As I sit here in a completely empty house, I am wondering when will my stuff arrive. I’m currently using a Balikbayan box as a desk for my laptop computer as well as for a dinner table, coffee table, ottoman, and insulation beneath my sleeping bag. I didn’t know there were so many uses for a Balikbayan box. If you’re not Filipino, you might not know what a Balikbayan box is. Whenever my late wife and I travelled to the Philippines, we always carried along a Balikbayan box stocked with chocolates, lotions, shampoos, towels, t-shirts, and anything else we thought family members might like. In Tagalog, it’s called pasalubong, or gifts. If you didn’t bring pasalubong, you’d be in big trouble, dude.
Now I’m relying on my Balikbayan box more than I ever expected. When I visited Costa Rica last April, I met my shipper, who’s been in the shipping business for more than 25 years, shipping cargo from the US and Canada to Costa Rica. I arranged for his company to ship my household items from California to Costa Rica. He’s connected with a major shipping company in Oxnard, California, so I rented a U-Haul truck to deliver my household items to their facility the first week of October 2019. I was told the next cargo ship heading from Port Hueneme to Costa Rica would depart within a few weeks.
My biggest concern was that I would arrive in Costa Rica long before my stuff, leaving me to sit in an empty house. I tried my best to time my arrival with my shipment, but obviously that didn’t work out. When I talked to my shipper after landing in Costa Rica, he told me my household items would be leaving Port Hueneme in late October and should arrive in Costa Rica the third week of November.
Today my shipper explained that my household items never made it on the ship as planned, so now it will take at least another two and a half weeks before my things arrive. So I’m still using the Balikbayan box as my utility table, although I’ve upgraded my sleeping bag to a magnificent air mattress. I would have to say it sleeps a thousand percent better than the sleeping bag.
Needless to say, I’m trying to figure out how many more uses I can get out of this Balikbayan box. Your ideas are welcome.
(Written Before Covid – 19 Outbreak)