Note: This article is intended for an audience who are above 25 years of age.
We have been travelling for several years now. Probably I should write decades. 🙂 While it is a great fun and enjoyable to see new places, meet new people, imbibe new culture, sometimes new drinks too, 😉 there is another thing I relish. That is souvenir shopping! Shopping for souvenirs, for self and for friends back home.
I always keep some time (when possible) for this shopping.
Shopping for souvenirs, local arts, clothes, local candies & chocolates, local brew et al always gives me a high. For me, it takes more time to find something for others than for myself. I turn options in my mind as to how one would receive the gift. When it is time to return at the end of it all, even at the duty free shops, a quick scan is always mandated. Especially for Swiss or Belgian chocolates or some perfumes. My friends have only one demand. “Pick up a bottle or two of Scotch!”. It is so easy to shop for men. 🙂 There is nothing to think, no imagination. Takes all of 5 minutes to do it.
There was a time when such requests were there only because back home Scotch was hardly available. Now one can easily secure authentic Scotch, duly endorsed by Her Majesty the British Queen, from the local authorized shops. Old habits die hard. The requests for duty free scotch keep coming. It seems like a ritual that since you are allowed to buy two bottles, you bring them. 🙂
Airports seem to sense such sentiments of arriving passengers. Pass through immigration and into the strategically placed glitzy duty free shops where the banners scream discounts on Scotch amongst other things. I remember about 10 years or so back there was just a small 50 Square feet shop at the arrival area of Mumbai Airport selling their stuff. I never cease to wonder how things have changed.
You can imagine, in all our travels together and individually, how much we have contributed to Scotland’s GDP!
Over the past few years, there is a growing trend to gift the Scotch to friends on many, sorry correction, any occasion. So, next time you think of buying the perfect gift, look out for Scotch Whisky Collection in a store nearby.
Igor Stravinsky, the famous Russian composer once said, “My God, so much I like to drink Scotch that sometimes I think my name is Igor Stra-whiskey.”