Exhibit A: Nuxe Paris
Nuxe is a very popular skincare brand here and I have to admit, they have some really good stuff - and the smell is just wonderful. As this is a relatively unknown brand in North American (unlike Vichy, L'Occitane, Lancome, Yves Rocher, Sephora, I can go on...), generally this would be a great item to get for the women - "hey guys, this is the most popular moisturiser they use in the land of the glam!!"
Except, apparently you can simply get this stuff online on their US branded site, for CHEAPER.
Here is the body lotion on the US Nuxe website for $23 USD for approximate 400 mL
Here is the same one from the French website for 18.6 EUR for 200 ML - which is about $25 at current exchange rate. WTF would be the correct way to describe this....
Well, what about Macaroons, you ask, everyone LOVES macaroons. Well they don't really eat macaroons here...so i'm not sure what you mean....oh, unless you are talking about MacarOns...yes, people always think France = Eiffel Tower, perfume (I'll get to that later), and the land of the "Macaroons", so bringing back macarons must be easy! Well except there's a slight problem - actual good macarons, like baguettes have a life-expectancy of 3-4 days. So even if I were to run to L'aduree or Lenotre the day I leave the country (which is actually possible as there are l'adurees in the airport if i happen to be in the right terminal), there's still the issue of having to see everyone who wants them as soon as I get off the long-haul flight, which, even if I wanted to (and I might not), is almost impossible. Plus, let me show you:
Exhibit B: L'aduree Macarons around the world:
Yes, they even have stores in China. If you really wanted fresh, good macarons, do you really want them flown here in economy from an 8 hour flight from Paris or do you want fresh made ones that you can get from the various US locations? So as much as I'd love to bring everyone good macarons, it's really not possible. I could bring those ones they sell at the tourist stores that lasts up to a year, but I'd be a horrible friend and person if you are not my friend and I'm somehow obligated to bring you back something.
So what else...what else...?
Chocolate? Yea, I brought everyone chocolate last year...so I can't give chocolate every year. Perfume? I can bring perfume right? Sure, if you can't buy them in departments stores in North America already, then the fancy custom ones cost 50-200 EUR a bottle. I'm not made of money....Handbags and fashion accessories? Same story. Oh La Creuset! Same story, except also they are CAST IRON pots and pans so I'm afraid they might not meet flight restrictions. Fois Gras? Illegal, not to mention not very many people i know want to eat those things.
Look, besides the type of tourist garbage that no one wants to import from France (and even those you can get on ebay), thanks to our wonderful global village, nothing in France is special anymore.
I will bring back any of the above under special requests from people (I have had a friend that asked for cough syrup that had codeine in them), but I can't bring it back for everyone I need to buy something for.
Did I mention also that everything here is so goddamn expensive in comparison to Canada and the US? If I wanted to buy something not French, I am better off doing my christmas shopping onsite and not here, but also brings back the entire dilemma of not knowing what to buy for people you haven't seen for a long time...or have never met at all, in this case, Caleb's family in Nevada.
I went Christmas shopping yesterday and that was my divination based on my sore back and exhausted state of being. Perhaps I just need to realize that Christmas gifts are not about getting people what they WANT or NEED, but just buying something to show them that I bought something for you cuz I care?
I like the gifts I give to be meaningful and meaningful is harder and harder these days, with the world becoming one village. It's both a good and a bad thing. The bad thing is that buying something from afar or from somewhere "exotic" no longer counts as being meaningful, but the good thing from that I guess, is that for something to be meaningful, you would have to really know and care for the person, which is what it should be in the first place, no? I need to start calling people regularly on the phone to know their lives - that's what meaningful is - caring about them regularly and not just once a year.