When I think of French gifts, I always picture things like bottles of wine, fancy cheeses, clothing that exudes style, glamour and sophistication, perfumes that smell so good they make the gods weep and scarves, lots and lots of scarves. In every movie that takes place in France there are scarves everywhere all the women wear them and they are not the paltry little scarves we have here oh no these things are long and flowing and can be knotted in elaborate styles, but are practical at the same time. I love the idea of a good scarf, until I put one on and look like a footballer who has no neck, some of us are just not meant to have decorated necks.
What you get when it comes to purchasing a gift in the kids melamine dinnerware is a lot of stereotyping, Eiffel towers and perfume bottles with cameos on the label, soaps that cost the world but are just in a fancy box with Eiffel towers on the label and they advertise scarves but there are no pictures. The jewellery looks like something your grandmother or great grandmother might have worn, if she held onto the family jewels and liked to pretend she was some high born lady. Chunky, old fashioned looking and not very attractive, this is what is on offer and if this is what is being offered why on earth would you go to the actual country to spend your money.
That’s because what is on offer is what others think we Australians would like, they are offering touristy trash that you could pick up at any market stall except for the French writing and even then in some cases. The soaps can be bought in department stores, just because they have French writing on the box doesn’t mean they are made in France, it is called advertising and all department stores are involved in it. There are a few online stores that offer quality melamine bowls but you have to search through a maze of Eiffel towers to get there and once you do there really isn’t all that much on offer it is all rather disappointing, then the same old things are on offer perfumes, soaps but all French or as close to French as you are going to get without getting on a plane and flying over there and then you will probably end up buying something that has made in China written on the bottom but has the arc de triumph on it instead of the Eiffel tower, a huge relief for one and all.
If you need a bit of tourist charm in your life go buy a stuffed koala or a change purse made out of the ball sack of a kangaroo, that is what we upper class Australians do and don’t we like to flaunt the testicle sack of a dead kangaroo everywhere we go, oh yes, we are right up there in socially acceptable circles.