If You Give an Expat a Package

A few weeks back, I arrived to my apartment only to find a rather large pink, daisy-patterned box. Strange, I thought. I wasn’t expecting anything and this box sure was, well, very bright! Inside, I found a collection of Easter goodies and the tale of my mother’s journey into surprising me with ONLY an Easter card. Anyone who has studied or lived abroad, knows that packages from home are priceless. However, those that send those packages, know that those packages are PRICEY! Because let’s face it: These days, no one can walk into a supermarket, such as Target,  and walk out with only one item!

The following is the letter my mother wrote for me describing her adventure. Enjoy this “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” tale of expats and holiday surprises.


If you decide to send your daughter, who is in Taiwan, an Easter card: While at the store to purchase a card, you look at some marshmallow Peeps that have caught your eye, thinking this is a good idea to include with your card. Why not, they are light and serve as good packing material. But when did I get the idea to send a package? When you get some yellow Peeps and see that now they make them in several colors and flavors—chocolate, orange, vanilla, strawberry, oh so many flavors. White, pink, purple, oh my, which ones will she like? You have difficulty picking one so you decide to get them all.

But since we now have marshmallow treats, we need some chocolate. But what if those Easter chocolate bunnies melt on their journey to Taiwan? Nobody likes a pool of chocolate with eyes looking up at you upon opening your package. Instead you grab some sugar-covered Cadbury chocolate Easter eggs, since you think they won’t melt. One bag? No, two will do.

Now we need to get some jelly beans. You look for small packages, oh man why do they make big bags? And why do they weigh so much? Remember we need to keep the box light. Finally you find some Jelly Bellys. Oh yeah! At check out, you try to avoid looking at all those purposefully placed items. As you wait, a small box of rainbow-colored Goldfish crackers catches your attention. They are so cute and colorful. They won’t weigh much; they too are light so you add them to your final purchase, you hope.

While at home you look for box. Look, look, look, none will do. So off to the Post Office it is, where you remember seeing some. As you look, some too big, some too small, just as you think you find the right size, a white daisy pink box is calling. Excited with the pretty box to get it home and place all the Easter goodies, to only find the box is too big. Ugh! Don’t despair. You know, what if you get her a Spring-looking scarf? Yeah, that will be light and will be a nice surprise for packing material.

After work on day two of your goal-directed mission in sending some Easter love, you stop at one of your local favorite stores for just a scarf. Oh my, a twelve-hour sale! Will she like a plain bright color or will she like a pretty spring print? I have too many choices to pick from. After a long conversation with yourself, you finally decide on one. Pleased with that decision, you decide to take advantage of the buy one get one half off deal and you repeat the whole process once again in your quest. Done! Gotta get it to the Post Office before one o’clock. In line you can’t resist looking and you end up picking some earrings to buy, after all they are on sale. To the Post Office finally, oh man the Post Office is closed! Once home, all items are placed in the box. Perfect, it’s a shame it will now have to wait ‘til Monday!

At the start of the work week, one continues determined to mail the box. One, two, three and four hours finally pass; you grab the much anticipated box and walk to the Post Office during your lunch break.” Next” yells the post man. Only to realize the box is not totally sealed. Really, thinking to one’s self. You purchase some packing tape, sealing the box with lots of love, hoping the box arrives soon. The postman weighs it and seals it; you realize that that was ONE expensive CARD. Walking back to the office, with a sense of relief and accomplishment, the thought crosses your mind… next time you have the great idea to send your daughter an Easter card, you send her an E-Card instead!

 Happy Easter Daughter! Much love always- MOM.



8 thoughts on “If You Give an Expat a Package”

  1. I so know how you feel… My parents used to send the UK Maynards Wine Gums across to me in Sydney, 6 bags at a time – the only UK sweet that I really miss. I would always be ridiculously grateful to receive them!

  2. I loves getting care packages from both my mom and dad when I was abroad. Although neither want me to leave again, I’m looking forward to their care packages again!

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