Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The List

“I need to put that on The List,” I think to myself when I discover I am on my last deodorant. Actually, I discover I have already finished the last deodorant, but I think maybe I have one in my travel stuff, and I am right. I also have deodorant in the Seattle stash and in the Pensacola stash, and I usually stop one of those places before going anywhere else, so I feel safe using the travel deodorant.

Once I find something I like, I usually stick to it, until they reformulate it or make it “new and improved” in some way that I hate. I remember that I bought the deodorant when we were going to Saudi Arabia – hmmm. . . . about 10 years ago! I had been there, and I knew they didn’t have this particular kind which goes on clear, isn’t sticky, and has no scent.

Guess I must have overbought (you think?) After reading EniGma’s blog on Expiration Dates I even checked to see if deodorant expires, but there is no expiration date.

It took us nearly 20 years to use up all the dental floss I bought before we went to Tunis. Somehow, I had estimated one roll of dental floss per month, times 24 months. We were still using that dental floss when the drug store that sold it to us went out of business!

I can get most things I need here in Kuwait, but deodorant goes on “The List,” which is things I need to buy when I go back to the US for a couple weeks. I checked yesterday, and could not find a scentless, clear non-gel. I have enough to get me through till my next drugstore expedition.

The List exists between trips, and drives a lot of our stateside behavior. It’s like our own personal scavenger hunt. It’s mostly make-up, underwear/socks, specific clothing (a caramel colored long sleeved T-shirt), cooking goods we can’t find here (Chinese ginger tea), etc.

Last trip, I found the last item on my list on the last day I was there – I had bought a cat groomer for our son several years ago, and his cat loves it. It is like a very long bottle brush made into a rainbow, and as the cat rubs on it, it brushed excess fur out. I never round the exact thing, but I found something like it.

The Qatteri Cat is utterly indifferent. He doesn’t care that I used my last inches of suitcase space for something special for him.

And, when I get back to Kuwait, as I am unpacking, sometimes I think to myself “I wonder why I thought I needed this?” I find that I have an entire drawer full of candles I don’t use, cocktail napkins I don’t use, and shelves of books I need to give away or donate to a local library.

The reverse is that while I am shopping here, I also have a list, mostly a mental list, trying to find unique gifts to take back to people in the US. I have found a few things here, but locally made gifts are getting harder and harder to find.

My list is getting shorter. Mostly now it is dental appointments, well woman, etc. Maybe a new caramel colored, long sleeved t-shirt, surely a stop at the Lancome counter, but the less the list, the more time to just relax and enjoy the trip.

September 30, 2007 - Posted by | Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Health Issues, Hygiene, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Pets, Random Musings, Seattle, Shopping, Travel


  1. Hmm… I love having a list too, makes things easier & more organized; As well as the Lancome counter, it does make you feel good 🙂

    Comment by chikapappi | September 30, 2007 | Reply

  2. Chikapappi, the best thing is that it helps me not to forget anything. The bad thing is, I can be a little obsessive about The List.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 30, 2007 | Reply

  3. I soooo keep a list. And yes, its mostly toiletries, but the other items are totally random.

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | September 30, 2007 | Reply

  4. Little Diamond, where do you keep your list?

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 30, 2007 | Reply

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