On September 22nd I will catch an airplane in Düsseldorf (Germany) at 1:30pm, hop over to Copenhagen (Denmark) into another airplane and 13 hours later, around 10am on September 23rd I will arrive in Narita, Japan. First time in over 18 months. It has been that long since I saw my (now) wife (back then girlfriend) and her (now our) kids face to face.
So now is the time to pack my last few packages (four to five in total with 20~30kg each) and send them over. Let's see what I got so far:
- old Thinkpad (X60s)
- external harddrives with old data
- old-school board games (eg. Mensch ärgere dich nicht (Do not get angry, buddy), chess, Mikado, etc.)
- other miscellaneous stuff
and a whole lot of books (seriously, it's not even funny how many books I have!), especially Märchenbücher (fairy tale books) of famous authors like Gebrüder Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Wilhelm Hauff, Wilhelm Busch (most famous for his illustrated story "Max und Moritz") among others. Among the books is, of course, a copy of 1001 Nights/Arabian Nights and, I am especially fond of this, a hardcover collection of the 100 most famous fairy tales from around Europe: Das große Märchenbuch: Die schönsten Märchen aus ganz Europa which features very very beautiful pencil illustrations. It is a huge hardcover book and weighs like a ton, but it is worth it. I am really looking forward to read some tales to the kids; in German - hilarity will ensue for sure!
Also I have several math and logical puzzle books, which are quite fun and I hope to teach Hikaru and (especially) Sasuke a thing a two. Actually, I am super happy that Sasuke seems to be very keen on learning math at the moment! Seriously, my wife has him enrolled in some afternoon math classes because he can not get enough of it. Gonna exploit that and teach him all about programming, which actually is just fancy math with more practical applications. (I know that this is not even a 90% correct assessment, but whatever. )
Those are the basic things I have to pack together and send on their merry way to my wife in Japan. But, of course, I will send along some nice presents for the kids, for her, for her sister, for her parents and some of the neighbours and friends, as it is custom in Japan (hint: read about omiyage if this is new to you).
Naturally you would pick something that is not common or rare or hard to get in Japan or very German in my case, so I picked stuff I had fairly good success with as omiyage in the past:
- Haribo Goldbären (Gold-Bears)
- Kleiner Feigling (a famous brand of fig vodka liquor in Germany)
- German Sausages!!
In case of my wife I usually send along three more items: Löwensenf Extra (hot/strong mustard, famous brand in Germany, Senf is the general German term without brand association) and Lakritz in various forms and shapes and tastes (hint: most Japanese don't like the taste of Lakritz, therefore this is more of a 'joke' gift ). Usually I put in a pack of small Jägermeister bottles as well, but I forgot this time (*sadface*). Another item I usually get for my wife is German sauce mixes/packet sauces/spices and seasonings (also known as "food helpers") for different dishes.
So today I went to the supermarket or rather to three different supermarkets to get "some" of the above mentioned stuff.
At the first supermarket I got Haribo and Lakritz and I came back with like 5kg of different kinds of them.
From the next supermarket I returned with some sausages and Löwensenf. And another kilogram of Haribo.
And finally I drove home from the third supermarket with some seasoning, sauce mixes, food helpers and yet another kilogram of Haribo stuff.
Of course, this is only the stuff I gonna send in packages, not take with me on the flight in the luggage. I have some extra special stuff for that and because I want to surprise my wife, I am not going to say what exactly that is. Hopefully it'll be a nice surprise for her.
I am really looking forward to land in Japan and close my arms around my wife. It'll be the first time in a long time and I will savor the moment. And of course I am looking forward to Sasuke and Hikaru running and jumping in my arms when they spot me at the airport, like it happened the very first time I met them back in December 2009. That was one of the most awesome and emotional moments in my life so far. I love them, even though we are not related by blood.
However, what I am absolutely not looking forward to is the 14 hour long flight, especially those confined seat/spaces in the airplanes. I hate flying long distances! It is sooooooooooooooooo exhausting and pains my long legs (I am 1.85m, but still, my legs are pretty long) so much, not even mentioning that I can not, for the love of it(!!!), fall asleep and sleep on those flights. I wish I could just beam me to Japan. Scotty, where the fuck are you? Beam me up already!