Suitcases. They are a part of our expat existence. Any expat wife worth her salt is able to balance an overweight item of hand luggage on her pinkie, sporting a winning grin in place of a grimace of agony.
Packed lightly on the way home-home, our cases are crammed full of home country comforts on the way back. Goodies are distributed expertly among the big bags taking full advantage of the weight limits allowed by the airline. I made my usual mistake. I told the children our tickets were booked for their summer-winter holidays, (summer there, winter here). 15 minutes later, they were packed.
This means they had crept barefoot in pyjamas into the garage, even though I have strictly forbidden setting bare feet in the garage after my snake encounter. I open their cases for inspection. Sweetpea now grasps the idea of travelling light on the way home and returning like a herd of packhorses. She’d packed a sweater and a couple of books. Good girl.
Pickle packed his favourite stuffed toy, which squashed in half takes up ¾ of his hand luggage. In the remaining quarter was his new Lego model. This is the stuffed toy he always sleeps with. The new and favourite Lego model that he plays with every day fell to pieces and needed medical attention. I’m beginning to sympathise with the Mr Business character in the Lego Movie and his obsessional use of The Kragle. This game of packing and unpacking and hunt the suitcase will continue for the next 4 months.
I will do a last check of Pickle’s suitcase when I send him for his pre-departure wee. At this point I will extract any contraband, large, heavy or edible items from his hoard. In the meantime, I might also have started making my own secret tiny pile of things to take with me.