My parents are on their annual trip to Singapore (coz my brother lives there) and every time we speak the question is:"Bete, kya laayen tumhare liye yahaan se?"
And honestly there is nothing that comes to mind immediately... I know electronics are much cooler (and cheaper) there but I am happy with my 6 megapixel camera, 20 month old laptop, iPods in two sizes (nano and Touch). If I get something shinier, newer and latesht, what do I do with this barely-used stuff?
But finally, after much thought, I have come up with an object of desire: a digital photo frame. You do get them in India but the one I saw in Croma was some 7000 bucks. I'm sure there are more options in Singapore (and better prices :) If have a brand you recommend (or any other advice on what/ how to buy) pls do share!
On a separate note, the whole globalisation phenomenon makes the excitement of 'phoren return' a thing of the distant past. My childhood is chequered with milestones based on my dad's phoren trips...
* The doll whose blue eyes opened and shut (1977 - Israel)
* Pink and white polka dot dress with lace collar (1980 - US)
* VCR! (1984 - Japan)
And well, you get the picture. Every time he returned from some astrophysics conference, opening the suitcase was a sacred ritual. A jadoo ka pitara from which all kinds of wonderful goodies emerged.
No, I don't crave that we go back to that era. But it would be nice to have that suitcase-opening ritual to look forward to. Actually, there are amazing things you get at specific places. You just have to look harder for them.
I recently discovered the pleasures of 'smoked cheese'. Thanks to my daughter who got a chubby slab of it from a cheese factory in Belgium (she went on a Thomas Cook tour to Europe with her cousins this summer).
And dark chocolate - you still don't get really sinful stuff here in India. Or maybe you do, but I love it if someone gets it for me from phoren.
Ab India mein sab kich milta hai... But iska yeh matlab nahin ki aap khaali haath vaapas aayen. We still loooooove gifts. Just avoid the sasta-sundar-tikau perfumes, please!