When visiting the Russian Federation, it's customary to offer small gifts in appreciation for the hospitality extended by locals.
A word of caution, though: Don't give soap!
Here in the U.S., fancy soaps are considered tasteful gifts; however, Russians are insulted by the gesture, interpreting gifts of soap as a sign that you think they're unclean.
Here's a clever alternative: Russians are passionate about their pets. In fact, over half of Russian families keep a cat or dog. The answer, then? Bring playthings for pets and disposable lint rollers for their guardians!
That's right -- we know first-hand that animal-loving Muscovites adore the handy gadgets, which are harder to find (and afford) there.
So finish here by ordering your new From Russia With Love Side Tear Checks, then head to your nearest mega-retailer to stock up on fake mice, chew toys and lint rollers! Oh... and if your hosts don't have animals, a box of chocolates will do!
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