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 prparing.jpgThere are always little details to take care of when packing for a trip, and these are the things that make all the difference!  Especially when one will be gone for a year!  I think I’ve thought of the obvious, but I’m asking friends to give suggestions just in case.  Then there’s the not so obvious like 

check expiration date on driver’s license.  does it need to be renewed before leaving?

where will I leave my important papers?

A lot of stuff to find out:

does anything need to set differently on the laptop?

do i set up Skype now or later?

exactly how cold does it get in the southern part of the country and what clothes do I need for those few months?

how will I refill my prescriptions?

which companies will ship products I really need overseas?

And I’m finding there are several products I will need to have shipped!  The Asian shampoos will probably dry out my African American hair and the conditioners won’t restore many nutrients.  will experiment to see if any local products work, but I’m certain there will be no hair moisturizers!  I will try to load up on these, but they will be quite heavy in the suitcase!  I

  I’ve come to find out that lotions and facial creams and moisturizers in Taiwan have whitening agents added to them.  Even American and European companies add these agents to their products.  I don’t need or want that, so lotions and moisturizes become an issue!

I’ve been trying to figure out this ‘white’ thing in Asia for years.  I really don’t think it is the same race issue created by Europeans in most places they dominated.  I think it is a class thing where the elite did not expose themselves to the sun and had a ‘whiter’ skin with fewer wrinkles and creases.  Those working in the fields had sun browned skinned and were seen as less attractive.  This was a view held by many throughout the world for quite a long time.  And it leaves me with one more item to order from overseas!

I’d read in National Geographic Traveler:  Taiwan that there would not be a problem purchasing feminine products in the country.  However, someone who lives there indicated that women need to bring supplies.  I figure the MAN who wrote the books saw the one and only brand of tampons in the few places he looked and assumed there would be no problem.  See, you can read all the books in the world, but until you visit a place, you just don’t know!

In August, 2007 I will be leaving Indianapolis with my daughter, Kristen, to live and work in the Republic of China (Taiwan). This will be my fiftieth year on this planet and my first year living in another country. This blog will let you join us on the adventure!
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August 2007
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