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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Understanding the shopping pysche of an expat (or, why Shamozal has 2,000 unopened condoms)


Kirsty (also known as @shamozal) at 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle touched on a topic today that is near and dear to many expats’ hearts: stuff.

Specifically, imported stuff. Why do expats complain so much about not being able to buy the exact food and goods they’re accustomed to getting back home?

Why can’t we all just get used to living with what’s available?

Even though I don’t understand all of her Australian references, I found Kirsty’s answer to be spot on:

Sometimes in an unfamiliar world, that one piece of familiarity can be what gets you through the day.

Often if you ask an expat about the items they travel with, the answer is more about the tradition and the experience. It’s not just the warm milo, its the warm milo we always had after netball practice, its the road trip with the girlfriend where we took a bite out of every Clinker so she could have the green ones and I could have the pink. It’s the Tootsie Roll that was bought if you were good while Mum did the shopping. There’s a feeling that comes with the smell, taste, wrapping and even packaging…

Sometimes it has nothing to do with the food.

Perhaps that’s the reason I trek to Mega Mart on occasion. Despite its ridiculously, offensively high prices, they sell Cheez-Its. And good cereal. And Cool Whip.

What do you guys think? Should expats work harder to adapt? Or should we allow ourselves the occasional indulgence?

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