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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 5 Jun 2005
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Taking little presents

I remember reading a post by some Aussies here who took a number of small Koala teddy bears with them. They give them to people who were exceptionally friendly or helpful.

I was wandering what I could take. Something small, so I can take a sufficiently large number. For Africa I'd probably take a supply of pens. But for Asia?

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  #2  
Old 5 Jun 2005
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everything that could be cultural, educational, health : pens, books, postcards, photos of you and your family, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, etc ...

not presents but games : i was travelling with a kite and a freesbee / o-ring : very quiet and "peacefull" also, to play with the "locals" : i keep excellent souvenirs :-) sometimes, they hadn t seen one before. you make them happy, you create some interest. in some countries (pakistan, india), small kites or popular, but they only have one rope.

+ it s light and does not take a lot of weight in your luggage. a few times, some kids were taking plates to play with more "freesbees" and their parents had to say : "no no" :-)

i also had a little "fake" plastic camera : when you click on it, you can see the different views of paris : they loved it also. in mongolia, i remember one "local", when he saw the Eiffel Tower, telling me " tv antenna" and he was part right :-)

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  #3  
Old 5 Jun 2005
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I take balloons for the children, round ones and long ones to make animal shapes. My friend in a 4x4 takes an instant camera (Polaroid), and gives them their own photo, but they are expensive to use and bulky.

[This message has been edited by Bill Holland (edited 05 June 2005).]
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  #4  
Old 5 Jun 2005
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Hi
Coming from Israel, I took with me to Egypt some postcards of the holy mosque(El Akza) in Jerusalem. and gave them four times to people that were very kind to me, it was more than magic. one of them in Siwa oasis, insisted I will go to the local mosque with him to meet his kadi. Other presents were two pairs of reading glases , the cheap ones you buy in the pharmacy I carried with me.one was given to an old man that calld all his family to see the miracle. the second pair was handeld to a police officer leading us to a hospital we needed. And some ten lighters were given here and there.
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  #5  
Old 6 Jun 2005
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Thanks, keep them coming...
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  #6  
Old 6 Jun 2005
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Hi Peter...

We took a little bag of kiwiana... Plastic tiki's, NZ stickers, postcards and temporary tattoos! The postcards were probably most popular.

We've heard of other travellers taking small coins with them... The number of times we were asked for coins from our country, this would have been a great idea...

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Jacqui and Trent
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  #7  
Old 6 Jun 2005
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Hi Peter,

My wife and I are the Aussies that took the toy Koala's, they worked well as gifts for kids and even with adults as a thankyou (in a light harted friendly joke way). Pens and pencils are also good. We will be taking all these when we travel again.

I like the postcards, coins & stickers idea too - thanks for the idea. We had postcards to show what our country and city looked like, but didn't think to have spares to give away.

However, what I would really have liked many more of was "Stubby Coolers", the neoprene (wetsuit type material). Is Aus the only place that uses these? Doesn't anyone else need to keep their cold? We travelled mostly in eastern europe and spain with our own cooler each (and a spare each). We could have given away or sold these hundreds of times over! We did give the spares away.

We went to the 2003 Hungarian F1 GP as our holiday treat when in Budapest. If I had only posted a few boxes of stubby coolers to Budapest, I could have sold them at some vastly inflated price and payed for my tickets! or maybe the whole trip! Seriously, hundreds of people asked which stall sold them. Unfortunately they are a little bulky, or I would take a few dozen of these on the next trip.

John
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Old 6 Jun 2005
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For France,perhaps err frogs
Ben
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  #9  
Old 6 Jun 2005
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I helped a Dutch couple once and they gave us little wooden goodluck charmes with silk threaded tassels. They still adorne our travelling bike keys now. They are very special to us because of the lovely people they remind us of.

Charlie
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  #10  
Old 6 Jun 2005
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i carry a a small bag of rainbow badges...and some union jack badges... just little ones ... Come on Grant?????? why can't we get Horizon ones ..... same as the stickers...Cheap!!!!
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  #11  
Old 7 Jun 2005
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Hi Jacqui and Trent! Still in Oz? Haven't had any news for a while.

Lots of good ideas here. I think I'll stock up on pens and postcards.

France isn't really known for its frogs, more for snails. :0

I've never heard of a stubby cooler, but I noticed that our local plumbing store sells neoprene tubes in various diameters by the metre. You probably get 6 coolers per metre. From the offcut you cut round bits to glue into the bottom. Just and idea... But yes, bulky to carry.
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  #12  
Old 21 Jun 2005
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No pens please. The last thing we want is to encourage the 'one pen! one pen!' brigade in every small village!
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  #13  
Old 22 Jun 2005
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Seanh is right. In every village we passed in Nepal all the kids could say was "Namasté!" and "Pen please!". Though, actually they do need pens, since cash is rare in the remote villages and the do need them for school.

Postcards showing villages from southern France will be appreciated, just so pics from thge Dalai Lama in buddhist areas.

Hans
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  #14  
Old 22 Jun 2005
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Unless someone has helped you/been very kind then I am very much against this habit of giving gifts.
It seems a lot of people do it and it creates such a problem for the next traveller and the next one etc etc. I think it must make people feel really good giving things to people a lot poorer than themselves and I can understand that but I think the consequences need to be considered more seriously. It creates a begging culture, it means travellers get seen as 'potential gifts' rather than just a person travelling through, if you don't give then you have to deal with the guilt knowing that others have. Just a personal opinion that I have based on my own travels.

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  #15  
Old 22 Jun 2005
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Hi gifts givers
I think that giving is something to do with being human. It can be sharing pita bread with a stranger on a trip stop, or helping other biker in need. or letting a (-can be a rich- kid to put my helmet on. it all has to do with nice things. I will be glad spreading pens all over the world. if that is the fee for getting kids happy, and my trip on.
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My ride from Dead horse to Ushuaia 2009 is at
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It's in hebrew but lots of pics and some translation

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