彭蒙惠英语：20110205 MP3在线课程 Sometimes It's Not the Thought That Counts
Help can be found!
One person who goes by the screen name "Mrs. LA" offered a long list of possibilities on ChineseInLA.com: cordless phones, Philips electric razors, Zippo lighters, blood-pressure monitors─all made in America, of course.
Mrs. LA also suggested "Greetings from America" stamps of each state, collections of state quarters and $2 bills showing the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
"The most frustrating thing for me was figuring out what to give to people. It nearly ruined my trip," wrote Mrs. LA.
While frequent travelers are at least familiar now with the parameters of what to give and what not to give, others had to learn the hard way.
"The village people now have money in their pockets. Many of them have only one child and they can't wait to spoil them," said Bao, who recalls the awkward looks after he gave people dresses that had been his daughter's. "My brother took me aside and told me people don't need this stuff anymore. If you can't afford something nice, maybe you should just not bring anything at all."
Embarrassed, Bao, a veteran reporter for Chinese-language newspapers, started handing out $100 bills to the children of his immediate family members.
The global village effect
Yunxiang Yan is an anthropology professor from UCLA who has written extensively about gift giving in Chinese culture. But knowing what to bring has gotten so overwhelming even for him, he now chooses not to give any gifts.
"One reason I don't give gifts is because I go back so frequently, a couple of times a year," said Yan. "We are living in a shrinking global village with increased communication and traveling. Now going to China is like visiting a next-door neighbor who lives a similar lifestyle. So there is no more need."
「我不送礼的一个原因是因为我常常回去，一年两三次。」阎云翔说： 「我们生活在一个逐渐缩小的地球村中，通讯与旅行愈来愈频繁。现在去中国就像去造访隔壁邻居一样，对方的生活方式和自己类似， 因此不需要（再送礼）。」