EACH TIME I open a balikbayan box, the first thing that always strikes me is a fragrance whose source I still have to figure out up to now. Is it the Ivory soap or the Finesse shampoo? Maybe it’s the Jergens lotion? Could it be the whiff of clean American air that somehow gets trapped in that huge box? Or is it a blend of all of the above? I really don’t know. All know is that for some strange reason, the scent sticks to everything made in America — the T-shirts, the jeans, the towels, and even the sneakers — that the sender carefully labels, packs, and ships back home. The smell would surely have seeped into the Goober Grape peanut butter if not for the thick glass bottle it comes in. Actually, the Hershey’s Kisses sometimes do taste odd.
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