Friday, November 30, 2007

Suitcase contents

Literally! What makes it in and what doesn't? What to bring back and what to leave behind? These are some of the questions my husband must be asking himself as he readies his luggage for the trip back to Italy. He is in the States as I write this post; and he has the not too easy job of getting everything in the list I gave him before he left.

Here I should take a moment to write about the global economy, the dollar versus the euro, the euro versus the lire, and so on and so forth... but I am not an expert, and all I can tell you is that we get paid in dollars, and that the dollar is going down, down, down... hence our predicament: Should Fernando buy another suitcase and pay for the extra luggage? Do I really need the cornbread mix from Trader Joe's? Or should an additional book take its place? The Wonka candy for Nick is coming no matter what, but what about all the other "stuff" like the kid's Tylenol, or the baking powder I so desperately need?

By now you must be thinking that I am a little crazy to ask for all this. I don't know if I am still too "new" to the Italian economy, but I check the prices and I do the math, and I can not bring myself to buy much more than the absolutely necessary here. Italy is known all over the world for its fashion industry, and here I am buying all my clothes on sale in the States. The price difference is extraordinary! Furthermore, some of the clothes that are popular here, all come from the US! I am talking about 10 year old's fashion here: O'Neill, Quicksilver, Converse, Nike, Gap, North Face, Timberland... You get the drill. Nicolas loves the fact that all things American are so popular amongst his friends, he takes some pride in pointing out that some of these companies started in California, his birthplace.

To further complicate this matter, we arrived to Italy ill prepared. We lived in Southern California for more than a decade, and we owned a couple sweaters, and a jacket or so. Our "winters" there are mild, not much rain, no wind. Well, now we are living in the north of Italy, in the mountains, near Switzerland and the Alps, and yes, I would not call our weather "mild". I know it could be worse, but this is cold enough for me, thank you very much! I am Colombian!!!

Fernando is buying coats, and scarfs, and gloves, and hats... I sound like Dr. Seuss... and how will he manage to get it all in two suitcases? Well, he is an engineer, I think he will be fine! We are ready for our early Christmas, sans gift wrap. I am still setting up the Christmas tree though.

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