Somewhere in northern Maryland (okay, not somewhere, Hagerstown) is a gigantic warehouse that is home to the chattel and baubles of American Foreign Service Officers currently serving in far-flung places (and some less far-flung, but still outside the boarders of Home). I’ve never been to this promised land of left-behind goods, but I can only imagine it is more of a complex than a warehouse.
It is somewhere within this massive storage facility that the majority of my HHE still sits, awaiting shipment to Chengdu. Emails have been sent, hallway conversations have been had and there are many sets of eyes anxiously awaiting a reply about when all of our Idaho possessions will begin their literal slow-boat-to-China journey.
But, in the meantime, we did receive our rather small HHE shipment, coming from the Crystal City mo-partment. I may not have wall hangings or kitchenware, but I do have a few items that will make our Chengdu apartment just step closer to being home for the next two years.
Friday’s shipment brought with it my Christmas tree, 75 bottles of nail polish, our winter coats (as fall seems to have hit just this last weekend, I think those coats came right in time), my adorable and colorful Eastern Market bureau and, of course, the goodies from my epic Costco shopping trip.
I can only imagine what my ayi thought when she came to clean the house today and found the back bedroom now doubles as a pantry. After hauling a giant bookcase in there Friday afternoon, I filled it with all of the important things we’ll need over the next two years: 45 boxes of Kraft mac and cheese, 40 packets of microwave popcorn, 108 cans of Mountain Dew, 21 cans of refried beans, 80 Jell-O pudding cups…and the list goes on. (Having been raised in a church that pushes self-sufficiency and emergency preparedness through food storage, I have to say, none of the Sunday handouts I ever got made it look this tasty! Who needs flour and pinto beans and rice when you can have Fruit Loops and Rice Crispy Treats and loads upon loads of Miracle Whip. Wait, wait. Miracle Whip was probably included on the hand outs.)
So, while my HHE arrival wasn’t everything I had ever dreamed and hoped it would be, I am happy to have a few more of our things with us here in the Middle Kingdom, things to make our spacious, but barren, apartment home.
With a newly arrived box of Bisquick and some maple syrup I ordered from the Beijing commissary, this evening we feasted on “breakfast for dinner.” Granted, I only have my single welcome-kit frying pan, so while the pancakes slowly browned in that, I scrambled eggs in a sauce pan, which may not be a traditional cooking method, but, you’ll not find me complaining.
Granted, if you give this pig a pancake, she will want syrup, get sticky, need a bath and demand bubbles, but she won’t whine about missing photos and office supplies.