anything at all that French people would love to get from the states because it's hard to get or more expensive in France? FYI, I live in the Midwest, so my shopping options are limited.

Any and all ideas are welcome.


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xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
MOMA online store Feb 6, 2005

Bonjour Carolingua --

Je ne sais où tu te trouves exactement, mais les boutiques de musée offrent habituellement des cadeaux de tous les prix. Par exemple, j'aime bien ce cube Rubik du MOMA.

http://momastore.org/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10001&productId=30428&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=10297&categoryId=10307&giftCat=Y

Bon voyage!

Esther

[Edited at 2005-02-06 22:36]


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:43
English to Spanish
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off-topic... Feb 6, 2005

Carolingua wrote:
FYI, I live in the Midwest, so my shopping options are limited.



You might be happy to know an H&M store just opened in Chicago

http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/events/46705,0,7171253.location?coll=mmx-dating_heds


[Edited at 2005-02-06 23:18]


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Carolingua  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
alas... Feb 6, 2005

Susana Galilea wrote:

Carolingua wrote:
FYI, I live in the Midwest, so my shopping options are limited.



You might be happy to know an H&M store just opened in Chicago

http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/events/46705,0,7171253.location?coll=mmx-dating_heds


Yes but Chicago is 3 hours away (I live in Wisconsin) and it's hard to get away with a small child! But that's great to hear; Chicago has everything.


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Carolingua  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:43
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Merci... Feb 6, 2005

Esther Pfeffer wrote:

Bonjour Carolingua --

Je ne sais où tu te trouves exactement, mais les boutiques de musée offrent habituellement des cadeaux de tous les prix. Par exemple, j'aime bien ce cube Rubik du MOMA.

http://momastore.org/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10001&productId=30428&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=10297&categoryId=10307&giftCat=Y

Bon voyage!

Esther

[Edited at 2005-02-06 22:36]


Merci Esther, c'est une super bonne idée!


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 13:43
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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H&M is Swedish Feb 7, 2005

Or do you know a H&M that is not Hennes & Mauritz? Its a Swedish retailer, like Ikea.
Sorry!
You could bring some GE-food, that is hard to get in Europe.
Really, what do they produce in the US still, after Levy's stopped production there. But seriously, art is not a bad idea. Or Californian wine, its better than French at least. Anyhow you'll never know what will please your hosts, choose what you like best!
Regards
Heinrich


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Some local high-quality Wisconsin cheese Feb 7, 2005

Perhaps some local high-quality Wisconsin cheese might be appreciated, nice gift-box, ect. Of course France has wonderful cheeses, but it's and idea.

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Jeannie Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:43
German to English
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board game Feb 7, 2005

Perhaps something like an orignal version of Monopoly with all the US places or a specials version ie. Hollywood Monopoly.

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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 12:43
French to Dutch
+ ...
Calendars Feb 7, 2005

or books with photographs from the place where you live. Tableware (i.e. mugs) with typical American inscriptions. T-shirts and caps (not too colourful). Be careful with food and chocolates.

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xxxtr.
Local time: 12:43
English to Italian
hard to tell Feb 7, 2005

It's difficult without knowing the tastes of the recipients! It's such a personal thing.
I'm not French obviously but seen as we're all in the Euro zones there are definitely a few things that are more expensive here than in the US.

For one thing, CD's. Do your relatives like any kind of music in particular? Jazz, classical, blues, country, anything? You could get something by American artists so it wouldn't be just about the lower price.
Same for films on DVD (though you'll have to make sure there's no region code).

Then, any computer or technology item that is made in the US. But that would probably be in a higher price range anyway.

As for something more characteristic, or just unavailable here, I guess it depends on what city or area of the US you're in.

What about posters or art?

Native American jewelry and craft?

Personally I also love anything from this brand:
http://www.spaldingbros.com/
Their products are available all over Europe too, but they may be cheaper in the US, and they're "neutral" enough to be appreciated by anybody.

I'd avoid clothes mostly because it's hard to pick the right sizes without the person trying them on.

A classic: whisky, if they like it, that's usually a safe bet.

If you're stuck for ideas, why not just go to the biggest shopping centre nearby and see what strikes your fancy. I do that when I have to buy gifts and can't think of anything off the top of my head.

Good luck!


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:43
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
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Exotica Feb 7, 2005

Any Indian tribes doing silver or producing paintings that can be rolled up, tapestry, etc., where you live?

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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 06:43
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Go Native Feb 7, 2005

I agree that this is exotic, unavailable in France, and available in a variety of forms: jewelry, art, books, clothing (I love MukLuks, a kind of laced-up mocassin boot)... and it's not mass American pop culture.

You could bring them wine and cheese, of course, as a change from the wine and cheese they have every day (and it will probably convince them that their fare is better, which might be hard for you listen to, but would satisfy them )

Nancy


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:43
German to English
+ ...
A few suggestions Feb 7, 2005

- refrigerator magnets
- re-usable cloth shopping bags, perhaps with the logo of a local store or co-op
- silver jewelry, tasteful + low-key, ideally made by local artisans
- Aveda products, like maybe a shampoo + conditioner set, or lotion, or similar. Hard to get here and very popular gifts for my European friends.


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Carolingua  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
yes H&M is swedish but very popular in France Feb 7, 2005

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Or do you know a H&M that is not Hennes & Mauritz? Its a Swedish retailer, like Ikea.
Sorry!
You could bring some GE-food, that is hard to get in Europe.
Really, what do they produce in the US still, after Levy's stopped production there. But seriously, art is not a bad idea. Or Californian wine, its better than French at least. Anyhow you'll never know what will please your hosts, choose what you like best!
Regards
Heinrich


I knew about H&M being Swedish..I only mentioned it because I don't have one in my town and it's very easy to find in Paris! We have Ikea in the states too, unfortunately, it's in Chicago and too far away for me to easily get there. I love both of those stores.


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:43
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Books, mugs, caps, CDs ... Feb 7, 2005

Nicolette Richy wrote:

or books with photographs from the place where you live. Tableware (i.e. mugs) with typical American inscriptions. T-shirts and caps (not too colourful). Be careful with food and chocolates.


I would go for these. Since you want something nice and American, and not too expensive ... CDs are a good idea too if you happen to know some good band difficult to find in Europe.
Cosmetics - shampoo and contionners and showergel and such things could be an option too.
As for wine ;-o) we French are quite sensitive regarding non-french wine ... but it could be a good opportunity to test and try ! But I'm not too sure if you could take it through French Customs.


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