I have chums around the country and one or two who live abroad and these are sometimes the most interesting to keep in touch with and in general, we have the very best correspondence.  I get to hear al about their lives in the new country, how they go about their shopping and lives in general.  I find the cultures of other countries and they way these affect their shopping particularly interesting.  The reliance on supermarkets for everything is less pronounced overseas – where there are major stores, these of course are used by all but in the less poulated areas there are still old fashioned shops and markets to be explored.  It’s amazing how many homewares and giftware items can be found when wandering along these intricate little lanes and hidden alleys.  The only problem is getting them home – the space in the suitcase is governed by the weight allowance and it’s so easy to go over without realising it.