If you ever move to Armenia, I would like to point you to Regulation #504. This regulation sets weight limits for just about anything you could think of bringing along. You may import certain amounts of certain items but if you pass the designated weight limit, you will be considered dealing in said items, which brings about long procedures of certification, and heavy import duties.
So, let me tell you which quantities of everyday items you can bring along, thereby avoiding hassles and generous spending of your money:
Cereals: 50 kg
Live animals: 3 pieces
Live poultry: 50 wings
Live decorative fish: 2 of each species but not more than 10 pieces
Edible vegetables, roots, and tubers: 50 kg
Chewing gum, whether or not sugar-coated: 1 kg
Pasta: 10 kg
Organic chemicals: 1 kg
Fertilizers: 50 kg
Floor coverings of plastic: 100 m²
Wallpaper: 20 kg
Conveyor belts: 20 kg
Worked monumental stone: 1 piece
Nuclear reactors, boilers, or parts thereof: 0
Aircraft, spacecraft, or parts thereof: 0
Aircraft not exceeding 2000 kg: 1
Snuffboxes: 4 pieces
Milking machines: 1
Contact lenses: 2 pairs
Prefabricated buildings: 1
Fishing rods: 3
I know. This is the information you've been waiting for.
I know, I've grumbled a lot. And Doug kept saying, things could be worse. And I answered, there is always a somewhere where things are worse, but...
Today we got the news that the little son of our landlords is in remission, after 2.5 years of treatment for leukemia in Geneva. It made us very, very happy, and it put things very much into perspective. The things that count, they are not bad. They are wonderful.
We're wishing you more health, much more, Jivan. You go, little man!
There are State Department posts in this world that qualify as "consumables posts". Usually, these posts are located in countries where the local economy isn't doing so well, or which are too far off mainland USA to offer every day staples like peanut butter, pancake mix and Fruit Loops. (Abuja, Accra, Addis Ababa, Ashgabat, Belgrade, Grenada,
Guangzhou, Kampala, Kathmandu, Khartoum, Port au Prince, Rangoon,
Shanghai, Skopje, etc. This list is not extensive and is erratically
I'm being only partly cynical here, and partly envious. The State Department does look after its people. They may not get paid as much as an equivalent free marketer, but they certainly have a lot of perks. One of those perks are consumables - when you are posted to a country where the supply situation is bad or where certain items (determined by long lists and market research) are comparably pricey, you will get a consumables shipment.
The weight allowance for shipment of consumables has been established at 1,134 kilograms or 2,500 net pounds for a two-year tour and 1,701 kilograms or 3,750 net pounds for a three-year tour for each employee, regardless of family status.
[No, I don't understand the "regardless of family status" either - only a person without kids can come up with something like that.]
In any case, we are not State Department but Yerevan is a consumables post. When we underwrote the contract to come and save a certain project that had been running haywire for two years, Doug's new company handed me the so-called "FAM guide" and told me that we were entitled to everything in there. That included the consumables.