Through early morning fog I see, visions of my HHE…

Okay, really it was late afternoon, but my HHE (sea freight) along with my consumable (food!) has arrived.  It arrived from the ship in four large wooden crates on the back of a flatbed truck.  The biggest challenge seemed to be getting the metal straps off the crates (the cutter didn’t work, they ended up beating them with a mallet against a crowbar to weaken the metal).  A bit of background for those who don’t speak State Department.  HHE is the freight that comes by sea to your post, several thousand pounds of it.  This is most of what you decide to bring to post with you.  It’s how you can take some furniture and other things that will make an empty, if furnished, house, a home.  All my kitchen was packed in there complete with George Foreman Grill and Crock Pot.  So was my e-Go electric moped and my bicycle.  The rocking chair from Costa Rica and parchments from Egypt.

Also, in its own box, a few hundred pounds of consumables.  Things like toilet paper and paper towels.  Bush’s baked beans, Crystal Light and Log Cabin syrup.  Things you can’t get, or are hard to get, at a post.  Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving.  Matzoh Ball soup for Passover.  Salsa for parties.

Here are a few pictures.  More to come.



Filed under Foreign Service Stuff

2 responses to “Through early morning fog I see, visions of my HHE…

  1. Man, I can’t imagine what my life would have been like in Korea if I had been able to ship stuff. As it was, when I returned from a trip back to the US, I brought an entire suitcase of American food with me. I was living an hour from the nearest grocery store with anything more than the basics (the only grocery store on the island was the size of a moderate apartment) even with Korean food, and I was several hours from the nearest store with any kind of western food.

    Nothing makes you appreciate your native cuisine like living abroad, let me tell you.

    One question though: why did you ship your scooter? Surely you could have bought one cheaply in Benin? Hell, I bought an almost brand new motorcycle in Korea for only $400.

  2. rkolker

    Why did I ship my e-Go? I don’t know. Because I could?

    Yes, motorcycles and scooters are cheap here, but I didn’t know that then. Plus, I like the idea of an electric powered vehicle.

    It certainly is nice that Cotonou is a “consumables post”. I agree with your comment about appreciating your native cuisine. The second time I visited Russia I brought along Ritz crackers, PB&J, just for a taste of home each eveining. And I like Russian food.

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