View Full Version : And now for something completely different....Gift Advice;)

June 9th, 2006, 10:40 PM
No, I'm not posting the Parrot-sketch, although I have to confess that alas I'm a big enough nerd to recite it from memory ;) but I have something Linux-unrelated.

I thought to myself: "Here is a little problem I can't get a hold on! Disaster has struck! Run for the hills Nelly! If only I could find a group of people that could help me..." and before I added another exclamation mark, which would probably anger the gods so much as to smite me, or possibly turn me into a gigantic lover of CMOT's sausages in a bun, I thought that the Ubuntu Cafe might just offer some pointers in the right direction. (Although I think that in the future I will advise my children not to go looking for help in a cafe/pub, but then this is a big problem)

What can this horrific problem be I hear the 2 readers that haven't closed their browser tabs yet. Well it is this:

A friend of mine is leaving the Netherlands (Shock!) to work in Washington D.C. for half a year. Before this careermove she plans to tour the states (probably in a Camero, James Dean sitting next to her, Europeans that haven't been to the States have a very romantic idea of it.)

Now I want to give her something fun and useful as it's her first trip of this magnitude. Problem is that I sort of just jumped in and learned how to float very quickly on my first leap over the Atlantic, so I have no idea what could be a nice gift.

I was thinking about Bill Bryson's "I'm a stranger here myself" or "Notes from a big country" which would introduce her to some Americana in a good and healthy way. (Or I could print out my journal pages concerning my time in NY taxi-cabs, but I don't think I want to punish her with a 60 page rant)

So if you have endured this lengthy discourse, please just spew your ideas.

Owh and NO! A laptop with (K)(X)(Ed)Ubuntu is not a good idea, it's slightly out of my budget......

And NO! I know you can run Xubuntu smoothly on a old P2 300 Laptop...still not a good idea. ;)

June 9th, 2006, 10:46 PM
I recommend a copy of the Lonely Planet guidebook for the USA (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1741041929/sr=8-1/qid=1149889457/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-1480610-8449465?%5Fencoding=UTF8). I've not read it, but I've used their books for countries all over the world. They consistently combine history, culture, practical tips and info in a useful and enjoyable fashion...and are generally accurate.

Biltong (Dee)
June 9th, 2006, 10:51 PM
A Mapbook. I'm not kidding. The USA is a BIG place and the more help one can get the better. Try the Rand McNally Road Atlas. That, coupled with a couple of Bill Bryson's books (good idea by the way..) ought to be indispensable.

June 9th, 2006, 10:55 PM
You can never fail with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Biltong (Dee)
June 9th, 2006, 11:05 PM
His friend isn't going that far! :-)
And the last time I checked, (although they may be strange), the Americans are actually Earth based organisms....
That reminds me. A Dutch/English dictionary might be a good idea as well.

June 10th, 2006, 12:04 AM
Strangely enough, The Hitchhikers Guide can always help you get out of trouble. The times I wished I had brought a towel....

That Road Atlas sounds very helpfull!

It's hard to think of things that can prepare someone (especially this hyper-active screwball of a girl) for something as big and culturely divers as the States. I'm still hoping Micheal Palin is going to do " USA in 10 Days " or something like that.

Untill that time there is no such thing as a bad idea :D

June 12th, 2006, 06:38 AM

June 12th, 2006, 06:57 AM
Get her this book:

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction


Americana at it's best, or worst however you look at it. :D

June 12th, 2006, 05:06 PM
You can never fail with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

So true, alternatively the Lonely Planet guide to the USA.