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Women Worldwide Share Gift Shopping Tips...

 

MEXICO...

San Miguel

If you're going to be in San Miguel, make sure to visit the central fruit and veggie market. Not only is it fun for 'a wander through' but the vinyl shopping bags sold by individual vendors are absolutely eye-catching. They are sturdy, colorful and carry wonderfully blatant ads for each merchant's stall. I bought ten to bring home as gifts -- each under $10 -- each folding flat for perfect packing. My friends loved them. Get them now before Bloomingdales starts to sell them at $50 per bag.
Evelyn, Toronto, Canada



MIDDLE EAST...

Saudi Arabia

When visiting this part of the world, I recommend buying “Saudi slippers” as gifts. They are made by local cobblers; and adorn the feet of a good 80 percent of the population – male and female, young and old alike. They are also the one thing friends back in the States always ask for when we go home. The cost runs between 40 and 100SR, so roughly 10-40 USD. As far as sizing goes – sizes are hand-written on the bottom and are non-gendered. Generally women get size 8 and men size 10, though larger and smaller sizes are available. Saudi slippers are one thing in which size truly doesn’t matter! Oddly, until recently the only colors available were various shades of brown, black and white and decorations consisted of an occasional green, red or gold stitching. More recently, however, a lot more colors and even beadwork has been seen –- resulting in some that can only be called garish and are obviously made for tourists! The choice is yours.
Lori, Dubai, Saudi Arabia

EDITOR'S NOTE: Before you leave on your journey, get your friends to trace their foot on a piece of paper. This will help you to get the best sizing possible when shopping for these gifts.



NEW ZEALAND...


I
n New Zealand, greenstone pendants are ubiquitous. Though these look like Asian jade, it's not the same type of stone.

These can be found in tourist shops as well as quality jewelry stores. If you can wait until you get to the South Island, the choices are more varied and you're getting closer to the source. Each symbol has its own meaning in Maori culture. Ask the vendor for the meaning but also ask for the name of the artist who created your stone carving. This is a definite clue as to whether your pendant is produced locally. When you wear your own pendant back home, others who have travelled to New Zealand will definitely recognize this stone as indigenous to that country!
Jse Che, Toronto, Canada



PERU...


I
would highly recommend La Iberica chocolates, from Peru. They are originally from Arequipa, they’ve been around since 1909 and they are quite a treat! They are sold in small La Iberica stores in every Peruvian city. They still carry that old bonbon style, each one wrapped in a colorful tin foil.
Jackie, Lima, Peru



SINGAPORE...


Greetings from Singapore! I always look forward to your newsletter and hoped one day I'd be able to contribute. Well, here's my contribution. Finally... From Sunny Singapore, the best gifts to bring home for your loved ones are the ones you make.

Part I: Spices - Go to Little India at Serangoon Rd to buy spices. There are so many different types, scents and are very, very cheap... Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, chillies (dried one), star anise, etc. Buy in bulk.

Part 2: Cloth/Materials - Go to Arab Street at North Bridge Road to get fabrics. There are so many types, colours, texture of materials -- silk, organza, lace, chiffon. -- enough to make any woman delirious. Purchase by the metres -- and also accessorize with buttons, crystals, etc.

Part 3: When you get home, call over loved ones and good friends for tea. Take out your treasures from the Orient and together make your own potpourri / satchets with the spices and materials. As you go along you can narrate to them your adventures in Singapore.

Not only will you bring home a souvenir but with each scent, you and your friends will remember the fun you all shared. You don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy good company and make them happy. What's more the camaraderie would forge a closer bond and your trip will not be easily forgotten.
Lots of love to all.
Aidah, Singapore



SPAIN...

Madrid

Whenever we're in Spain, we hit the duty free shops as we leave and buy up small bottles of saffron. A great gift for any of the cooks and chefs on your list and pennies compared to the cost of saffron in the States.
Christine, Florida, USA

 



SWITZERLAND...


Bern

Here are some of the best 'Made in Switzerland' gift ideas.
Swiss Chocolate: The Best. It’s still the most appreciated gift
Typical Swiss glassware with designs of farm life (cows, goats, lambs and kiddies)
Roberto Niederer glass (vases, plates, candle holders, etc.)
Tea towels with Swiss design (cows, the Swiss cross, flowers, etc.)
Swiss watches (some are a bit more expensive than others)
Basler Leckerli (sort of a Lebkuchen bisqit, a speciality from Basel)
Barbara, Bern



THE NETHERLANDS...


A
msterdam

Looking for gifts made in The Netherlands? Here are my suggestions: Dutch Cheese, tulip bulbs (with certificates that allow you to bring them into your country), diamonds (for a very big splurge), Delft Blue pottery, and ... your kids will love Dutch chocolate sprinkles for topping sandwiches -- a very special Dutch treat (see http://www.germandeli.com/deassp.html). I have also bought special egg cups and egg spoons in Holland because you cannot find this type outside the country. I hope this helps other JourneyWomen shopping for presents in Holland.
Ms. Henny Groenendijk, Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions



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