Friday, July 4, 2014

I Will Not Take These Things For Granted

I couldn't have gotten a better surprise today than getting my package from my folks finally delivered to my door. After all, it is the 4th of July. And this holiday notoriously makes me homesick. Not quite in the way Christmas does, but I miss my family and friends. And I miss my country, even with all its' faults. It's still my country and I can't wait until we can come home.

Raelynn stood by as I opened it up. She knew Papa and Mimi sent her some presents and she couldn't wait to see. Neither could I. Mom always does the best job at picking just the right things. Things that when I lived in the US, I totally took for granted. You probably take them for granted too, don't you?

Some of those things:
Bags of mini donuts. You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. Come to China and I dare you to try to find this, or Little Debbie's, or anything supremely delicious like this in any of the aisles. You won't. In the biggest cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen or Guangzhou, there's likely a better selection but I can tell you that these bags of donuts do not exist in this country. Mom put 4 of them in there. You rule, Mom!

American candy. Just look at this bag full of candy bars. I know my mom loves me when I look at this. Not that I doubted her but she knows the pain I feel. In China, you can walk into just about any supermarket or convenience store and the selection of chocolate candy will be the same: M&Ms (plain and sometimes peanut), Hershey bar, Snickers, and Dove chocolate bars (most of the time, only dark chocolate). In a few upscale locations, you can find some imported chocolates, like Ritter Sport. We used to buy those at Metro (until those hosers decided not to honor family memberships anymore) for 11 rmb each. Then the price rose to 16 rmb each. In Watson's and all other stores you see them in, they are about 20 - 22 rmb each now. For one bar of chocolate. Imports from other countries can be even worse. And if you dare suggest I ingest Chinese chocolate, I will hurt you. It tastes like sawdust. No offense, China, but when it comes to chocolate, you better step off. Stick to something you're good at, like dumplings. 

It wasn't all candy and donuts though. The rest of the box contained some other equally as amazing items, like cans of artichokes (rare to find here and if you do luck out, they cost an insane amount) and hearts of palm (can't find here), low sodium salt (Mom was reading up on my blog to think up that one), Stove Top Stuffing (something I haven't seen in years and cannot even wait to make), cans of Manwich (hello sloppy joe's!), cake mixes (flavors that can't be found here like red velvet - and she even sent the cream cheese frosting, also unavailable here), fruit snacks for Raelynn, Goldfish crackers (also for Raelynn), capers and much more.

For non-food items, we got some books for Raelynn and me, including this amazing coloring book with a magic paint pen that only writes inside this book. It's genius. Why didn't I think of this? Feel free to send more of these in the future because it kept Raelynn quiet as a mouse for 30 blissful minutes.

My mom also picks out the most adorable clothes for her grandchild. Unlike someone else we know (coughcoughMILcough) who picks out things like this and this. Oh God, and this. No, no, no. My mom would never be capable of sending anything as vile as those things.
 How darling is this summer dress?

 Or this one?

 I just love the embroidery on this reminds me of a dress I had when I was a little girl. A dress I loved.

And this little outfit is just adorable! See what I mean? Mom +100; MIL -1,000,000.

Oh and here's a view of some of the other stuff from the package as I was trying to organize it.

Care packages like this one really help me feel a little less homesick. We've received many wonderful packages over the few years we've been here, mostly from my folks and from my brother and my sis-in-law, but also from friends. Last year, 2 of my friends kindly sent small packages of Easter candy, something you can't find over here. And a few months ago, my friend Natalie sent me an incredible package of stuff including Girl Scout Cookies, definitely not available in China. If you ever feel like sending us a package, just message me for the mailing info. The only thing better than packages full of goodies though is the people they come from. I wish my family and friends could mail themselves on over but for now, I'll cry into my candy bars.


  1. What a coinkidink! I'm glad your and Raelynn like the magic pen books, because she's got a couple more coming! Haha!

    1. Oh yay! I'm so happy to hear that! Thanks for thinking of us and loving us enough to send a package. I'm always so happy for little things like that which keep my child quiet for a while. And I love that she could take that marker and try to color all over the house and it won't do a bit of good. Why didn't I ever think of such a genius product? Sigh. Anyway, thanks again girl! xoxoxo