17 October, 2011

The Expat List

This morning I opened my blog reading list and first stop was Our Big Expat Adventure, a blog written by a fellow Australian, living in Singapore.  The author, KJ and I connected over a mutual love for mamamia.com.au and now chatter away on Twitter fairly regularly.

Today’s post is titled The Expat List and just reading it made me become excited.  I’m certain that every expat has their list filled with weird and wonderful items that only fellow country(wo)men can relate to, I know I do.  I have found that over the years as I get used to living abroad my list has decreased somewhat,  However, my mum is coming to visit in a few months with a luggage allowance of 30kg (bless you Emirates), so I’m in the process of putting together the full shebang.  She’ll regret offering by the time she has no space left for her own clothes!

Here’s my list of essentials:
  • Arnotts Pizza Shapes.  If you don’t know what pizza shapes are, it’s probably a good thing.  They are good enough to consume my thoughts for days on end.  Really.
  • Chickadee chicken salt.  I’m sure the ingredients aren’t only ‘chicken’ and ‘salt’ but it’s so damn tasty that I could cover anything with it.
  • De Jour tampons.  I don’t know why, but tampons outside Australia just aren’t as good.  Plus it seems women in the Netherlands prefer sanitary towels, which are just not for me.
  • Tea bags.  English breakfast is my flavour of choice, and the blends here in the Netherlands are just not up to scratch.  I love Twinings, Tetley and the best:  PG Tips.  I usually put in an order for those when I know someone going to the UK.  I have found them in the Black Market in Beverwijk, but that’s an hour’s drive, just for tea...
  • Chocolate.  It’s weird what you miss.  Belgium is as close to Almere as Mount Gambier is to Lucindale, but when all you want is a Violet Crumble or a block of Cadbury Snack Godiva just doesn’t hit the spot!
  • Heinz (or home brand) cheesy tinned spaghetti.  Love it.  I can also get tinned spaghetti from the UK, but the Australian version is just that much better.
  • Crumpets.
  • Cotties apple and raspberry flavoured cordial.  This is a new addition to the list.  I really miss ‘proper’ cordial.
  • DiGiorgio Family Wines sparkling pinot noir chardonnay.  My all time favourite bubbly.  Helps that it’s from my home town!
  • Bundaberg rum.  This is for my husband.  The smell takes me back to too many nights of obscene drunkenness, and these days it’s only after I’ve drunk my body weight in beer or wine that I think rum is a good idea.
  • Vegemite.  Of course.  What I would really love is a cheddarmite scroll from Bakers Delight.  Yum!
  • Promite.  I prefer it to vegemite actually.
Notice that Tim Tams are missing? I love them, but they don't quite make my essentials list. Chuck in an extra box of pizza shapes instead.

What about you?  What’s on your list of items from home when someone comes to visit?

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