Buying A Cool Austrian Present For A Friend: What And Why And How?
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I hate it when that time rolls around – the time when you have to go gift-shopping, to wrack your brains and find the perfect present and then shell out your hard earned wonga on something that the recipient probably won't even like or be grateful for. 'Oh God, what have they got me now?' the cry will no doubt go up, as they hold your carefully selected pressie up to the light and up to mockery. And that's that, all of your efforts gone for nothing! What a waste of time!
Of course, plenty of us do our research beforehand in order to avoid just such a debacle of a response to the end result of our fevered shopping trips, our sellotape-plastered wrapping sessions and nervous present-proffering. A little research is never bad! It does help to scope out the interests of the person you're buying for. They love ice-curling? Get them an instructional DVD! Maybe they're utterly fixated with the films of Fellini? A book about obscure art film Nouvelle Vague directors, maybe! (Can you tell I know nothing of arty European cinema?)
I guess the rule still applies if they adore a particular country and everything about it, too. Maybe, once you know that the object of your present-buying ardour adores, say, Austria, you won't even have to actually do any research! Perhaps you can just rely on your array of knee-jerk stereotypes for that particular country instead! (That sounds like an excellent deal to me. Minimal time spent traipsing around the shops actually choosing a present, maximum time spent huddled up in coffee shops eating muffins, drinking cappucino and generally 'recovering').
But if you're going to get someone an 'Austrian' type pressie, based purely on your accumulated 'folk wisdom' and various uninformed prejudices, then what on earth are you going to get them?
A snow globe. A snow globe with mountains in it. And maybe some goats on the mountains. Hey, that's my recommendation. I'm not saying you're obliged to act on it. I'm just making my own suggestion, my own humble offering to the pot.