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Don't Shop Till You Drop!
...finding creative gifts abroad


From Journeywoman's Little Black Book of Shops...

Folke and Meltzer on P.C. Hoofstraat is a tasteful housewares boutique worth a visit for their wide range of Dutch Delftware.

Xantippe on Prinsengraght is the women's bookstore in Amsterdam. A great place to pick up a selection of humorous women-friendly postcards. Package a few creatively and voila -- a fun present.

When it comes to black opaque panty hose, the French are tops. And you don't have to spend a fortune. Shop well at any department store and even the least expensive pair will look great once you have them on.

La Photo Factory is an intriguing shop that offers newly framed, reasonably priced, black and white versions of old press photographs. Browse to your hearts content. One of our favorite stops! (21, rue du Renard).

Want to see how German women set their tables? Drop into Kustermann located at Viktualienmarkt 8. The variety of dishes in this shop is astounding.

Looking for leather gloves in every size, style, color and shade possible? Try Madova in central Florence. Once you're a customer, they'll send you your gloves by mail and will even repair your old favorites for you. You'll find this little gem at Via Guicciardini 1/R

In Fiesole, the small town a short city bus ride away from the heart of Florence, check out Bonelli's leather goods. Last time we were there, the prices and quality were outstanding. Via Portigiani 4.

Sainsburys is our supermarket of choice. They offer a lovely selection of teas, cookies and small jars of jams. Sample their chocolate-covered tea biscuits once and you're a captive forever.

At Boots, our favorite aromatherapy shower gel contains blended essential oils of geranium and rosewood -- very modestly priced and so divine to use.

Visiting the Book of Kells at Trinity College? Stop into the gift shop in that building. It's nicely stocked and their bargain book selection is a cut above all others.

Thanh Ha is the proprietress of the tiny Salon D'Art next door to the Aeroflot office on Quang Trung Street. She keeps a sharp eye on the market and has a very nice collection of different styles of Vietnamese art.

Hong Kong
For fabulous fakes of all the fancy labels we know and love, check out Li Yuen Street East and West. Casual streetside stalls offer imitation everything. Ditto for the Women's Market on Tung Choi Street and the Temple Night Market near the Jordan MTR Station in Kowloon.

Looking for recordings that are oldies but goodies? Second hand music stores in this country seem to specialize in vintage compact discs from America and the U.K. Bet you'll find some of your favorites for no more than $8 - $10, each.

In New Delhi there are two shops that all the expat women simply rave about.

Fabindia offers a stunning selection of cotton tablecloths, napkins and placemats. Expect to pay at least a half of what you spend at home. Perfect present potential! Their address is 14 'N' Block Market, Greater Kailash-1, New Delhi.

At Anokhi, 32 Khan Market, New Delhi, Journeywoman found the best selection of cotton fashions at very reasonable prices. However,... while their t-shirts wear beautifully, they should definitely be handwashed in order to keep their shape.

Japanese Grandmothers Say...


In Japan, when bringing a present to someone's home, you must make sure that your offerings are wrapped properly. Never use white paper because white is connected with death. Never use vividly colored bows for decoration because that is ostentatious and, always carry the wrapped gift in a shopping bag to avoid any showiness.

Ed. note: Journeywoman knows someone who gave a grandma two pairs of socks (properly wrapped) and still got into trouble. It seems that, in Japan, four of anything suggests someone's demise -- never a popular subject with anyone's granny.





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