A suitcase full of tea bags
As well as early communication problems there was the endless requests of “Next time you visit could you just pop ‘xyz’ in the suitcase please.” By the time each visit came around we would have a long list of odds and ends to take, usually taking up about a third of a suitcase! Fortunately in the 1990’s hold luggage was included in the cost of your air fare so it wasn’t a problem; these days we only travel with hand luggage due to the extra
cost of taking a suitcase.
The usual requests were for a hundreds of tea bags, Bisto, Angle Delight, Blistese, packets of casserole mixes, Christmas pudding and Atora suet. I’m sure there were quite a few other items too. We also supplied our daughter’s soya milk, which in those days was bought in powdered form. Today you can buy English products in Spanish supermarkets and ready made soya milk too. How times have changed. Today you can also buy fresh pasteurised milk, which was once also a problem. I can remember having to order fresh milk from the ‘English’ shop in town for our youngest child who had problems digesting long-life UHT milk, which was all that was normally available. Drinking water was bottled as tap water was poor quality. In fact in Fuengriola where my Grandfather lived water was sometimes rationed and turned off for several hours a day over the summer months due to shortages.
There was a short-lived comedy series in the ‘70’s on the TV about a couple who retired to Spain, I think it was called ‘Don’t Drink the Water’. For some strange reason I can remember only one scene from the program, where they hung their tea bags up to dry to reuse again as they were so expensive in Spain!
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