5/12/09

How to thank an Inuk?

I pride myself on being one of those people who's "really good" at giving presents. I even keep a year-round rotating list of "gift ideas" for my friends and family. Seriously. It's on my desktop with a passcode and everything. I have had my mother's and father's day presents picked out for months.
 
Yes, sometimes I slip up and give something lame as a cop out. But I really do try to find things that are useful and relevant and even a little bit luxe.
 
But I have to admit I'm a bit stumped right now. There's a person - an acquaintence, really - in town who has just been a godsend this winter with my ski-doo. I've jokingly named him my "new boyfriend" because he just caters to my ski-doo woes like it's going out of style.
 
He'll pull over to the side of the road in his dump truck (yes, he is the garbage man at times too) and asks me how my machine is running. Earlier in the winter, if he saw me walking some where he'd ask if it was okay. He thawed out my skidoo when its innerds were frozen solid. Today, as I was walking to work he stopped by in his work truck and asked what had happened to my skidoo (it's been stuck at the Northern for a couple of days now). And without me asking said he'd pick it up after work. He's never asked for anything in return, and he really goes out of his way to help me with my machine.
 
And I want to thank him. But I don't know how. Some of it is a general "I never know what to get men for gifts," some is a cultural thing, and some is a sensitivity thing (the old thank you fallback would be a nice bottle of wine or something... but with the rampant alcohol issues in this community, it's hard to say if that would be offensive or not).
 
So that brings me here.
 
How do you thank an Inuk? Thoughts?
 
 

8 comments:

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan May 12, 2009 at 2:41 PM  

Gift certificate for skidoo parts from the northern!!

Meandering Michael May 12, 2009 at 4:25 PM  

Everybody, Inuk or Qallunat, likes food! Bake him something!

Mongoose May 12, 2009 at 8:48 PM  

Something for his skidoo, clearly. Wine is a lame gift in any occasion, in my opinion. Or you could get him some really good hand cream. People who work outside tend to get really chapped hands.

indigo May 13, 2009 at 11:02 AM  

Michael has made an important obsrevation ::anyone regardless of cultural background likes to be thanked and gifted. My question would be :: is he single or otherwise. You are young, female and........carefeul what you give and what message it sends.

Jackie S. Quire May 13, 2009 at 11:18 AM  

Indigo: That was actually a concern of mine too. He's probably in his 40s or so, has a couple kids and lives with a woman, but I don't want to give the wrong impression.

Just me May 13, 2009 at 3:26 PM  

I'd go with the gift card for the Northern or CO-OP. That was he can hide it from his female companion if he thinks she will get upset. Giving food in the North is a tricky situation. When I was in Pang I was told to beware of young men bringing me meat...

Matthew and Michele May 14, 2009 at 1:22 PM  

Go with the gift certificate.

Jackie S. Quire May 19, 2009 at 2:00 PM  

Hey all,
I went with the Gift Certificate, good suggestions from all!
Thanks so much for your help/advice!