Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Buy Canadian

People say you appreciate something more when you no longer have it - your health, a partner, your country...

Being an expat can teach you to appreciate the country of your birth in many ways, sometimes not entirely expected.

After having been an expat of some sort for a decade I have gone through a range of things - at grad school in the US I had no problem with toiletries or clothes, but found myself craving wine gums, mars bars, and salt and vinegar chips that make the inside of your mouth hurt they are so strong. In India it was hot chocolate, cheese, and sushi (yes, I got teased about that one, but Vancouver has some of the best sushi I've ever eaten).

In Japan my biggest problem is clothes. Since many stores in Canada don't sell pants long enough for me I'm not surprised that in a country where the average female barely comes up to my shoulder the pants are a little short. So trips to Canada always entail a suitcase coming back with a new wardrobe - packed around sauce packets (gravy mix, hollandaise sauce powder, etc), wine gums, pita chips, maple syrup and maple cookies for gifts, deodorant sticks, and various other toiletries. And drugs. Not the kind that'll get me stopped by the sniffer dogs, of course, but extra strength Advil liquid gels and extra strength Midol.

With our trip to Canada coming up in just over a month I'm excitedly making lists of things and goods to bring back. I've also started getting omiyage (gift) requests from friends and coworkers. One wants duty-free cosmetics, another wants decaf tea bags, and my coworkers want maple cookies, except for the two who asked for "pain killers that actually work."

If you could have one thing from Canada, what would it be?


  1. Could you bring back one of your lakes (fish included)? ^^

    Painkillers and antihistamines that work and don't cost a fortune. Decent deodorant. Nice shampoo. Tampons.

    1. I think the lake might put me over the weight limit! :D

      I realized with dread a few weeks ago that I didn't have any more deodorant in my stockpile... I had to pay three times the price to buy a stick to tide me over until my trip in August. Sigh...

  2. Oooh! Do you think he'd go in my suitcase - or could I get him to sit on my lap for the flight back? :D

  3. Those Advil Liqui-Gels are something. I have a Costco sized one in my bathroom. Good stuff!

    When I go home I always try to pick up Coffee Crisp! Hard to take back in the summer without melting though. Same goes for an Ice Cap! I do like to bring back a can of Beef & Barley soup for when I am feeling poorly. But really, all my luggage space goes to my kids now, so I'd probably end up bringing back something ridiculously practical like learn-to-letter practice pads or something. My husband would be angry at me for forgetting the poutine gravy packs though!

    Have a great trip, fill your camera, suitcase, and tummy!

    1. I had the same advil liqui-gels Costco bottle - we finished it a few weeks ago, however, so will have to buy a new one when we're in Vancouver.

      Coffee crisp, eh? I was sent a few in a parcel a few months ago and U really liked them, but I'm more of a Mars girl myself - which I discovered wasn't something you could buy in the US!

      Gravy packs! Yup! We'll be buying lots of sauce mix packs, I bought a Greek seasoning package that U really really liked!