Time for me to head back to Taiwan. Even though "unpacking" is the opposite of "packing", the latter definitely requires more effort and meticulous planning.
For starters, all the clothes I brought home have to find their way in, because I possibly won't be home for a long time. Add the new clothes for Chinese New Year, which I kept to a bare minimum. Then the pair of sneakers I confidently threw in expecting I'll use them every day, and end up running only thrice for the past 2 weeks. Pineapple tarts, which my parents insist I bring back for friends and colleagues. An entire array of toiletries my aunt insists I try. A Teflon wok Dad bargained his life with during Christmas sale, since I'm cooking myself.
Most if not all of these stuff are purchasable anywhere. But Mum and Dad are always armed with an armanda of excuses to make your luggage overweight - you won't know the difference between good and bad quality, we specially bought this for you, we have a dozen of these, your friends will love it, it will make your life easier etc. It's no use arguing with them.
Hence, my plans to travel light always end up having to beg the check-in agent to please squeeze through another 2 kilograms for Dad's Teflon wok.
However, when you've arrived at your destination and starts unpacking all the oversized wok and porcelain bowls, they start emitting Dad and Mum's touch like never before. As if some part of Dad and Mum gets ingrained into the wok, a Horcrux. You won't let your friends touch those very personal stuff. And you wished it would last till your grandchildren use it and tell them the story of a wok that traveled 3000 kilometers in a carry-on baggage.
Over the years I've hauled a loaf of bread, freshly-made ang ku, a pillow, a 12-inch by 12-inch glass artwork, bottles of French wine, and fermented tofu through continents. It takes a fervent prayer and lots of towels or bubble wraps. But at the end of the day the Horcrux is always worth it.
Seeing Red Over “Green”
1 month ago