Gift-giving is a positive. When I travel I sometimes take small gifts to give out to locals. I did this especially when I was going to live somewhere - thinking of my time in Uzbekistan and Canada. I took various items to give away in order to be friendly. I will have to think back to remember some of my favorite items (having a bit of brain freeze right now), and then list them here. And there have been other times when I have mailed care packages to expats (a foreigner living in another country for a period of time). I know from my living overseas, it can get lonely out there. Expats start craving lots of things. Back in 2007, as I was planning our trip to Moscow (Russia), I was picking the brain of an expat from the US state of Georgia who had been living and working in the Russian capital. After getting lots of tips and feedback, we talked about meeting up once my wife and I arrived and were ready for a city tour. He was going to show us around (and he did). But what was interesting was a request that he had. I posted it below. I'd have to say, it was a slightly odd request (and funny!), and he was sure focused on it! In the end, I came through for him, and that's what matters.
Allen, if you do not mind, could I ask you for a favor, if it is at all possible to do? Could you possibly bring me a small can of hot dog chili? I have been here for five years and have not had a chili hot dog in five years. If I miss anything from home the most, it's having a chili hot dog. Here you can get hot dogs at various places, but no chili hot dogs. I used to buy a can of hot dog chili at the supermarket and make my own, but here there is no hot dog chili anywhere, so I was wondering if you could possibly pick me a can of hot dog chili at the grocery store the next time you go and bring me a small can. I think the airlines and home security bozos would have no problems with a can that has not been opened. I would just love to have a chili hot dog. Thank you if you can possibly do this for me.