Have a Coalition Christmas!
Who's in the Coalition of the Willing, and what kind of neat stuff can we buy from them?
A train or wine buff (& the two are not mutually exclusive) might enjoy this Amtrak wine carafe set, made in the Czech Republic. James, posting at Chicago Boyz, (busy man, that James!) also points to CZ Firearms from the Czech Republic. Mmmmm, firearms. If you happen to be the recipient of these Czech wine carafes and Czech guns, remember not to use them both at the same time!
For a variety pack of United Kingdom stuff, try Hamper.com of Oxfordshire, UK, Bespoke Hampers for Corporate Clients and Winner of the Queen's Award for Enterprise International Trade 2003!
omigod look at the baubles from Poland. I want it. If you want to add to the flavor, put your recipient's Polish name day on their tag.
This Slovakian Renaissance vase is less flamboyant than the Polish, but quite elegant and a bit unusual. This would be nice to float roses in.
For your most demanding mustard needs, naturally nothing will do but the finest. And lucky for you, mustard from Azerbaijan is available from the Mount Horeb Mustard Museu . . there's a mustard museum?? Ye gads, they offer "free, confidential, condiment counseling." Sorry, I digress . . but, um, what sort of deep, dark, confidential condiment secrets do people have??
Finally, when your back hurts from all that shopping, you'll need a little massage. Shop Australia online for a little
Emu massage oil.
& there's STILL all these other countries to go shopping in:
Warm, fuzzy, gramma-knitted sweaters from Bulgaria
Turkey puts out some very nice copper and brass items. I actually purchased one of these copper samovars about a month back. It's great fun if you're a serious tea drinker, and fascinating simply because it's the most efficient wood/charcoal stove in existence. Russia claims to be the inventor of the samovar, but it may actually have originated in Azerbaijan.
Moldova needs all the help it can get. The only product I could find from Moldova is wine, which seems to be available from a New Jersey dealer. I can't stand wine, and I may buy a couple bottles for myself. Lord have mercy. I've been poor and down, but never had to consider selling my kidney just to get by. More on Moldova here. Ya know, the whole idea behind this post may seem silly, or frivolous, or oh-so-american-consumer . . . maybe it is, whatever. It started out as just as fun way to learn about some of these countries . . but . . hell, if you do nothing else, if you care about nothing else, sneer if you like, but say a prayer for Moldova anyway. You don't have to believe in God to pray; God believes in you.
More on Moldova and its wine here. On e-bay, there seem to be lot of Moldovan coins and stamps for sale.
United States of America
South and Central America:
I hunted for Palau, but apparently the island itself is such a lovely gift that it has no need to manufacture anything for export. They'll be having an Underwater Photography event in March '05, and celebrating 11 years of independence in Oct. '05.
Costa Rican Peaberry coffee is superb, by the way. Beats Colombian hands down, no contest.
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