4 games played on Civ 5.
1 game on easy and 3 on normal. What have I learnt? Cultural difficulty cannot be achieved through keeping ur empire small despite the original game design.
A small empire means a small income. A small income means only a small army can be maintained.
And with only a small army, the bigger fishes want to play rough as the incentive is there for them. They have bigger armies, bigger budget surpluses and more tech points per turn, meaning better types of troops.
Playing aggressively militarily makes life in Civ 5 so much easier.
On to other things.
I am not one who believes in the latest gadgets or expensive wallets as regular gifts. Once in a while, I don't mind, but not too often. The biggest gifts I can think of that I can give, is my heart, and a home to call our own. =P