If you read one of the earlier posts you saw that I signed up for Gimme Your Stuff, a cultural exchange of sorts. I just completed my first swap with ankaisa from Finland and it was so cool! She wanted dark chocolate, a Clay Aiken CD, and some Darth Vader pajamas for her son. I couldn’t find the pajamas, but managed to find everything else and found some Darth Vader shorts that I hoped would be okay. And she sent the coolest stuff to me! I got some awesome Finnish chocolate (one with peppermint pieces in it…yum!), great puzzles for Alex, a stationery/pencil set of Finnish cartoon characters, a CD set of Finnish pop that is awesome, and – my favorite – a Marimekko notebook!
I don’t know why, but I have this fascination (obsession?) with paper things and this one was perfect! It’s a size we don’t have in the US, it’s quad-ruled, and it’s beautiful! The Marimekko designs are incredible – but so stinking expensive here. The fabric (which I also have a bit of an obsession with) is at least $20/yard and that was stuff I saw on sale. Needless to say, I’ve been a happy camper ever since that package arrived from Finland. Oh, and the stamps on the package were beautiful! Each one of them was like a little work of art. What do we have? Flags.
In future swaps I think I might ask for the first Harry Potter book in the native/local language of the swapper. That might get prohibitive, though, because I know books can be more expensive other places and they weigh a lot.
That was one down side to the whole swap experience. The US Postal Service charges are incredible to send packages internationally! Sure, you can pay less, but your package literally goes on the slow boat. Delivery estimates are 3-6 weeks for the cheaper option, but only 4-6 days for the more expensive option. Of course there’s an even more expensive option, too, but who can afford it? Even with the cost of postage, I think I’m addicted to the swap!