I don't like buying gifts when I go on trips. I always wind up looking for "the perfect gift", spending more of my time searching for that special something than enjoying my trip. It's always there in the back of my mind, nagging me, "What can I bring for So-and-So??"
Sad, because I love to bring back the perfect gift.
I don't want to just settle for that last-minute airport quickie -- the shotglass, keychain, or t-shirt. They're fine for people who collect them (like me), but even among shotglasses, keychains, and t-shirts, there are the good, the bad, and the "gee-thanks".
Before I left for Paris, I asked J what he wanted me to bring him. Years back someone had brought him a tie from Hermès. How do you top that? Certainly not with a t-shirt, shotglass, or keychain. So I bought myself a lovely bottle of Un Jardin sur le Nil. After all, J would get to enjoy the second-hand scent, right? Close to the perfect gift, but no cigar.
We love to collect local honeys. And I found some beauties, like Provençal lavender, eucalyptus, limeflower, and thyme. But I kept imagining having to lick it off my clothes after landing and discovering the bottles had broken mid-flight.
I found some wines. Same mid-flight-explosion nightmare.
And then, miracle of miracles, I found Kaoka, chocolat noir biologique éclats de fèves de cacao caramélisés!! Doesn't that sound mysterious? 61% of purely delicious chocolate darkness, blissfully laden with caramelized (!!!) cocoa nibs. And it's organic and fair trade!!
I keep trying to convince J that this perfect gift must be shared, but we don't quite see eye to eye on that one. Now why didn't I buy a whole case of these, the perfect gift??
J keeps asking me if I'm absolutely sure this isn't available in the US. I've not seen it before, but believe me, I'm now scouring the internet for it. If you come across some, buy it -- it's perfect!!
From now on, trips will be much less stressful. It's simple: Buy chocolate.
Matter of fact, I think I'm going to approach Whole Foods to see if they will consider ordering and carrying it. That way I can perfect the lesson with weekly purchases :)