Really, it is about tampons and toilet paper, and me being a “virgin expat” moving to my first foreign country. My husband’s employer thought little enough of the local economy that it paid for us to ship a massive amount of consumables, so we wouldn’t run out of things that we needed during our two-year tour. I was 30 and newly wed, and I was supposed to figure out how much toilet paper, tampons, soap, sugar, oil, cereal, and other critical items we would use while we lived in a war-ravaged country at the ends of the Earth.
Mid-evening in a neighbourhood bistro in the sixième. Elizabeth has been listening to me politely but she is puzzled. Although — en principe — she is a firm anglophile, changing her name from ‘Elisabeth’ to ‘Elizabeth’ at an early age, she sometimes finds the English themselves a little odd. The purpose of my present journey, for example, mystifies her completely.
I am sitting on a plane, all alone for the first time in what seems like ages,enjoying the luxuries of a glass of wine and my music on my iPod. I am not
searching in-between seats for lost Playmobil horses or digging through my bag
in search for the “right” colored pencil.