Wednesday, May 30, 2007
My husband returned yesterday from his week-long visit with his family in the U.S. (and there truly was much rejoicing as well as crying). There is more than one tale to tell but I'll start with souvenirs. In the past, I've mentioned that my husband has received gifts from students and now he's returning the favor. The picture above is the large quantity of See's candy that he bought to give to his favorite students.
There are 13 of the boxes with American flags. They each have 4 pieces of candy and cost about $5 each. My husband chose this design because these are souvenirs from a trip to the U.S., not out of some sense of patriotism. There are 4 of the seashell design boxes and they are pretty much the same as the flag boxes. They just have a different design. My husband will be giving these to the majority of students but the larger boxes wrapped in blue paper are 1 lb. boxes which he'll give to those he enjoys teaching the most (these cost $17.50). The peanut brittle and peanut chews are for anyone he misses with the chocolate, I guess.
This was actually a pretty sizable investment considering See's isn't cheap. However, my husband wants to show those students who have regularly taken his classes for the last few years and who have been fun to teach how much he appreciates them. I guess this may look to some extent like him greasing wheels to ensure that the students continue to be devoted to him but that's not the way he is. He's sweet, generous, sincere and genuine. That's why he has so many regular students who enjoy lessons with him. He doesn't need to bribe them with chocolates.
My husband is a particular fan of See's because he grew up with them and he wouldn't miss the rare chance to pick some up for us as well. This picture is of the friendly See's lady holding the two-pound custom box he picked out for us. I'm guessing it'll take us ages to get through this and it's currently sitting un-opened in the fridge.
One can buy See's candy in Japan (in Shibuya) but the prices are outrageous. My husband dropped by there awhile back and took some pictures. The box pictured above is of a 2 lb. gold box for $112. In the U.S., this box is $35.60. You can guess that we don't buy much See's in Japan and can't blame him for going a little overboard when he patronized one in the U.S.
Incidentally, there is a move by some major chocolate manufacturer's in the U.S. (Hershey's, for one) to re-define chocolate so that the cocoa butter content can be reduced and replaced by vegetable fats and the resulting product can be advertised as real chocolate (despite being more of a "mockolate"). See's was (and may still be) one of the companies that opposes this which is why the topic springs to mind. I actually don't mind if chocolate companies make this switch as long as they are required to print the fact that it's no longer real chocolate on the label. However, the way this is going, it will allow companies to make this substitution and not make it clear which candy is "real" and which is using cheaper ingredients.