Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Curse of Globalization

Sure, it's nice to fly over to Taiwan and get your favorite specialty drink from Starbucks, but honestly, globalization has made it more difficult to give gifts to relatives who live abroad.  My mom and I moved to the U.S. in '89 and every time we made the trek back to Taiwan, we brought suitcases full of American goodies.  This practice stopped, however, since the time when we brought these huge bottles of Pantene shampoos and conditioners and were practically laughed out of the house. How were we suppose to know that you could now buy Pantene at your corner convenient store?

The trick of this gift-giving is to buy something uniquely American, yet something with brand recognition as well so people don't think you just picked it up at the local Wal-Mart or Sears. But the real problem is this something "American" must be 1) sold only in the U.S.A., and given our increasingly globalized world, this is getting more difficult to find; and 2) by default, this item some kind of kitsch (i.e. no Americans would be caught dead sporting, like T-shirts that say Levi's on it or something).  And because I am inherently American, I cannot for the life of me figure out what to gift people.


Joy said...

You are absolutly right. It is hard to gift. I have the problem too!

Joy said...

Did we bring pantene? What a lam! They have costco, Ikea, may be Wal mart now. No Trades Joe yet!