"Collectables, books, games, postcards..." Personal Page by ChristinaNest
Well, it could be a little childish, but we like to collect Kinder Surprise chocolate egg toys. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, it's a small plastic egg-shaped container covered with a white and brown chocolate shell, and then in foil. Inside the container there is a put-together toy or a figurine. Every year there are new series and a total of about 100 new toys (lately they re-release old series :((( ) Our favourite series from last year was the Monster Hotel, we have all the toys in the series but one: the Mummy in the Coffin (so if you have it and eanna trade, let me know!!). From the new series we like the Animal Soccer: 2o different animal football players with magnetic 'feet' and magnetic football so you can really play with them ( yes, a 30 -old woman and a 26-year old man play with them sometimes, when will we grow up?!) And the animal figurines are soo cool.
Some facts about chocolate eggs: They are illegal in the USA!!! And guess why? Because supposedly a young kid can choke on the toy. That can happen, but there are warnings on 2o languages on the egg that it's not suitable for under 3, and then parents should supervise their children anyway. And at the same time similar toys are found in almost all cereal boxes to attract customers, and those toys are more easily accessible for kids, still, they are legal. Anyway, some Americans who have seen the eggs abroad got so crazy about them, that they found ways to SMUGGLE them in the country. Some people set websites where you could order them and have them secretly delivered. A granny was cought ordering whole boxes of the precious eggs her grandchildren coveted so much. Thank got she wasn't arrested or sued.
So the chocolate eggs are as illegal as drugs and another thing they share is, that those eggs are very addictive both for kids and adults. Some toys are so cool that you want to collect them all. And when you get a repetition you go and buy another one hoping to get a new toy…
The chocolate is very good too, although when we started buying whole boxes I kind of got tired of it so we kept a bag full of chocolate shells… Another interesting thing I read about that, some people who buy in bulk or care mostly for the toys, even developed a recipe for a chocolate cake using the shells!!! Well, there are some die-hard collectors out there! We wonder what will happen when our son grows older, I guess he’ll like the eggs too. So far we have given him a few toys we have repetitions of, and he likes playing with them and putting them apart. He hasn’t tried the chocolate though because we don’t give him any refined sugar or chips or McDonalds or other junk, so far he is very happy with fruit and fruity yoghurt and plain cookies, and occasional gummy bear or fruit cake on holidays. And as far as chocolate is concerned, Marty shouldn’t be given any as the doctor ordered, as he is very active anyway, so the extra sugar and stimulants will get him too wild (although I can’t imagine him getting more wild than he already is now). So you see, we have the perfect excuse to keep the eggs for ourselves, us old egoistic pigs Well, specialists say our son is too young both for Kinder toys and chocolate, so what can we do…
Our silly collecting passion doesn't limit itself with Kinder toys. There is a sheep series of a company’s merchandise that we like very much. The first items were 2 lovely mugs my husband gave me for the 8th of March two years ago (It’s the international Women’s Day, a big thing in ex-communist countries). One was with a pink sheep saying ‘I love you” and the other, a black sheep saying ‘good luck’. Next, for mother’s day, a got a small stuffed sheep, this time gray. It sits in the cellphone chair on my computer desk next to a ceramic sheep figurine we bought from a gift store. Now this stuffed sheep I took with me whenever I travelled without my husband so I kind of took a piece of him with me. This way the sheep climbed the highest peak in the Balkans, Mussla peak in Rila mountain, Bulgaria. It also accompanied me to Africa and saw the Sahara Dessert in Tunisia (I have it both on photos and film).Then my husband got me another mug, with multiple sheep and one with a yellow sheep. So I decided to buy him one too, so for the last Reyes Magos ( A Hispanic Catholic holiday, celebrated on Jan. 6th) I gave him a mug with a blue sheep. Then, to celebrate his first paycheck from his new job ( a Bulgarian tradition) my husband bought me a lovely cushion with a brown sheep 9every time the colour is different). Then, for the last Women’s Day, he got me 2 more mugs, one pinkish, one chocolatish, so now we have the full collection of sheep mugs. As an addition, I also got a pink bathrobe, with sheep and numbers to count before falling asleep
You see, being a multi-culture family, we observe both our countries’ holidays and traditions so basically every month we have at least one occasion, so finding ideas for presents gets too difficult sometimes, so it’s a good thing we like these sheep, makes a good present for the ‘smaller’ holidays. And December is literally packed: both my husband’s and my birthdays, 8th of December Students’ Day (another ex-communist tradition, but a good one), Christmas and New Year’s Eve, my name day which falls on Christmas Day (a big Orthodox tradition) and then my sister and some good friends also have birthdays in December, imagine the partying and gift hunting.
Well, we don’t only collect childish stuff. We both love reading and music so at home you can find tons of books and CD’s (if you’ve read the ‘Little Monkey & I’ album, you know it already. Another passion of ours, that’s board games. We play different games that are popular in our own countries or in the whole world: Scrabble (we play the Bulgarian and English versions, don’t have the Spanish one yet so that my poor husband can finally win at anything besides chess), Monopoly, Dominoes (a Dominical favourite, still I win!), a popular simple cardgame in Bulgaria and not only, called Santase (called 66 in other countries), although I still haven’t taught him to play my all-time favourite card game, no. 1 in Bulgaria, called Belot (do you know it, with 4 players, a bit like bridge but much simpler, still not to simple, gotta think). Another game, very popular in Bulgaria is Backgammon, we have a magnetic one that is good for the beach. From the USA we also bought some games that we were disappointed with but still play sometimes: The Game of Life (way too simple) and Trivial Pursuit 6( only for American TV- and baseball addicts, no wonder some people don’t know anything about the world but know all TV shows, all baseball players and what a particular president liked for dinner or what his pet’s name was, after all those facts are so important…).
But our favourite is Siedler von Catan (The Settlers of the island of Catan) as I already wrote in the “Little Monkey & I ‘ travelogue, sorry. This is a German strategy board game where you settle on an island, build villages, streets, cities, seaports, trade with materials you use to build, etc. This game has several additions, or upgrades, that make it even more complicated and interesting. The bad thing is that they sell them only in Germany or on the internet (don’t have the credit card required). Luckily my sister went to write her Master’s thesis in Germany, so she bouth us the Stadte & Ritter upgrade (it allows you to build metropolis, have knights, etc.). Update, May 2006: this week we finally got the Seefahrer for Catan!
I love to receive postcards, especially from places I haven't been to, makes me believe that I'll see those places one day too. So if you'd like to send one from your homecountry or travels let me know and I'll e-mail you my address. It might be oldfashioned, but it's so nice to get a real letter or card with a real stamp. There's e-mail and phone, but I'm always happy when I find something other than bills/broshures in my mailbox. I always send real Chrismas/birthday cards to my friends and family, I sometimes even make my own greeting cards :)
These are the cards I’ve received from VT members:
Wien, Braunshcweig and Balchik from member Childish: India from Balashi & cuppadamoksha. New arrivals: Berlin from bijo69, traditional market from mizzzthanggg, Lovech from Childish, Penang from SLLiew, Exeter Cathedral from cazz38, Ko Chang from bijo69, Cambridge from t-adri, Mushroom Rocky (Qatar) from mizzzthanggg, Vaduz from loisl, Singapore and Malacca from SLLiew
Thank you very much!
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