What gifts to send to your sweetheart. The jpoc guide to postal relationships with women from russia and other eastern european nations.

You have read my comments about sending gifts in the post and you know that the best way to go about this is to send lots of packages with small things in them on a frequent basis.

But what should you send?

Remember, almost anything that you can buy in the shops in the West can also be found in the shops in Russian cities. Sending a bar of toilet soap or some deodorant is not a good idea unless you want your sweetheart to feel patronised by a man who thinks that she is living in the third world.

It is much better is to choose something that she wouldn't have bought for herself. If you are stuck for an idea, a box of Swiss or Belgian chocolates will be well received but beware, it's not such a good idea to post ones with soft fillings in the summer as some can go sour.

Products from the "luxury" end of the list of everyday items are also likely to be well received. I'm thinking of things like French beauty products, fancy soap or scented bath oils.

Books and magazines are another possibility. Any woman's fashion magazine will be appreciated but you might like to avoid the "Cosmopolitan" end of the market as the in-your-face attitude to sex may be a little strong for some ladies and it is always better to err of the side of caution. Books in English are also good. Even if your sweetheart is only just beginning to learn, you can buy simplified readers. These are versions of well known books which are rewritten in simple English. Often with vocabularies of just a couple of hundred words. You can buy these in different grades from a number of publishers. Of course, when you send the first book, you will be guessing at what level is suitable but you will be able to find the right grade of book in the end.

If you do buy a book, don't forget to write a message on the inside front cover.

In most towns, there are shops that sell novelty items such as scented candles, small cushions shaped like hearts and the like. Wander in, browse around and buy a few things that take your fancy.

Finally, music, the food of love. If you have got to the point of sending gifts on a regular basis, I am sure that you have also found out something about your sweetheart's taste in Music. Check that she has a cassette player and send a couple of tapes of music that she has said that she likes. Or try similar music that she might also like. If she doesn't have a cassette player then send her one. (Or bring one when you visit.)

You will have noticed that all of the items that I mentioned are inexpensive, small, robust and easy to pack. (A personal stereo and a bottle of bath oil are exceptions to this.) That is another thing that makes them good choices. The message that you are sending with these gifts is not that you are rich and will shower your woman with lots of expensive gifts but that you are thinking of her everyday.

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