Yesterday we saw a friend, a familiar face, for the first time in two and a half months. I didn't realize how nice that would be! Our kind friend, Bill, came over for work and brought a whole extra suitcase filled with items that we can't live without until next year, such as Arm & Hammer toothpaste, underwear from the Gap, and a really, really fabulous top that I saw on the Lucky website and couldn't pass up just because they don't ship to New Zealand. Very important things!
Actually the toothpaste is very important. This sounds rather trivial, but imagine if you moved to the other side of the world and one by one began to run out of your everyday items -- toothpaste, deodorant, moisturizer. Yes, of course you have modern conveniences (mod cons, they say here), but good lord they don't stock any of the brands that you've been using for years and years so you have to buy something else, AND it all costs more, a mind boggling amount, actually. A bottle of contact solution is $30 and a tube of antihistamine gel for bug bites is $17 (and they have insidious little sand flies in some places). Revlon nail polish is $15 and a tube of lip gloss is even more. I won't even get into the flat iron and how bad my hair has looked for the entire time here.
You're thinking, "Honestly...toothpaste is toothpaste, right? Don't be such a whiner." Wrong! It's not. If you've been using Arm & Hammer for as long as you can remember, Colgate just tastes like hooey! No thank you. My point is, some people (me) are really attached to their little everyday products and it's a real bummer to not have them. I should mention that Bill and his lovely wife, Pam, have lived in all sorts of interesting places throughout the world and they definitely know all about ex-pat ups and downs.
Thanks to Bill, we had an impromptu pre-Christmas last night and it was totally the cat's meow :-) And all of the clothing I ordered (yeah, there was more than just the Lucky top) fit perfectly, including the new hoodie, thank God, as I wear at least one every day and I only brought two. Toothpaste, a new hoodie, fresh socks...aaaahhhhh... thank you, Bill!