Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Family Suitcase Culture

Yesterday was one of those “deja-vu all over again” kinds of days as AdventureMan and I hit a store and bought suitcases. We will take extra baggage with us to Doha, to carry us over until our shipment arrives, and had been tizzying a little over just how best to do it. I remembered down in the souks they have cheap rolling suitcases, that, even if you just use one time before they break, are worth the price.

Then our good friend mentioned – just in time – that Carrefour was having a sale on luggage, and it was a truly incredible price, like three pieces for KD5.500. We went, we checked, we found the bags – marked at $80. with K-Mart tags. We each bought one set.

As we were pulling them out, I started laughing – we didn’t get such a hot deal. The tag said 6 pieces for $80. so that would mean the 3 pieces we got were worth – full price – about $40. We paid about $20 – so it was as if we bought suitcases at K-Mart for half price.

Suitcases – buying suitcases – are a part of our family culture. I can’t count the number of times my sisters and I have been someplace and we’ve made a run to TJMaxx to pick up another suitcase to carry unexpected purchases. We’ve always had loads of bags, when a friend visits and needs an extra bag going home, they are welcome to take one of ours. We had some friends, long ago, visiting from Moscow, and they took a bag with them to fill with fresh vegetables, something they had been craving in February in Soviet era Moscow. The bag came back the next year, filled with a beautiful Russian samovar they brought as a guest gift, and then the bag returned with them, once again, filled with fresh vegetables.


Some of my favorite suitcases have been great buys – but where are they now? I know a couple are in our storage locker, with collected linens and finds from faraway places. One of my husband’s best bags is in a closet in Pensacola, where we left it in case we needed it some time in the future. Slowly but surely, our collection of baggage has diminished.

Thus, the trip to Carrefour. AdventureMan groaned, hitting Carrefour around 4:30, as the teeming hoards arrived. To our amazement, a car left just where we needed parking. We were in Carrefour, found the bags prominently displayed, quickly decided they would do just fine since we only need them for one trip, and out again in under 30 minutes – how amazing is that? As it turned out, they were instantly useful as AdventureMan cleared some things from his office; the empty suitcase was soon filled.

It’s amazing what comfort 4 – 6 extra cubic feet of packing space can bring. 🙂

(I found the wonderful suitcase photo on Sister’s Choice, a delightful blog.

May 17, 2009 - Posted by | ExPat Life, Family Issues, Friends & Friendship, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Moving, Relationships, Shopping


  1. loooooooooooooool suitcase culture is such a part of our family. this is a great, sweet post!

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | May 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. Always the hard side Samsonites with wheels…don’t leave home without well, 7 of them! (current number we are up to)

    Comment by Q8Dutchie | May 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. doha? ur moving to doha :`(

    im curious, how many middle eastern countries have u been to so far?

    it must be fun moving around all the time, i would love to do so had my husband been more flexible! he says he can’t live anywhere else because he will miss q8’s hardeez so much Grrrrrrrrrrr!

    Comment by Daddy's Girl | May 17, 2009 | Reply

  4. Most of my suitcases have been hand-me-downs from my parents when I went of to college, moved for my first real job, etc. The picture you found brings back memories of my parents when I was a kid 40+ years ago as they had one exactly like that – and it’s one of the hand me downs I still own to this day!

    For me, that is one of the neatest things about your blog – almost every post touches some emotional aspect of my life.

    Comment by bitjockey | May 18, 2009 | Reply

  5. You made me laugh–my sister and I have been trading the same old carry on bag for years!

    Comment by momcat | May 18, 2009 | Reply

  6. Little Diamond 🙂 LLOOLL is right!

    Q8Dutchie – Those hard sided suitcases don’t expand! You can’t stuff them to exploding! Just wait until your beauties pack their own suitcases; wheeled duffles!

    Daddy’s Girl – We’ve lived more years in Germany than anywhere else, even our own country. We’ve also lived in Tunis, Amman, Tabuk (KSA) Riyadh, and once before in Doha. Moving used to be a lot more fun, more exciting; now, it seems like a lot of work. I think we are getting ready to settle down. 😦 DG, I think you and BuTootie could live for a while in another country, but I think you would be miserable being away from Kuwait, not just the Hardees, but everything you know and love. Kuwait is special, and you are living here in a very exciting time.

    BitJockey – LLOOLL – those suitcases in the photos remind me of suitcases my parents got from THEIR parents! We started using duffle bags while in the military, when you could take two bags onboard and the airlines weren’t so particular about how much they weighed.

    LLOOLL – I think we share some DNA somewhere on the tree-of-life, Momcat.

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 18, 2009 | Reply

  7. […] Photo courtesy of intlxpatr […]

    Pingback by Part of Tchochkes has moved to New York — Tchochkes | July 22, 2009 | Reply

  8. Hi Guys

    You should check out Intelligent Luggage self weighing suitcases, works on a touch of a button. It was also featured in this years msnbc as one of their best innovations. Its amazing!!!

    Comment by Brent Williams | October 5, 2010 | Reply

  9. Amazing story of your family luggage. I would recommend bags from Samsonite because they are durable and affordable.

    Comment by Karen L. | October 24, 2017 | Reply

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