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CARE PACKAGES
Two awesome care packages in such a short time! Thanks to the best seester who sent my order of Girl Scout cookies, we now have a freezer full of Lemonades and Peanut Butter Sandwiches. And thanks to the best mom who acted so quickly when I called her with an emergency order for American medicine and sent a complete care package of items I was running low on.

When I moved to Sweden 14+ years ago, the list of things I craved was long. My mom was awesome about sending stuff over to keep my homesickness at bay. Everything from Big Red gum to the huge & heavy bottles of brand shampoo & conditioner that I couldn't find anywhere here.

Nowadays, the list has substantially shortened, but it's still a bit embarrassing to admit how many things I still import from the States. I do the vast majority of my clothes shopping when I'm there. I get most of my over-the-counter remedies from American grocery store pharmacies and even though I have found replacements for most food items that I crave (like Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup and V8 juice), there's just no substitutes for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or Betty Crocker cake mixes. Plus I must have cinnamon toothpaste. Cool Mint gel just won't cut it anymore.

It made me laugh about half a year ago, when Oreos arrived in Sweden, and Swedish television started airing commercials teaching Swedes how to eat them: dunk them in milk, twist them in half and scrape off the icing! Did you know that the Oreo cookie is almost 100 years old? Nabisco developed and produced them starting in 1912, though back then they looked and tasted different. They are the best-selling cookie of the 20th century.

Oreos are just one in a steady stream of American consumer products which are finding their way overseas. I wouldn't be surprised to find real V8 juice on the ICA shelves someday.

All of the Americans at work want Reese's. It's number one on the list of things we ask our US colleagues to bring with them when they come over on business trips. Hershey's Kisses are another one I often hear. Over-the-counter medicines are also popular. One friend begs people to bring her haircare products. One asks for pancake mixes. People go to great lengths to get their fixes.

When Anders lived in Chicago, before there were any IKEAs around, the only place we knew of where he could pick up a few Swedish food items was at the Swedish deli in Andersonville on the north side of Chicago. He could pick up Ahlgrens Bilar and Turkish Pepper candies or a box of pepparkakor. The one thing he told me he really missed was kassler, a kind of smoked ham that is similar to Canadian Bacon. Strangely enough, we rarely eat it nowadays, though it still makes rare appearances on the dinner table.

Anyway, I'm grateful for my family who takes care of me by sending love in boxes and envelopes at exorbitant postal prices!
happy
mood: happy
music: Shawn Colvin—Tenderness on the Block
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Comments
(Anonymous)

Hi- They arrived even before I told you the envelope was mailed! Happy Day for you -I'm glad! Love, Lizardmom

Me, too. Thanks again, Mom, you're the best!!

Edited at 2011-04-06 07:59 pm (UTC)

I wonder what I would miss?
I do miss Reeses right here! For several years, since I found out I shouldn't eat dairy. FInally I can get a very small peanut butter/chocolate cup from Sjaaks.. And for several years, my son used to make homemade ones for me. They were the best.
But what would I miss?

Not being able to eat the things I want to EVER would be so much worse than not being able to easily get them. I don't know how you manage.

I have adapted, mostly, and found so many new things to crave. But Reeses. I'm just saying.

Please let me know if you have an over-the-counter emergency again! I have a large drawer dedicated to my American OTCs. Chances are pretty good that I got your stuff right here :-)

And I'll take this opportunity to confirm our sushi lunch date on Friday? I'll pick you up at around 1130 unless you say we're off.

Yes yes yes, we're on! And I'm all set on meds, thanks to awesome Lizardmom!

From Megsie

I don't know how you do it! I am (I guess we all are...) extremely spoiled, and would go CRAZY if I couldn't get stuff I wanted!

You have an awesome mom!

Oh, care packages! I remember that my grandma would oh so kindly send us our favorite syrup when we lived in Germany. We are spoiled Southerners and love Blackburn's Syrup. I still can't believe she sent SYRUP in the mail!

It's too funny that all your Swedish friends know the awesome power of Reese's! But do they know about Cadbury eggs?

Oh, care packages! I remember that my grandma would oh so kindly send us our favorite syrup when we lived in Germany. We are spoiled Southerners and love Blackburn's Syrup. I still can't believe she sent SYRUP in the mail!

It's too funny that all your Swedish friends know the awesome power of Reese's! But do they know about Cadbury eggs?

Some of them do, since British items are more common here than American. But I can actually take Cadbury eggs or leave them. They're good but nothing beats Reese's! :)

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