Every year as the holiday season approaches, I think about my life living in a foreign country. Well, not exactly. I think about living in a place far from ‘home’. This is truly a unique experience and adjusting yourself, being adaptable, is essential to survival. Some parts of life abroad are incredibly unique, experiences you would never have had, or even known existed, had you never gone abroad.
What I wanted to mention specifically was about christmas shopping. We Canadians (and I suppose Americans too) are well-known for procrastinating when it comes to christmas shopping. We love to put it off to the last minute. And I am no exception, as you would often see me running around the day before christmas, looking for just the right item for my girlfriend or my mother or a good friend. But no more! Living far from home has cured me of that. How’s that? Let me explain. Living far from home means sending gifts in the mail. If they are heavy, you need to send them surface, or else blow a pile on air mail. If they are light, air mail is fine. Surface take 2-3 months, air mail 2-3 weeks. As such, shopping needs to be completed, gifts wrapped, boxed, addresses written and shipped before December 1st, which means shopping actually needs to start about mid-November.
At the top of this post you can see a picture of a man skateboarding. This is one of my best friend’s from back home in Nanaimo, BC Canada, and his birthday is in mid-November. Every year I send him a birthday card, but it’s always late, because I don’t think about his birthday until the day, and by then it’s too late- by the time it arrives it is always at least a week late. But every year this tradition remins me that it’s mid-November, and time to start christmas shopping for my family back home if I want their presents to arrive on time for December 25th. So for all of you living far from home, this is your reminder. CHRISTMAS SHOPPING STARTS NOW!
Good luck, and if you don’t read this until it’s too late…. try ordering flowers to be delivered by a local shop to your loved ones back home (chocolates are good too).
Edward, SSE Otsu