what kind of present to bring to Czech Republic from USA?

Discussion in 'Central & Eastern Europe' started by kitty46, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. kitty46

    kitty46 Well-Known Member

    I am going to the Czech Republic April 11-20. I would like to bring presents, but don't know what. I realize in this day and age you can order anything from anywhere over the internet, but I still want to bring something. I have heard that sweetened condensed milk, jelly beans, and rootbeer are not available there. Does anyone know if this is true?

    Also, I am thinking of going to Kunta Hora and spending the night there. Is it better to take the bus or the train? Are accomodations readily available? I hate to make reservations.
    Thanks for any advice you can give me.
  2. meluzina

    meluzina Well-Known Member

    the sweetened condensed milk is available here as far as i know - jelly beans and root beer not - i had a friend who always wanted me to bring log cabin syrup..

    as far as a trip to kutna hora, you can take a look here: http://jizdnirady.idnes.cz/JRCis.asp?tt=c&p=MF&cl=E5

    and see the timetables for buses and trains
  3. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Sweetened condensed milk is readily available in the Czech Republic. I've seen jelly beans at Culinaria and possibly elsewhere, but it's not commonly found and could be a fun little gift. You may want to read the candy in CZ thread to see if any candy might work as a gift. You'll also run into a rootbeer mention in there.

    I could give you a long list of things that my American husband and I regularly have sent or brought from the U.S. but those are not "gifty" things. They're things that we're used to from living in the U.S. but can't find here, such as Dixie Fry, Firehouse barbecue sauce, low-sodium soy sauce, all kinds of spices and spice mixes, decaffeinated black tea, Saran Wrap (the kitchen foil in this country SUCKS!), etc. We once had our Czech friends try McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning and we gave them a small bottle to use at home. They fell absolutely in love with it, put it on all kinds of meat and even on grilled vegetables (we do too) and they now ask us to get more every time they run out.

    Regarding Kutná Hora, will you be traveling from Prague? We have some information on Kutná Hora including info on how to get there from Prague on the Day Trips from Prague page. You may be able to find accommodation once you get there, especially in April, which is not a high season. If you don't, you can always come back to Prague. It's an hour away.

    Just a technical note: Next time, please post two different questions as two separate topics, so others can easily find both.
  4. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    There is stuff hard to buy here - books in english. But it depends who is the presentee.

    I always consider book as a good gift. And order one book from american e-shop is more expensive than the book itself. I wish I have more time to read books I have at home and did not read them yet.
  5. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Books in English! Of course, what a great idea! I don't know why I didn't think of that.
  6. kitty46

    kitty46 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all, for all the GOOD ideas for gifts. A couple of questions: What do Czechs put the LogCabin syrup on?? I would never have thought of English books? What sort? and perhaps magazines of some kind??? Are Czechs wanting to read things written in English, or just a certain part of the population?
    I'll start my Kunta Hora in a different conversation. Sorry about 2 topics in one.
  7. Petr_B

    Petr_B Well-Known Member

    Czechs who want to read books in English can buy them easily, and they are often not that expensive. Aside from ordering from abroad (Amazon etc.), Czech bookstores (and bigger libraries) often provide selection of books in English, though the offer can be quite limited. I heard in Prague it's much easier to buy them. Of course, you can order books in English over Internet from Czech sites like EnglishBooks.cz (cheap, limited selection, offers favorite "cash on delivery" method of payment) or Amazon.com resellers like BookFayre.cz or Libris.cz.
    And as always: buying a book that fits the taste of the person is not easy. Also in order to enjoy a book written in English, one has to have really good knowledge of written English, it's not enjoyable to read with a dictionary (been there, done that). And of course, there's a possibility the person doesn't enjoy reading at all, or on the other hand, if they're avid readers, they could've already read the book which might have been published here in Czech Republic.

    All that said, I believe that something really available only in the USA might be a better choice than a book you can obtain without any difficulty, maybe even in Czech language. But I have no idea what that could be, I've never been to the USA myself. :)
  8. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    About books... I rarely buy English language books in the Czech Republic because those I want to read are not always available. I have purchased books from Shakespeare and Sons on a few occasions but their selection, although pretty good, is limited. Amazon.com has all the books I may ever want to read and I usually buy my books there, but that means that I have to 1) pay by credit card over the internet, which some Czechs might have a problem with, and 2) am charged for shipping, so it makes more sense to buy several books at a time - again, not everyone will like that. Personally, I love getting books as gifts. Of course, giving a book requires knowing the person you are giving it to. A coffee table book (such as a photo book) might be a safer choice than, say, fiction.
  9. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    Sure, I know it is no problem to buy books in english (I do even know kids who read Harry Potter in english because thay cannot wait for translation, which is great), but as you all said, selection is limited.

    Advice for a book I just finished: Air Babylon (Letiště Babylon) from Imogen Edwards-Jones. But I read it in czech :-(

    You will never fly without thinking about that book again. ;-)

    Mandatory for Glenn :)
  10. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    Oh, one more thing, bottle of good (californian) wine would be also appreciated, despite it is not a problem to buy one in here.
  11. Dannae

    Dannae Well-Known Member

    Well, I would ask who are you bringing presents to? It might make a huge difference.

    I believe a nice California wine is a good idea, the book too etc. but if your friends have kids, they might like something like a mp3 player or so ... Depends; I would say to be more specific.
  12. kitty46

    kitty46 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all your GOOD ideas.
    I also appreciated learning about Culinaria. Think I'll stop in there.
    I think I've got the presents covered now.
  13. kitty46

    kitty46 Well-Known Member

    Just thought you might like to know...I have decided on Saran wrap and heavy duty aluminum foil as I think they are unique. I will also bring rootbeer and jelly beans. Thanks for all the good tips.
  14. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Those are great choices. I can't believe you decided on Saran wrap and aluminum foil! :D Seriously, I get so frustrated with using Czech bought "Saran wrap" that I'd love to just burn it each time! The flimsy, paper-thin aluminum foil is not much better. The term "heavy-duty" is practically unknown in this country... Which makes me think of another item you may want to throw into the gift package: garbage bags. :wink:
  15. kitty46

    kitty46 Well-Known Member

    Garbage bags? REALLY???? What size???? If you are located in Prague and want to stop by the hotel, I can bring you some things too :D
  16. jen

    jen Well-Known Member

    As far as gifts go, I think that things related to where you're from are ideal - whatever the local speciality is, for example, or a special type of craft...
  17. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Haha, the garbage bags were a joke but we've certainly had our share of frustration with them here. The majority of those that can be bought here are thin and tear easily, which is the last thing you want with a garbage bag. It's hard to find ones that are sturdy and when you finally find some, you may not be able to find them again the next time you need them. Life is a permanent adventure here. :)

    It's really thoughtful of you to offer to bring some things for us but please don't worry about that! We have care packages mailed every so often, plus we stock up on things every time we visit the U.S. It's funny to explain to the airport checkin people that the big cardboard box we're checking contains dishwashing brushes, freezer bags, corn flour... They don't understand.
  18. PGN

    PGN Well-Known Member

    You may want to take over a good barely used laptop (dual voltage). To give as a present.
  19. meluzina

    meluzina Well-Known Member

    there could be a problem with this type of gift -- unless you purchase the czehc version of the os, it might not be suitable for people who have limtied english skills
  20. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    I recently had a discussion with some one on this board that peanut butter and maple syrup are hard to come by there. Perhaps you could bring jelly and a loaf of white bread and make them an all American peanut-butter/jelly sandwich. Also, they don't have American pancakes so maybe some pancake mix as well. Perhaps you could even cook the person an American breakfast. :)

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