Monday, June 18, 2012

Show Me the Yenny: Follow the Move Part 3

From the moving brief, here’s what won’t get packed:
Flammables (candles, propane, Duraflame logs, charcoal, lighter fluid, matches)
Open Food Containers

After 12 moves, none of this information is news to me.

The firearms is a no brainer we aren't packin'.

The no flammables is a relief. Over the years I’ve heard the nightmare stories of shipments catching fire and people losing everything.

The medicine also makes sense and I view each move as a good opportunity to dispose of expired meds. Should do this annually but really … who does?

No liquids. Yup, got that covered – who wants to unpack a mess at the other end with something that’s leaked over your possessions?

Open food containers. If your shipment is traveling half way around the world for eight weeks whatever I wasn’t able to use up during our cooking down phase is not worth bringing along and inviting some unwanted travel companions, if you know what I mean (ick).

Jewelry, I’m on board with this one too. There is discussion amongst the spouses as to how you handle your jewelry. Some ship it home insured. Given the track record the USPS and I have had these last three years I’m not sure I have enough faith in the system to go with that option. One friend put her jewels in a lock box and hopes for the best. The rest of us hand carry our pretties, adding to the pack mule load of all we must bear to move a military family from one place to another.

The no money I also get. It’s too hard to track if the money came up MIA. Each time we move we must deplete the household stock of coins. My husband and I are on different sides of the coin usage game. I use mine up. I don’t like having them in my pocket, wallet, bottom of my purse/bag/backpack. It is one of my habits that I know annoys the junk out of him, that I will sit there and count out my coins to use them up at the register while he stands by tapping his foot waiting. He seems to possess a different philosophy – coins are not money until we move. He accumulates years worth of coins and then right before moving takes the kids to the nearest coin machine and unloads all his coins. The machine spits out a receipt, he takes it to the cashier and then presto – all those coins have magically turned into money. Paper money. Money he can now spend.

Living overseas we Americans deal with dueling currency. As soon as you step outside the gates of the base you need Japanese Yen. Inside the gates you use American dollars. As we get ready to depart, we have coins from two countries we must sort through. No easy-breezy coin machine here on base. You have to sit down and do it the old fashioned way – rolling those coins. With the experience of dumping the coins in a machine and you’re on your way out the door in minutes with paper cash in hand the process of sitting down and rolling the coins frustrates me. With so much still left to do and the one week count-down on, I want to be able to check another thing off my list … quickly. Perhaps though, it is fitting, that as I get ready to depart from a country that has so much technological advancement this small inconvenience of doing things the old fashioned way is forcing me to slow down, to take some time to do something completely mindless and let my thoughts drift across the amazing experiences our family has had while living in Japan.

It’s time to go get those Yennies* wrapped.

Americans refer to the very light weight ichi en (the counterpart to the 1 cent Penny) as Yennies.

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