Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Texas Care Package

I got a little taste of home yesterday. After a week in limbo, my FedEx package from Uncle Todd and Papa Jon (aka Daddy) finally made it into my hands. I had to go pick it up myself from the office, because apparently “doing everything in our power to get your items to you” (the motto cheerfully repeated to me by the recording when I called the Moscow office) does not include delivery in Russia. Were it not for this week-long delay (due to the fact that the package didn’t have my phone number on it so they couldn’t call me to tell me to come get it), it would have been in my hands in about a week - or 1/5 the time of the last package. Tells you something about the United States Postal Service, doesn’t it? If there wasn’t such a huge price difference, I’d stop using USPS altogether.

Anyway, back to the package. The customs people vetoed the chalupa fixings and burned CDs, but everything else got here. There were some super-warm socks and long underwear to keep me from freezing my butt off, and a couple of head-warming thingies. Also, a pair of pants to help in the layering. Not only is the warmness of the items appreciated, but it’s nice to have something else to wear for a change – even if it is base-layer stuff. I’ve been wearing the same dang clothes for more than six months (and I didn’t take that much with me). And more socks means that I can go longer without doing laundry before my roommate comments on my smelly feet. Hehehe. Just kidding – as much of a pain in the ass as it is to do laundry here, I do wash my clothes rather regularly.

Of course, the best things in the package are the things I have no hope of obtaining in Siberia – that is, the music. It’s hard enough for me to get my hands on a Be Good Tanyas CD in Dallas, much less in Russia. So when I opened the package and saw that Uncle Todd had not failed to include their newest CD, I just about flipped out. I’ve been listening to it over and over again for the past 24 hours. AWESOME! It’s one of those CDs that just keeps on playing over and over again in my head all day long. Aaaah. Love it. And I loved Daddy’s inclusion of “Take the Weather With You” by Jimmy Buffett. I can’t think of a more fitting CD title for this part of my trip. The snow that has been so beautifully covering the city for the past week is melting and now all that’s left is nasty sludge. Wait a tick. This is Siberia – in November. Aren’t I supposed to be trudging through six feet of snow to get to class? Guess not. Whatever the case, today and for the next month, I could really use some Texas weather.

And of course, I can’t fail to mention how much I appreciate the inclusion of copious amounts of bubble wrap. While this may not have been an intentional part of the care package, I was wondering how the heck I am going to get home with these bottles of Buryati Balzam, seeing as how I’ve not seen a single sheet of packaging wrap anywhere in the last few months. We all have our priorities.

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