Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Visitors Pay a Price 'Round Here

Once word gets out about us back home, I don't think we're going to have any more visitors.

Since we have a good friend coming in on Friday, and then a couple weeks later my parents and grandparents are coming to pay a visit, we thought we'd ask them to bring us a few things we needed from the US. When they agreed to it, I'm not sure they knew exactly what they were getting themselves into though.

Our meager little list kept growing and growing as we thought of more things we needed, or um, wanted. Jumbo cookie sheet, jellyroll pan, chili powder, syrup, Gatorade powder, Miracle-Gro, blow dryer with diffuser, replacement filters for our Brita water system, ink cartridges for our printer, soap from the Antibacterial Collection at Bath & Body Works . . . oh the things you desire as an expat! (They're just lucky we're not asking for what we really want: an entire suitcase full of tortilla chips, or at least a year's supply of masa harina and a tortilla press. HA!)

I've tried to rationalize my requests by telling myself that this way they will be sure to have plenty of room for souvenirs on the return trip home. It really makes me feel better about the whole thing.


Corinne said...

After suffering through HUGE suitcases (and overweight charges) and my friends (now spent) goodwill, I have learned to only ask for what is ABSOLUTELY necessary. This coming from the woman who brought back a 7ft Christmas tree from the US!! A couple things on your list, you can get here (and not too much more expensive). You can get very large rectangular pans (I have seen the 2 in, but think you can get the 1 inch) that may work for you as jellyroll pans (the 2-inch ones work really well as cookie sheets). I have never seen the rimmless ones here though. I suggest a waltz through the Mercado Central - they have a few good stores with lots of baking pans and such. You can get a hair dryer with a diffuser I am pretty sure (again check out Mercado Central or It is hard for me not to go gaga in the Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, and now Toys R Us when in the US, but over time, I have learned to control myself :) (Says the one who requested the chili powder! :))
PS - I have a torilla press, you are welcome to it ANYTIME!!

Emily said...

It basically just boils down to what Eric tells me regularly: "you are just too spoiled". ;)

I have looked at baking pans multiple times at Mercado Central, but nothing is quite the heavy duty professional quality that I am used to. I bought one here to get me by, but I don't like it very much.

The blow dryers here all seem to have a concentrator attachment, but none I've found have a diffuser. Without a diffuser my naturally curly hair winds up frizzy and I end up having to straighten it.

Luckily there are 5 people coming, so I was able to 'spread the wealth' a bit with all my requests! hehe

The next time I go on a tortilla making spree you are definitely getting a phone call though! :)

Lori - Blondie in Brazil said...

That is definitely us! Some of the same things too. B&BW soaps always come back with me, chili powder, Brita filters too! We had a friend bring us tortilla chips and now I bring packages of tortillas. I brought back some good cookie sheets last January and we add taco seasoning to our list.

We probably shouldn't discuss anymore we'll probably end up mentioning things only to make our lists longer. Ha!!

Corinne said...

Since spices seem to be a primo ex-pat request, I thought I would mention that there is a wonderful spices on-line store called Penzeys (, they have everthing!! While it says they ship internationally, I have not tried it. Since I am always trying to "ease the burden" of the bringing stuff down, I usually have whatever I want brought down shipped to said person. This is a way to get some very specific stuff without someone having to run all over looking (and vowing never to bring you anything again). I have also had on-line purchases mailed to the hotel I am staying at when I go up for conferences (they usually charge a nominal holding fee), since usually I can´t get out to shop on those quick trips. For those of you who have people who go up on business - this is a great option!!

Aline said...

After reading your post i feel much better when asking people to bring me stuffs. whenever i have a friend coming over to the US i will ask them to bring something. But the same happen to me whenever they know that i am flying to Brazil they start sending me email and asking for a bunch of stuffs.
And about the tortillas i am just thinking how can i bring a four pounds bag in my suitcase so i can have my family to taste.
have fun with your guests

Ray Adkins said...


You will probably catch yourself doing the opposite when you move back home and miss things from Brazil!
We are in that situation right now...we have friends bring us the "glicerine liquid soap by PHEBO" a Brazilian brand, and our Brazilian friends want "Bath and body works" liquid soap in return...when we visit Brazil and this is just one example...of many other exchanges...