When I lived in Singapore, one of my aunts shipped me a shoebox full of Heinz ketchup packets from the United States. Tomato sauce is not the same thing as ketchup!
People love to talk about the fresh encounters that occur when you move to a new country. The amazing new food you’ve never experienced or innovative fashion trends you’ve never worn before. But let’s not forget the things from home that just aren’t available in whichever new and fabulous country you live in. Maybe comfort food. Shoes that actually fit your feet.
Certain I wasn’t the only one shipping odd items, I asked other TCKs on Denizen’s Facebook Page what things they bought in bulk, shipped to themselves from home or had a friend or relative bring them while abroad. Here’s what they had to say:
“Bottles of Indonesian chili, curry paste, chicken rice packets, Laksa packets, pork jerky, fish floss, pork floss, shrimp chips and an Indonesian blow dart!” — Alaine Handa, 27, Singapore, Indonesia, United States
Photography by William Hebert
“Boxes of Danish matches. It makes me feel like home to light my candles with them. Weirder still, I bring home Danish cleaning cloths, which we use instead of sponges. My family thinks I’m nuts! I think it’s quite normal.” — Annette Rahbek Floystrup, 60, Denmark, United States
“I once brought 50 granola bars from the USA to France. And when we were living in Canada, my boyfriend went to the States and brought me back eight or so boxes of marshmallow peeps in all different colors. My parents would also make me bring them canned soup, pudding mix and cosmetics from North America when they were living in Sweden.” — Isabelle Meika, 24, Singapore, Canada, France, Indonesia, Sweden, France
“[I’ve] cleared customs with fresh butter, fresh bread and croissants from a bakery, camembert, cases of wine, a melting chocolate pastry, large bags of chips, pounds of cheese and donkey sausage. Silly customs.” — Esther Brumme, 30, France, China, Germany, United Kingdom, United States
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve packed or shipped? Tell us in the comments below!