Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Money, Stuff, and everything in between.

Why is it that money from my native land gets me all nostalgic.  Something about holding the green. Holding it, even the very few dollars (all 5s and 1s) that I have at this point living abroad, make me register that I'm going home.

So, as opposed to doing a corny little post on what I'm looking forward to, because I've already done that and I reached my quota for corny with last night's post, I'm doing something different.

There are things I no longer pack when I go home. I have a definite to US or to Brazil packing style.  It's efficient, it's crazy, it holds me off for the time I'm away from either place.

Since I'm going to the US and I'm being reminded of those neurosis, here is what I do and do not bring.

1. Skin care products. I buy them there, in bulk when possible, and bring them back.  That goes for face, body, and some hair. Not that hair. I live in Brazil, there isn't enough of that hair left!

2. Tennis shoes. Only the essentials because I prefer buying my tennis shoes, converse, boots, etc there. I do sandals, flip flops, and heels in Brazil.

3. I bring all my jewelry. I love earrings and always buy them in Brazil. Cool, big, and cheap.  Makes me sound like a hooker but I make them classy.

4. Books. If I'm mid-book, I leave it behind. I fly with kids, so no way I'm going to get to read on the flight. I'd much rather read new ones, bring back new ones, and pick up where I left off upon arrival home.

5. If beach is possible, I always bring my Brazilian bikini. I especially like to bring my littler ones. Shock factor. Nothing freak outs an Americans more than one of our own in a tiny ass Rio de Janeiro bikini on a US beach.  I've gone to Ipanema, I have no more shame.

6. Coffee and lots of it. My family is bored of most Brazilian things. That's a sign you've been somewhere a long time, when things you bring home stop being exotic. 'Oh more Pau Brazil beaded necklaces.  Great! One more and I can make a curtain.'  Coffee though, that is a staple asked for by every member of the clan.

7. Cigars. Brazilian ones. I swear.

Man, I'm getting all listy these days. I do believe packing and organizing is to blame. Procrastinators like myself need lists to make sure they only forget half of the stuff they are supposed to bring.

Anything I'm forgetting people?  Only 5 hrs to go!


  1. and don't let Jeremy see that photo....

  2. My mother loves it when I bring Pão de Queijo mix.

    At this point grrl - if you don't have it packed you will hve to buy it at the airport.

    Garoto chocolate bom boms? Fluminense key chain? Pão de Queijo.

    Safe travels. Relax. Go with the flow.

  3. Again with the similar lists. Are you routed through SP?? Will we be on the same flight???? How strange would that be. I'm guessing no, since you are going to the other side of the US from us, but our countdown sure seems similar. Crazy!!!

    Safe travels, have a great trip, and I'm back to my list to finish up the Carry On.

  4. Since I have been reading your blog for a while and you've mentioned you like getting comments (even the negative ones), here's my first one - and it's a positive one, hopefully. Thank you so much for writing so amusingly, and also for not being a judgemental, snobbish cow. :) Yours is one of the few blogs written by expat foreigners in Brasil that I can actually read without wanting to commit mass murder. It's nice to see someone really embracing the new life instead of constantly moaning about the civilized world they apparently left behind. As a brazilian expat in the UK, I know how hard it can be. Have a nice trip and a lovely christmas with your family. :)

  5. Reader- No SP on the way there but yes on the way back. That would be so funny if we were on the same flight! lol. We do have a stop in Houston. You?

    Thanks Posh and Lolla! Lolla- I really do enjoy living here, even with the complaints I have. I'm glad you are enjoying the posts!

    Jim - I wouldn't even know what to do with the Pao de Queijo mix! Is it easy to make? My fam would love that stuff. I also just realized I forgot to pack requeijao... Oops. I do have time, technically...

  6. They sell pao de queijo mix in the US (at least in Massachustts). Its in the Brazilian/Hispanic food isle (sometimes its labled "pan de queso") and is VERY easy to make.

    Once my mom starting finding Guarana, garoto chocolate bars,etc. in our local Market Basket it all pretty much lost its thrill. My parents do however enjoy going to the Brazilian bakery in town while Im home and having me explain/name all of the different treats.