What gifts to take to Krakow???

Apr 16th, 2005, 08:12 PM
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What gifts to take to Krakow???

We will be making our first trip to Krakow and meeting some or my mother's relatives. Although we have only had brief contact, we would like to bring gifts to them (mid 50's with daughter 25) that would be useful, something not available or too expensive in Krakow's post communist era.
Isabelle is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 09:44 AM
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ira is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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Hey! Real paper plates. SOS Pads. Try, Cosco or such for large bottles of aspirin and ibuprofin..maybe vitamin pills. 1,000 lots. Special laundry products..like the color sink.
GSteed is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 10:26 AM
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Are you flying in? Use the onboard shopping service. Jack Daniels or whatever!
GSteed is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 11:28 PM
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Thanks GSteed for the above interesting suggestions. I guess there is still many products that are difficult or expensive to obtain. The Jack Daniels seems a good choice. We will be flying in to Paris from California & then flying to Budapest, driving to Vienna, Salzburg & Prague. Would you recommend flying from Prague to Krakow or taking train? It seems difficult to obtain auto rental that will allow all the above cities with Krakow. from Prague after being in Paris & central Europe for 2 weeks.
Isabelle is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 12:35 AM
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Locals will usually use the train or bus systems. Accessing airports eats up your time! Another plus with trains or busses is the sightseeing aspect. Driving may be stressful. Suggestion, spend some time in the local book shop and note the travel book advice. Find an atlas with a large scale map and plot your desired travel route. WWW has bus and train information. Don't hesitate to inquire of your mother's relatives at to possible travel means.
GSteed is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 01:50 AM
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Are you serious??? They are not living in the dark ages do NOT bring paper plates and asprin how ignorant would you think somone was if they brought it to you.

Bring some treats from home or a nice cake from the local bakery in krakow when visiting and a small gift like a bud vase etc.

SiobhanP is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 03:18 AM
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Unfamiliar liquors may not be a great idea.

Think of all the liquor products, however famous locally, that we stare at sceptically in European countries.

{Jack Daniels is available in Canada but I have never seen anyone buy it.}

But since you are coming from the fabled California, I would suggest bringing sthg distinctively Californian.
tedgale is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 03:29 AM
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Reese's Peanut Butter cups maybe in a little candy basket. It's sounds really simple and cheap but they're hard to come by here and a lot people like them. Peanut butter is something they don't usually have or get too often in Europe. Even a lot of my German friends here in Germany like them (and they have wonderful chocolate here).
michmoore is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 06:32 AM
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Doesn't GSteed live in Poland???
obxgirl is online now  
Apr 21st, 2005, 08:10 AM
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To be honest I would pass on American chocolate as it tastes a bit chemically compared to european chocolate. I bring over American chocolate to Ireland and they all think its awful. I would give something small and then cake and flowers.
SiobhanP is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 10:27 AM
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I've been in Krakow shortly, and can't recall any basic item that was not readily available. I'm sure some things are more expensive than in some other places, but most things were cheaper there. I think you should think of something that is a nice gift, not the idea that these people are living in a war zone or need cheap drugstore candybars. I would never give candybars to some relative I was meeting for the first time for a gift, but especially not a grown woman and adult daughter. If someone knew you and made some special request, that would be another story, but otherwise I think that is bizarre. And the reason peanut butter isn't commonly found is because people generally don't like it. If you knew someone was crazy bout some junk peanut butter candybar like that, I could see it as a gift, but not for someone you don't even know.

When we've had relatives visit in the US from Europe, they didn't bring us cheap German candybars. They brought us tasteful gifts with some supposed German character or from a local artist or craftsperson.

Christina is online now  
Apr 21st, 2005, 10:42 AM
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Hello, Isabelle, can you ask them what they want to get? I know in this part of the world people love to show-off their gifts, so maybe a bottle of wine or liquor and a box of candy will work. Check with the customs if these are allowed to bring in.

For the young lady you can get a nice purse, a scarf, something the neighbours will see and notice. If you'd know the sizes then maybe knitted tops like shirts, sweaters.
FainaAgain is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 11:17 AM
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Hi Isabelle,
my brother travels very often to Poland for business, and he has developed a friendship with their agent there. He is a guy in his mid-thirties, with two kids, a boy and a girl. His descriptions of live there is that it is a poor country, but you can find everything.

The presents he usually gives them are wine (a good Rioja one) or maybe an spanish liquor (they are quite fond of patxaran). For the wive he tends to bring scarfes or some nice custom jewellery (tried once the Lladro figurines, and she didnīt like them so much), and for the kids ... well, they are kids, so teddy bears for the girl and anything with Ferrari on it for the boy (they share a common passion for the red horse ...).

I think Faina had some good suggestions.

BTW, one thing that he always brings back are plums covered in dark chocolate. Every year they have been getting better and better (I suspect they use a better chocolate). He usually buys them in the supermarket, not expensive and we always look forward to them.

Rgds, Cova
cova is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 06:28 PM
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I so appreciate all the comments and insights from everyone. I will be meeting these relatives for the first time as we only have sent the occaisional Christmas card, etc. We are inviting them for lunch at our Hotel Copernicus. As far as gifts, I'm now thinking possibly of some local Santa Barbara wines, Pinot Noir or Syrah, a photography book of Santa Barbara architecture and a colorful small purse for the young woman. We used to bring See's chocolates to relatives in Spain and friends in London, but given the comments, I think that is probably not a great idea with Europe having such fine chocolate. Please, Keep the suggestions coming.
Isabelle is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 07:05 PM
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Isabelle, have you thought about bringing a small photo album of photos of your and their US relatives?

I know that Italians love to see and then later share with friends photos of the famalies.

I don't know if you would have time to have copies made of some of your favorite photos but if you did you could put them in a small album and present them as a gift.

Maybe the photo album and flowers for your first meeting.

For their 25 year old daughter perhaps a beautiful cosmetic bag.

And for all of them a bottle of wine from your area.

I always find that Europeans get a tad bit embarresed if the gifts are too expensive.

Anway, just a few thoughts for you to consider.

Have a special time with your family.
LoveItaly is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 08:15 PM
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If you are from Calfornia, bring something distinctly Californian/American that usually isn't exported - local crafts or art.

Wine sounds fine, especially if you know that they would appreciate a fine California wine (most Poles prefer hard liquor eg. vodka, or beer, both of which go much better with their cuisine, but a sparkling wine might go over well).

Paper plates? Laundry products?? The last time I visited my family (most of whom live, by the way, in towns of 100,000 or less), they had such a wide variety of laundry products available - from all countries in Europe - that I was amazed!! Paper plates are downright tacky unless you are giving them to a 20-something bachelor, and even some of those boys would be insulted!!

You could try American cosmetics or perfumes - personally I prefer the European ones - but they might appreciate the novelty. Scarves, ties, or purses by American designers, or even jewellery (turquoise?) which wouldn't be available in Europe.

Borealis is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 08:27 PM
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Just wanted to add - when I vist my relatives in Poland, they heap gifts on me, and the type of things that I have received include crystal vases and bowls, heavy glass (ornamental and also utilitarian, i.e. beer glasses), ceramics, folk art, original paintings, decorative items made of wood (plates for hanging on the wall, boxes etc.), amber and silver jewellery, various "linens" - embroidered tablecloths, lace tablecloths etc., and bottles of the very best vodka. (Yes - I have a very large family there ). However, I do think that type of gifts I received reflects what they themselves value.
Borealis is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 01:35 AM
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I so appreciate all the posters for their suggestions and thoughtfulness. What a wonderful forum!
Isabelle is offline  
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