Yes, I would be glad that my wife is now back from an unexpected trip to the U.S. even if she hadn't hauled along a suitcase full of provisions for the Beijing winter. But she did! Much of this is in the comfort-food category. Several items were made in China but are not that easy to find here. Not fully visible is the element that brought the sherpa suitcase up to its full 60-pound weight: twenty-plus new books from Amazon. But as I pointed out to her, they couldn't have been as heavy as they seemed, because after all most were paperbacks.

The keyboard propped up in the background is a replacement for my battered eight-month-old ThinkPad T60 keyboard.