It’s every traveller’s nightmare: How do I fit everything within my little suitcase? There just doesn’t seem to be enough space!! I mean, as a child I remember my mother pondering the very same questions as she packed her suitcase from Sydney to visit her sisters in Seoul. It’s a rather tough proposition, especially for the hoarders out there — your clothes, shoes, dryers and toiletries. That’s all fine and dandy but here’s the kicker: You have a large family and need to bring a gift for every one of them — this requires space. LOTS of space.
Because these gifts range from the soft to the hard — things like plush toys for the little ones like Koalas, Kangaroos and Wombats (my favourite is a strange bird called the Kookaburra). These are all native animals of Australia that don’t exist anywhere on this planet. If the names sound strange that is because they are not named in English — rather, in the Aboriginal people’s language long before the arrival of British explorers.
For the uncles, they appreciate the edibles — I mean, Australia IS known for the best dried mangoes and bananas in the world. Queensland, the northern state of the Australian Federation throws these fruits out into the garbage bin because they have too many of them growing throughout the year. For the aunts — it’s ALL about the wool: Comfortable pairs of UGG boots. They are made from sheepskin and fur, wildly popular with women around the world. Some say Siberian versions exist.
Lanolin cream is very popular skin moisturising remedy and cosmetic used to revitalise and treat skin burns, aging, itching and irritation. It is made from the oily yellow secretions of a sheep’s sebaceous gland on their skins. It’s considered by many women to be the epitome of general skin care in Australia.
Finally, for the cousins with selective appetites — Australian cheese is known throughout the world to be one of the finest in quality, taste and texture. The Chinese nowadays especially love it with rich red wine produced from my home state — New South Wales. As for the state of Victoria — where the city of Melbourne is — they produce nothing but hipsters and pubs with strange faerie lights because really, no matter how hard those Melbournites (Melbourne people) try — they never have and will never be able to compete with Sydney. End of discussion. Yes, I’m a Sydney boy — now and forever.
So now you have your gifts to be delivered to your loved ones, ready to be packed. But now your clothes and shoes don’t fit. What do you do? Welcome ‘Space bags’ - also called ‘Vacuum-seal bags’ — they are a wondrous invention that came about when I was in high school. The world couldn’t get enough of them. Using a vacuum cleaner or the strength of your hands, they allow air to be sucked out of your clothing and shoes, allowing a huge amount of space to be saved. It really changed the concept of luggage in many countries around the world!
After 4 months in Novosibirsk, I have collected many historical artefacts from the CCCP era. They will all eventually be taken back home with me in a single suitcase. Good thing I brought a lot of of space bags with me. They really ARE lifesavers from the future!
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