On Sunday, my wife and son returned from Korea. They also brought a mountain of luggage, two full carts worth. Since my wife and I already had more than a decade of arguments over her seemingly unbreakable habit of moving mountains across oceans, all I could do was sigh and hug.
My wife and I are on the extreme opposites when it comes to luggage. I despise luggage so I travel very light. For a month long trip to Europe, I would take two underwears, two pairs of socks, two T-shirts, one jean, one slack, one jacket, and a pair of running shoes. Since I am going to be wearing one set of everything plus the jacket and the shoes, the spares could fit comfortably into a small carry-on. If the jacket has big pockets, I could travel without any bags but I use the carry-on to avoid getting grilled by immigration officers. And on my trips, I rarely buy anything I have to carry. If it's something big, I ship it.
My wife, on the other hand, carries everything. Her annual trips to Korea usually starts with increasing shopping activities a month or two before the trip. In buying her gifts, she ignores logic completely. I have seen her buying goods made in Korea as gifts to take back to Korea. On this trip, she brought back goods she bought at Costco in Korea, goods made right here in California. She said they were on sale over there and saving a few bucks on pots and pans made perfect sense to her. Oy.
And much of the luggage was food. For example, she brought back two boxes of ramyeon, dry noodle in a cup. Of course, our local Korean markets sell them by boxes too but my wife said these are fresher. Fresh instant noodle? Arghhhh!
When I was growing up in Korea, I frequently saw a Korean women carrying heavy stuff while her husband walked ahead with hands behind his back. Until I got married I didn't understand why Korean husbands weren't helping their wives. Why? It's because they already had their decade of fruitless arguments and all of them reached the same compromise. As for me, I help out despite my frustrations but also try to avoid travelling with her to Korea.
Between Mars and Venus lies an impenetrable astroid field of luggage.