Christmas Around the World

A few days ago I received an email that began:

Guten Tag,

unser Logistikzentrum hat den unten stehenden Artikel verschickt!

Unser Hinweis:

Sie koennen Ihr Kundenkonto jederzeit ueber “Mein Konto” einsehen und verwalten.

Ihre Bestellnummer 028-2384921-6012345 (eingegangen 16-Dezember-2007)

Surprisingly enough, this was not spam. Despite the fact that I do not speak German, I was quite happy to have received this email written in German.

Last year my family hosted an exchange student from Germany. For Christmas this year we wanted to send a present to her. However, if you have ever had to send anything to a foreign country, you know what a frustrating and time consuming process that can be. It can take weeks just to send a card to Germany. Further, any gifts that we sent would require us to make sure that they complied with applicable customs rules. Also, there is possibility that the receiver would have to pay a tax upon her receipt. This seems like a lot of work just to send a Christmas gift.

Then, I had an idea. Why not send the gift from Amazon. However, I would not send it from, but instead from (Amazon in Germany). Sure, I had the problem that I don’t speak any German. But, any problem is solvable with the internet. Right?

Anyway, using Google Translate and Babel Fish I was able to understand enough to make sure that I was ordering what I wanted. Further, the great thing about ordering from Amazon is that its website looked the same in German as it did in English. Thus, despite the fact that I could not understand the words on the page, I could navigate the page and complete the required information because, based on my experience with, I knew what information they were looking for.

In sum, I think it is amazing that we like at time where I can send a gift to someone in a foreign country with only minimally more effort that is required for me to give a gift to someone in the house with me. If you want to send a gift to someone in a foreign country, I recommend that you check out that country’s version of Amazon. It may save you time, money, and frustration. Further, it won’t be nearly as difficult as you think, even if you don’t speak the language.

One thought on “Christmas Around the World

  1. So how does one use google translate? I was navigating the site and your German student didnt teach me enough German to get too far in Amazon.DE.

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