Job signed and sealed, you’ve chosen your house, school, possibly even decided on what car you are going to cruise around Dubai in. Paperwork is nicely up to date, important documents safely tucked away ready for relocation, excitement is building by the day. Until you must pack up the house. On a whole, the packing process can be very stressful, even if you have paid the removal company to do it for you, it pays to be organised and get rid of the junk you don’t need. A good clear out beforehand is essential, in order to make room for the new junk you’re going to accumulate in no time at all! It’s a nice feeling to be ‘clutter free,’ but realistically, how do people sustain that?
All that aside, lets get down to the nitty gritty. Can I still buy my Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser? My trusty anti-ageing face cream? (that clearly isn’t working) Face wipes, a good anti-perspirant, purple shampoo, dry shampoo?? What about kitchen essentials? Gravy granules, oxo cubes, Worcestershire sauce? Or Persil washing liquid, baby wipes, vanish stain remover, TOILET ROLL???
OK, OK, let’s not get too carried away, the panic stage is normal and with the powers of Google and helpful social media pages like British Mum’s Dubai, you can find your answers straight away. You will soon see that most items will be available to buy in the supermarkets, but some may be harder than others to find and let’s just say, you may pay a small premium when you do. (Small-ish.)
My favourite supermarket in the UK was always Waitrose, but on our snug military wage, it came down to a ‘treats only’ shop. Tesco and Asda were convenient but Aldi…that’s another ball game altogether. I must admit, I wasn’t keen at first, but I soon succumbed to the temptation of halving my weekly shopping bills and after a few turns at rapid fire bag packing, I had it nailed! Boom, Aldi was right up there, my new favourite, with its famous middle aisles pouring over with fantastical things, you never knew you needed, bread, two man tent, chainsaw and a trumpet…and when the stretch to a Jo Malone candle is too much, bring on the Aldi special. What I would give to have an Aldi in Dubai!
Our fellow Expat wife, Kat, thinks we are all nuts, she doesn’t get this ‘Aldi Mentality’ as we call it. She thinks we are all bonkers when we are ordering online in advance of our next UK trip, so we don’t miss out on a bargain. Filling our suitcases (extra baggage allowance obvs) to the brim with dishwasher tablets for £2 and caviar day cream for a fiver, has her in stitches laughing. Let’s not get her started on the ‘essentials’ from the likes of Home Bargains and B&M! (always enter with caution.)
Are we crazy? Is this so ridiculous and a waste of our valuable time and energy, when we have perfectly good alternatives available to us here? The fact of the matter is, I love a bargain and hate the feeling of being ripped off. For some of us, it just takes a little longer to get over the pumped-up prices and not being able to buy our luxury beauty products on tap. But, for now, I’ll carry on doing what I do and Kat will continue to giggle and take the puss, (that’s Kiwi for piss in-case you thought I hadn’t done a spell check).
All giggles aside, pack what you can. If you have the space, bring it, just don’t forget to check for any items that may be restricted so you don’t you end up with hefty fines. Just for fun, here’s the things that I like to restock on trips back to England.
- Aldi Caviar face cream
- Dishwasher tabs
- Face wipes and my trusty Liz Earle
- Aldi style Jo Malone rip off candles and hand wash
- Birthday cards and wrapping paper (it’s can cost £5 for 1 card here)
- Fancy dress gear (adults & kids) Too many costume days at school!
- Kids school stationary essentials
- Kids school shoes, socks and undies
- Sun cream
- Calpol & paracetamol
- Yorkshire Tea bags (top tip…decant into Ziplock bags)
- Oxo cubes
- Kids packed lunch snacks
- Crunchy peanut butter
See…its not that much really! Perhaps it’s a little food for thought if you are planning your family’s move. Like me, those creature comforts might be just what you need in the early days of living in a new country. But soon you might just find that they are no longer important and like our Kat say’s ‘It’s just stuff.’
Are you a Jill or a Kat? What luxury item can’t you live without?
Happy packing, stay busy, love Jill xxx