Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Packing for China

When I was packing for China, I was still in the mindset of living in Burkina Faso where there was no electricity or running water. I packed two headlamps for goodness sake and packed too many African clothes. In retrospect, if I had to pack again, what top 10 things would I bring? Well, knowing that after training before boarding a crowded train, PC could possibly weigh me down with a ton of teaching books, a water distiller, an air filter, a mood light, a carbon monoxide detector and a smoke detector, I would try to pack all of my USA stuff into one or two carry-on sized pieces of luggage.

Top 10 Items I would Pack
  1. Music player of some sort and a digital camera
  2. Knitting book to teach myself how to knit, set of crochet hooks (hard to find crochet hooks in China), set of large sized DPNs and in the round knitting needles. Chinese women like to knit with DPNs size 0.
  3. Favorite sheet music for the piano
  4. 1-2 favorite books that I can read over and over again, plus a journal and a few good pens
  5. Money belt
  6. Clothes I don't mind leaving behind and clothes or patterns that I would love to have copied by inexpensive tailors
  7. A warm jacket and long underwear
  8. 1 pair of comfortable dress shoes that can be used for all occasions, hot weather and cold weather
  9. 1 pair of comfortable sandals that can be used for all occasions
  10. 1 pair of good running shoes
Advice: What do you enjoy doing in life? Pack that.

I do not enjoy shopping but do know that I can buy almost anything I need in China. Good batteries are expensive and hard to find. I don't like shopping for clothes, so I would pack clothes. If you are bigger than the average Chinese person, then clothes and shoes are probably quite important.


Dr. Jen said...

What gift would I bring my host family? food like nuts or chocolate or some kind of food specialty that isn't too strange in a western way

shelly said...

what is a mood light?

shelly said...

in the USA now, ebook readers like kindles(1,2,dx from amazon),jetbooklight from fictionwise,sonytouchreader(annotates knitting patterns),delstar, cooler, are popular. Can you use amazon kindle there; needs internet? can you download books from internet there?

check out spibelt on internet
and pacsafe purse (unslashable straps).

what about audiobook players(sansa clip+,creative zen x-fi, ipod) for librivox.org,amazon audible.com, etc.

Dr. Jen said...

Some people are affected by not seeing the sun for days and days, SAD (seasonal affective disorder). A mood lamp can help alleviate sadness that results from being in overcast weather for days. For example, Seattle has a lot of rain and one can get depressed.

Here is a volunteer's website who has a blue mood light.


Also, I have been away from the states for about 4 years now and am not very up to date about the books being read by electronic form. But I do have internet in my apartment so I can listen to podcasts.