The Epic Expat Care Package
by Zoë Noble
1. Scarf – This would have been useful if winter hadn’t weirdly decided to fuck off, but at least I know it will come in handy next year when it’s payback time.
2. Coffee – Anyone who knows James knows he has coffee running through his veins. My parents try to keep him in constant supply, bless.
3. Nail varnish remover – Last time I was over in the UK my mam introduced me to these little babies. You basically whack your fingers inside the little pot and, voilà! Nail varnish gone in seconds! I declared it to be the best invention since sliced bread and knowing my mam, she will have bought a huge supply for all my coming birthdays and Christmases.
4. Haircut suggestion – My mam has written “Zoe – new hair cut?” next to this model with a bob. I listened to this advice, and it worked out nicely, so well done Ma. ☺
5. Style magazine from the Sunday papers – In the UK, Sunday is the day for eating the biggest roast dinner imaginable and reading the biggest newspapers imaginable in front of a log fire/flatscreen TV. In Berlin we don’t have a TV and German newspapers hurt our brains so this is a nice little mindless distraction.
6. Waterproof mattress cover – Don’t worry, James isn’t wetting the bed (anymore). This is for a furry grey Fledermaus named Olive. Thankfully, she’s now worked out how to hold her tablespoon-sized bladder for longer than five minutes so we won’t be needing this, phew.
7. After Eights – As well as keeping us in constant supply of coffee my parents also send us a steady stream of chocolate. I wonder if, when I’m 40, I will still be sent Easter eggs in the mail? Fingers crossed.
8. Victoria sponge cake – A few years ago, I mentioned in passing that I liked a bit of Vicky’s sponge and ever since then my mam has always bought one for us to take home when we visited. Now she’s taken it to the next level and actually SHIPPED US A VICTORIA SPONGE!
9. Makeup bag – She also likes to send me little pressies she spots on her shopping trips. Who am I to put a stop to this??
10. Gravy – Germany, I love you – but you don’t seem to do gravy well. If anyone out there knows where I can buy gravy that you can stand a spoon up in, let me know.
11. Face wash – I didn’t ask for any face wash but I guess Berlin can have quite the ageing effect on you, with its weekend long raves and burger-Döner diet. Maybe my mam is trying to tell me something?
12. Makeup sponges – Again, didn’t ask for these, but I think you can see there is a bit of a theme going on. Just because I’ve moved to Berlin it doesn’t mean I should let my beauty regimen slip.
13. Socks – James gets through socks like they were made out of cobwebs so receiving a constant supply from family members can only be a good thing.
14. Underpants – See above. Try not to imagine pants made of cobwebs.
15. Olive – Good thing that box had airholes!
16. His and hers slippers – My parents are always buying things to keep us warm: slippers, dressing gowns, socks, scarfs, blankets. Maybe they know that we would never spend our money on practical things so they have to try and keep us alive somehow.
17. Bathmat – My mam explained that this is made from the softest material ever so she wanted to share the joy.
18. Quality Street – See number 7.
Can you top this?? What’s the most ridiculously epic care package you’ve ever received?