Gift(s) to bring to a hospitable stranger in Venezuela?
June 11, 2012 9:57 AM   Subscribe

I am visiting Venezuela and will be staying with a 30-something woman whom I have never met. What should I bring to thank her for her hospitality? I am in Brooklyn if that makes a difference.
posted by Shebear to Shopping (3 answers total)
I haven't had a good excuse to use it yet, but I've bookmarked With Love, From Brooklyn for the next such occasion.
posted by etc. at 10:41 AM on June 11, 2012

Do you have experience with couch surfing? It also matters how long you will be staying at her place. Is she Venezuelan or American?

Most people like to learn something about the place/country their guests come from and enjoy edibles/wine native to their guest's homeland. I like to check out museum shops, so maybe something from the Brooklyn Museum?

If she happens to be American, there might be things she is missing, so maybe you could ask if she would enjoy something like a magazine, beauty product, US cooking ingredient or something else entirely that is just not available locally.

While you are there (the longer your stay the more true it is): show appreciation, buy some groceries, cook for everyone or invite her out for dinner or some fun activity.
Enjoy your stay!
posted by travelwithcats at 11:01 AM on June 11, 2012

- Are you against just asking if there is anything she would like from your place? I recently had the exact opposite happen, of a Venezuelan I have not met asking me if there was anything I would like from Venezuela, so I do not expect it to be a huge faux pas.
- Do you know much about the availability of everyday foreign products in Venezuela? This isn't something I keep on my daily reading list, but I know from Venezuelans living abroad that there are weird tariffs, bans, shortages, delays and random confusing policies that can make getting innocuous things rather a trial.
- Is this through CS or something similar? Read her profile and the references to ken some knowledge that could inspire you. Or were you connected by another colleague or network that would give you hints?

The cosmetics and food suggestions are usually well received when you have nothing else to go on, though you will always have that one time it doesn't. That is why in the end it is the thought that counts!
posted by whatzit at 11:55 AM on June 11, 2012

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