I'm done, Mum's packages are sent, and I think that's a record! Usually the PO and I have a more leisurely relationship. It helped that Mum threw me the last of the Japanese money in her purse, which happened to be just enough to buy the noodles and send two packages.
One contains clothes and shoes that she knows she doesn't need until summer, and I only realized when I got to the PO that I really have no idea what it is that package, so if it contains any contraband, it's your call Mum!! I think it's the receiver who gets done for importing... In the other were the 'Kluski' noodles and the green tea, plus the glasses case (that turned up in my handbag), the paulownia wood fan and the garish green embroidered handbag. Such random stuff we feel such a strong need to 'send on'! You'll be glad to hear I 'forgot' to put in the blue swirly polyester shirt Baachan gave you in a mini-fit of generosity.
The green tea is for my brother, who actually drinks it. Four funerals' worth (we always get green tea, a hanky or black funeral money envelopes, and some salt, as a return gift at funerals and obviously Kanji's been to four in the last year or so! Mostly parents of club colleagues, no-one close).
The 'Kluski' noodles are Italian egg noodles, which you apparently can't get anymore in New Zealand. When Mum saw them she got quite excited, so we bought them and attempted to make her famous 'one pan dinner', a dish she used to cook when we were kids, a good 'mop-up' dish with the noodles, meat, cabbage and whatever else, flavored with Chinese soy sauce. So when we told my sister Jo that we had eaten that, well she just HAD to have some too. 'Kluski' was the brand name they were sold under, and they stopped selling it a decade or so ago I think. So I send home two packages of that, enjoy your 'one pan dinner' guys! Good old traditional kiwi cooking, haha ha!!
This was all to make Mum's check in smoother of course. We are well aware of that 20kg weight limit, and the fact that while you just might get away with it - if you are very sweet, have a kind check in lady, and the flight is less than full. OR you might get a nervous or downright bitchy check in chick, a full flight, and everydamnone else trying to 'get away with it' too. I've been charged for going one or two kilos over, and the cost is at least twice what you pay to post it, even by the most expensive postal option, so it's worth it to weigh that bag, send stuff on, or at the very least work out what you would take out if you need to. I tend to pack now with this in mind, in my larger canvas clothing bag, everything is in separate bags. And in my suitcase, I will even package books, magazines and food into 1kg packages, for easy removal and posting (there is a PO at the airport in Auckland).
Mum's bag was found to be just one kilo over the the amount they would let us get away with (23kg on a 20kg ticket). Mum's preparation was more in the mind, than in tidy packages, so we had a few hairy 'can anyone see my bra' moments and we jostled the baggage, but it only took five minutes, and we even managed to stuff it all into her carry-on bag, which itself still managed to weigh in under the requisite 7kg. We were certainly having a much better time of it that a couple further up the line from us, who we watched, all the way from the back of the queue to the front, as they desperately re-arranged their belongings. A suitcase, a backpack, and two large cardboard boxes, plus a baby car-seat and stroller. The cardboard boxes were all nicely taped up, and they had to unpackage them, tear off the tape, gut them, and stuff the excess into any bit of backpack they could find a space in, it was obviously the only item coming in under 28kg (the limit for any one piece of luggage). They finally got finished as we approached check-in, and reminded me once again why it's a good idea to weigh before you go!