One of the greatest pleasures in expat life is the announcement from friends/families/acquaintances that they will be visiting. It’s incredibly soul warming to be in the presence of folks who have known you for more than five minutes, negating all the “getting to know you” conversations that expat life is filled with. It’s like slipping on your favourite pair of old slippers after stumbling around in stilettos for months. A balm for the expat soul, if you like.
When people announce their plans to visit I am delighted. I am even more delighted when they utter –
“Just let us know if there’s anything you want us to bring from home!”
That’s when I bring forth The Expat List. The list of things – little and big, trivial and important – of ‘stuff’ that I miss. Stuff that’s either difficult or too expensive to get here. Or that just doesn’t exist here. Stuff that makes me smile and reminds me of ‘home’.
So far, we haven’t given out the full list but tailor it for the particular visitors. I can ask my mum to drop by Big W and pick up the bras that I know and love, but can’t ask our beach house neighbours do the same.
The one constant for ALL visitors is the supplements from the Melbourne weekend papers. Laying in bed on a Sunday morning with a cuppa and the Good Weekend is a tradition I am thrilled to be able to continue here, albeit with months old Good Weekends!
Here’s my list –
- ibuprofen (for adults and kids)
- cheese and bacon rolls
- Cheezels, Twisties, Cheetos (the local ones are not the same)
- magazines from the weekend papers
- Billy Tea tea bags
- Colgate’s ‘My First’ kids toothpaste
- underwear from Target or Big W
- swimwear for the Missies
- eucalyptus oil
- wine from the Duty Free store
What’s on your Expat List?