I am getting increasingly excited for a visit from my sister next week. This will be my first real visitor from home; I met two friends in Paris over the US Thanksgiving weekend, but that doesn’t really count as having a visitor coming to see me here in my own new country! So it will be fun to have someone to show around and to introduce to all the funny little places I see every day in my funny new life. Even more importantly, I have been sending her a small stream of requests for items that I simply cannot get here. The poor girl will be quite seriously burdened with the accumulated mass of all of these little requests over many months.
The strength of my desire for consumables from home has caught me a little bit by surprise. I was aware of this phenomenon previously; I recall friends in the US ordering favorite foods from expat catalogs. As with everything else, it’s not clear how desperate this situation is until you’re actually in the position of craving something and finding yourself completely unable to buy it or anything that even closely resembles it.
Such powerful cravings are inevitably embarrassing. Why don’t we ever crave broccoli with such desperation? So I confess, and in making this confession promise my sister that this is the last such request before she gets on the plane, that I would live without many of the other things that she is bringing me if I could just get a one pound box of Cheez-It Baked Snack Crackers. Please? See, it really is both desperate and embarrassing.