Awright other ex-pats, ‘fess up, I know you do this, too! Hoard your own, personal, can’t-do-without, hygiene accoutrements. This phenomenon is pretty much universal, so I’m just going to put it right on out there for everyone to read. When you are first told that you are moving to another country, you start to immediately make a mental list of things that YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED to bring from home because you are convinced that your new country will not have THE EXACT SAME ITEM. 9 times out of 10, this is a perfectly legitimate assumption.
After you arrive and, as you acclimate, you discover that your new country will have something pretty close. It may not be exact, but it will work. After a few YEARS, you find yourself just using the new country’s stuff and you get over it. Except. Except for those few things that you discover, yes, it is true, you might perish if you have to go without them.
C’mon, you all do this, I know. A certain soap. A certain tampon. A certain shaving cream. I know. I understand. Your body just does not feel right, your hair just does not look right, your teeth just do not sparkle, etc. without PRODUCT X, right? I know. I can relate. But there is someone who can relate more than me. Yes, Mr. Big.
Mr. Big has not even tried to acclimate. In fact, I don’t think I’ve yet to see Mr. Big step one foot inside a Swiss pharmacy. Oh, wait. I take that back. Two weeks ago, he was sniffling and sneezing and trying to cough up a lung. I DRAGGED his reluctant ass into a pharmacy and told the pharmacist that my husband had a cold and could he recommend some medicine. Mr. Big was soooo desperate for relief, he actually used the Swiss pharmaceuticals. Lo and behold, he felt better. Amazing, I know.
However, should I ever run out, apparently, Mr. Big has got me covered, because, in a corner of the bathroom cupboard, I spy a bag of tiny Pantene shampoo and conditioners. SEVENTEEN bottles. Of a product I do not need or want!! Some women get jewelry. I get sample-sized hair supplies.
As long as we are airing our dirty laundry, I might as well confess that I have a cupboard here in Switzerland full of . . . Newport cigarettes. Yes, in addition to my many, many other bad habits, I am an uninhibited, out-of-the-closet, unashamed smoker. Shoot me. Anyway, I have been smoking the same kind of cigarettes since I was 13 and my BFF’s big sister, Janet, taught me and my little pal how to smoke. Thanks, Janet! You have destined me to a life of ridicule and standing outside on frozen balconies indulging in my disgusting habit! As soon as I am finished here, I am looking you up on Facebook and see if you have as many smoking-induced wrinkles on your dried-out-little-prune-of-a-face as I do.
So, we are closet hoarders. I feel much better now that I have exposed this neurotic tendency. The rest of you can now feel free to chime in with a story of your own personal stash. And, if any of you has a closet full of regular bleach that you are hoarding, I will pay good money for that shit.