A gift that took you long time to choose
To be honest, I always have a hard time choosing gifts since I’m not good at reading people’s minds or guessing their personal preference. The most difficult situation I remember is when I had to prepare a special gift for a Japanese client 5 years ago.
At that time, I was working as a translator for a business consulting firm. Actually, I wasn’t supposed to be in charge of such nerve-wracking tasks. As the office manager quit her job all of a sudden, I had to take over parts of her duties, including taking care of our customers. At that time, we were helping a Japanese firm to set up their first business in Vietnam. As usual, we would give them a gift before they returned home.
Obviously with no previous experience, I totally got lost. I tried searching the Internet and asking around for suggestions but none sounded brilliant enough. After trying in vain for 2 days, I decided to stop looking further and just pick up the best option available. I narrowed them down to 2 categories: specialty food and local handicraft items. However, as Japanese custom policies on food are very strict, I ended up chosing a set of silk lanterns that can be easily folded and packed. I believe I made a wise choice. Our clients were delighted with them. They even sent me a picture of the lanterns hanging in front of their house and thanked me over and over for these lovely gifts.
IDIOM: have a hard time/ read someone’s mind/ all of a sudden / over and over
(Sample Answer from Duong Vu Book: https://idvielts.com/sach-ielts-speaking-2020-duong-vu/)