I wheeled over my suitcase to the Air Canada check-in counter and tried to nonchalantly lift it onto the scales as if it were a small baggy number that could be tossed onboard the aircraft by a five year old simultaneously playing a computer game. There was a trick to this; placed carefully it was possible to rest the end of the suitcase over the edge of the scale, preventing its true elephantine proportions to flash up on the digital display.
Why was my bag heavy enough to make these deceptions necessary?
Because it was full of toothpaste.
… and moisturiser, deodorant, tooth floss, ibuprofen, vitamins and two packets of tampons.
Did I ever mention I panic buy when abroad?
A typical shopping trip just before I'm due to fly back to Japan goes as follows:
Initial thought: "I ought to take vitamins. While I'm in Canada, I'll pick up a bottle because I can read the label."
See, so far all very reasonable. Then we go to the supermarket shelves. Do I need a bottle this size:
Or maybe this size:
But suppose I run out and I can't find them in Japan? Better take a bigger bottle:
But that's only 240 capsules! Not even enough for a year! I'll run out, be unable to find more, buy the wrong product because I can't read the label and DIE BECAUSE MY LEGS HAVE FALLEN OFF. CAN'T YOU SEE IT SAYS HEART SUPPORT ON THE LABEL?:
and better get some of these too:
Sometimes I think I'm not totally cut out for living abroad.