I wouldn't be kidding, lol.....
Any woman who wants to share my life better be just as interested in keeping a neat house, lol...even if it means picking up the phone to call Sonia, the housekeeper...:)))
The only way to look like a king when you buy a woman any kind of domestic appliance is when she literally ASKS for it, because she knows it's time to upgrade the old/broken/missing ones.
Until then DO NOT even mention it...it will work against you every time.
If you happen to be from Hawaii, perhaps a big beach towel with a surf picture???
-at least the baggage handlers will find it difficult to break it - no matter which kind of record-breaking throw they use for your suitcase...
One thing Russians like is a BOX OF CHOCOLATES and ...
When I went in November 1999, I noticed the roses withered and died after only 1 day (because they are all imported and days old by the time they get shipped and distributed in Moscow!) so... I was fortunate cause I brought my own ROSES that I pulled from my OWN garden! Just cut the stem extra long, and pull roses just beginning to open their flower. Then package them (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13) by wrapping in paper towel, and put in a baggie with a bit of water to keep them moist. Then neatly package in a Paper Towel Roll, or roll them in newspaper protecting the entire apparatus.
Presto, when you present them (After just arriving from the airport to the HOTEL and your first meeting), you will score BIG points! Not only will they be better than what you bought, but they will last for several weeks just like when you pick them at home for your own garden!
OOHH Be sure it is an ODD number of Flowers, Even numbers are bad luck, and no YELLOW roses. (The tradition is guys give yellow roses when they are going to break up!)
A microwave oven. I will bring one on my next trip. It is bulky, but not heavy. I can get one from Walmart for $40. Again, I will need a converter. I have not seen one on any of the ladies apartments I have been in. They can't afford it. I don't think they can get them as cheap as $40.
Thanks for the heads up, Mr. Durak. The only converter I know at a reasonable price is at Radio Shack. I believe it is between $20-$25 USD. I didn't know there were different ones for different voltages, but that makes sense.
We take microwaves for granted and it has been around for about 40 years now. Microwaves do cook differently and it does taste different. Cooking conventionally still taste better. We use it mainly to heat and reheat don't we? My prospective step daughter loves popcorn and I was going to bring a box of popcorn with it. A box of 30 costs less than $6.00 at Costco.
The only other place I know where to find these converters is Fry's. I remember looking at both units and compared their capacity and Radio Shack had a better capacity at a cheaper price. I don't know what the units meant, but Radio Shack had more. I also remember looking at Best Buy and they didn't have any. With Mr. Durak's revelation, I'll probably look into:
1. A special order of Microwave with a 220 voltage.
2. Look at Radio Shack's converter and go with it anyway. I will have to tell them not to run it more than 2-3 minutes at a time. That's enough to heat food, coffee and cook popcorn.
A microwave is something I would suggest getting over there if you really want to buy one. As durak mentions converters are heavy and expensive.
I have what I thought was a pretty subatantial converter, capable of converting from 110 to 220, or from 220 to 110 - its about the size of a toaster and weighs about 15 or 20 pounds. I happen to have a 220 water boiler and thought I would see if I could convert enough of our 110 to 220 in sufficient quantity to boil some water. (I know it would help if I actually read the capabilities before trying something like this after all they are in English) and was amazed that the fuse was blow in less than a second.
Prices are certainly higher in Ukrainian stores but there are big box stores like Best Buy and such in large cities. (In Moldova they actually have big box stores sporting the same old logo as our old Circuit City - but they are called City.com or something like that).
I once wanted to send my Moldovan lady a cordless home phone - and hoped to buy it on ebay. Well of course I couldn't find a 200 cordless on US ebay - so I went to ebay.uk and found one which I had sent to Ukraine to her. She needed an adaptor of course since Britsh plugs are different than the rest of Europe but it was readily available.
I just did the homework on this. Thanks, Mr. Durak and Jetmba.
I mentioned months before that the lady on my first visit did not ask me to pay for staying with her in her apartment for one week. I was, however going to pay her anyway. I was contemplating on how much. On our last day together, I withdrew close to $200 USD equivalent from an ATM machine. The ATM would not give me more than that. I still had cash at that time, and I had about $300 to give her. I was contemplating on giving her more. I can see that she was struggling, and I paid for everything when we went out, including her personal items. But, I could not withdraw again until the next day.
Jet lag got to me. I spent a sleepless night the night before. I think I went to sleep about 5:00 AM, and still got up when she did around 8:00 AM. Then, as I have told before, she would not talk to me about our relationship which was going nowhere. It was nearing 11:00 PM and she went to sleep, when she usually slept around midnight. I think that was to avoid talking to me. I was in Ukraine, for just a few more days. I was wound up and was facing another sleepless night. I decided to leave her that night.
We went to the ballet on our last evening together. She loved the ballet and it was our second time there. They say the FSU have the best ballets. They were great and cheap ($10 USD for each ticket). That morning before we went to town to the church catacombs and bought the ballet tickets, I realized that even though her apartment was fairly new (new carpets, new furniture, new paint job), she did not have a microwave and I asked her about it. (This was the same apartment with the soapy water in the toilet.)
After the church catacombs, we stopped by the mall. That mall was connected to the store that looked like Circuit City, as Jetmba says. Lo and behold, she started looking at microwaves. I was not paying close attention to the prices, because I didn't know she was going to ask me to buy her one. I think there were others more expensive, and others cheaper, but she decided on one that cost me about $285 USD. That number is in my head, so it must be it. That $300 I was going to give her was gone or nearly gone.
The box to my microwave that I bought for $40 years back is in front of me. It is a strong box and I put some books in it. I just looked and it says it has a 700 watt requirement. The one I used for the portable DVD player I brought there was the one from Radio Shack is 50 watts and is $19.95. The Fry's is 100 watts for $27.95. I would have been screwed if not for this forum.
I did not think of ebay, but thanks to Jetmba, I just looked there. The 1000 is going for $42.95. Problem solved. It is more than I was going to spend for a converter, but it will be enough for the microwave or if I decide to by other electrical items for my new family, assuming I can pull this through.
I doubt that the shipping (extra baggage)cost along with the expense of a heavy voltage converter (i.e. transformer) is worth all the bother... just buy the microwave there and eleminate all the hassel. Also I have read how many of the guys buy a mobile phone on Ebay to use in Ukraine... what for? I bought a brand new Nokia 1202 cell phone for $35 USD in Ukraine and it works perfectly. I think you can shop locally and find better deals than trying to bring everything from USA. Oh! This last trip I brought my girl microwave popcorn (Orvil Redenbachers)and she loved it! Her remark was... we have microwave popcorn in Ukraine but not with butter!
MC, the only reason I would bring a microwave all the way from here is to provide them with a convenience that we all take for granted at a nominal cost. If I had to pay extra cost for baggage, I would not do it. The last time I traveled, you were allowed two check ins. I only need one.
I didn't pay that much attention to what kind of microwave Alla bought.
I remember in the old days when microwaves were new, the cooking was not the same, as Mr. Durak says. Some innovative manufacturers then combined both in one oven. Those products did not last long, for some reason. My mother had one, but I don't know what happened to it. I suspect Alla bought one of those.
When I was Kiev last time I seen a few microwave's that were not very expensive. I think the going rate was around 60 dollars and a coffee maker was even cheaper. I was looking for a flash drive at the time and with the current exchange rate even the digital cameras were just over 100 usd. I tend to ship things so I don't have to carry so much with me. now how do I get my snowboards on the plane.
Thanks, bowhunter. That settles it. I will not do it. It no longer makes sense economically.
Now that I think of it, there is no reason why microwaves are expensive over there anymore in these hard economic times. But, when Alla and I went in November of 2007, I did not pay much attention to the features or prices, but I did see how much the cheapest one was. It was about $170. Granted, I did not look that hard. I did not know she was going to ask me to buy one until she did. When she did, I did not go back to the aisles and said, why don't you get this cheaper one?
Business was good back then. Recession was nowhere in anyone's minds. The traffic in and out of the store was good. Outside the checkout were about eight tables, which looked a place where people applied for credit to buy something at the store. All eight tables had customers.