Ten of the worst holiday gifts you can give to friends and relatives from abroad.
10. Some wacky item of clothing. Something that looked great and was perfectly functional on a sun-kissed beach will not have much use during a US Fall or a British autumn. Or summer. It will never be worn, ever.
9. Anything electrical. Our electrical plugs are a certain type and quite unique. Luckily they match our wall sockets, which is more than can be said for the plugs of virtually every other country. And they use a different voltage. In other words, don?t even think about it unless it?s for someone you don?t like.
8. Any music recorded in the native tongue. That song to which you indulged in drunken revelry could, when translated by your foreign friend over a polite dinner, be revealed to be something akin to an end of the pier shocker that could certainly turn the air bleu.
7. Some local currency. There?s always someone who thinks that a few coins with a street value of 27 pence or cents will make the perfect gift ?for a child?. Don?t be surprised if they ask you for the same amount in local money instead. The same applies to stamps.
6. Any food that was hot when it was purchased. Believe it or not, people do find a kebab shop in Turkey whose wares simply have to be sampled by the folks at home. Reheated yoghurt is never a good idea.
5. Anything you can get from Wallmart or Asda. You might be surprised that you can buy our local favourites all around the world now. Even Jaffa Cakes and PG Tips are available south of Cornwall, but the sense of wonder doesn?t travel well. Even with a foreign price tag.
4. Something exotic that you hope will add to someone?s special interest. Your uncle?s a wine buff. You buy him some wine from abroad. It cost a pound. He?ll serve it to you next Christmas.
3. A copy of some ancient artefact. Holiday destinations with a historical edge to them, especially Greece, Italy, Mexico and Egypt, churn out these items by the lorryload. They?re vases, statues, mosaics and such like. The owners of the originals buried them ? what on earth do you expect anyone to do with them today?
2. Anything from Amsterdam.
1. Anything bought from the airport, especially Duty or Tax Free. Or more accurately, buying something from the airport and then trying to pass it off as a genuine gift from your destination. You?ll fool no one. And contrary to popular belief, this isn?t better than nothing.