Thursday, October 7, 2010

Today's Dilemma: Packing

When did packing become so hard? Why is packing so hard? Why can't I be a bloke who just has to shove a couple of pairs of jocks and jeans, a toothbrush and a razor in a bag and take off for a year?

Hell, the Grounded Dutchman rode from India to Holland with 12 kgs of luggage, half of which was parts for his motorcycle. I will also add that the Grounded Dutchman doesn't smell that good at the best of times, but I envy his packing style.

I'm not a heavy packer. I'm not a light packer either - I think I fall somewhere in the middle.

As the doctor told me not to go to work today - something to do with the 38 degree temperature and the starts of a hacking cough he witnessed yesterday, I'm having a dry run at packing today inbetween hours in bed.

Phah. I'm horrified.

My control freak self is making lists and getting all anxious. Thirty five days away, five long haul flights and weather conditions spanning from tropical Singapore to galacial Holland and England in November.

How am I going to make a 11.50 pm flight from tropical  Singapore only to land 24 hours later in icy New York after a day of sightseeing. Do I have some clothes in a bag and grab a shower and change into warmer clothes at the airport? Or do I turn up in my thongs and shorts at JFK and hope my tits don't freeze off and break my toes.

There are also other eventualities I need to cater for - like a set of running gear, something that can be dressed up in case I go out to dinner, my swimmers, nightware and a light dressing gown as I'm staying with friends (and I'm very much aware of how dreadful I look in the morning) and the obligatory set of slob clothes for when I'm with family in Philly.

Other things to make their way into the bag - a travel hair dryer (necessary) three adapters (US, UK, Europe), phone and camera chargers, the small spare address book, an RSI mouse to be returned to Jan Pieter, five Australian/Europe power adapters for Jan Pieter (should send my step dad over to change the plugs like he did for me...), a spare book, my Lonely Planet Guide to Spain, a copy of the last Artemis Fowl book for Annika, a copy of Underbelly III for Reindert, my heart rate monitor, a jar of vegemite for my uncle (though by rights it's not allowed in the states - something about it being poisonous.) oh, and of course, my tarot cards.

I also know I'll repack on Saturday - taking out about a third of what I have in the bag with the expectation that I'll buy some stuff on the way and post some stuff home. I have a bit of a strict rule about wearing everything in my bag at least once, so I'll consider the number of stockings and socks in the bag, take out the fourth long sleeved top and remember that the Australian Dollar is nearly at parity with the US equivalent... and clothes are good and cheap in the US.

In the mean time - the last bits to do. Register on Smarttraveller.gov.au, have a think about what I want to do where. A Turkish bath in Granada might be on the cards, contact a friend of Gloria's in Madrid, ponder the joys of seeing places through other people's eyes.

Oh and the killer. Reindert asked me what I want to do when I get to Boston. How am I going to break it to him that I want to go to Salem - where the witches were. I mean, I'm a witch, I grew up with Elizabeth Montgomery on the telly and I'm passionate about witches rights - witches like me - and the midwifes, healers, herbalists and tarot readers - we misunderstood women who tap into our feminine side. That's going to be fun.

I can't complain - very small difficulties and worries in which to have fun resolving.

4 comments:

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pandora,

I can't help - sorry. I'm a bloke and if you read my post about Iceland then you will know that I always pack the wrong things.

I am off on my travels on Sunday - this time to China on business and I have no clue what to pack.

Travelling is great but sometimes it really stinks.

Good luck

:0)

Cheers

PM

Kath Lockett said...

It's a pretty nice dilemma to have, dear Pand.

Just please, please, don't less this become a reality: 'do I turn up in my thongs and shorts at JFK and hope my tits don't freeze off and break my toes' - the last thing we want is to see you experiencing this as it goes viral on YouTube!

River said...

All the things you plan on taking to people, post them instead. there's a whole empty bag right there. Phone ahead and explain if necessary. Nightwear? Use the same sloppy t-shirts you're planning on taking for the time with family. Bras can be worn two days without washing, so pack less of those, although to be fair they don't take much room. Jeans and other pants can also be worn more than one day, so pack fewer. Going out? One "little black dress" or equivalent with accessories you can switch around for different effects. Get a ski jacket to put on over your warm climate clothes as you arrive in cold areas. No need to be changing in airports then. Hone your list as fine as you can, then buy (cheaply, to be discarded) or borrow when you get to where you're going.

Pandora Behr said...

Thanks for the tips, River - what I have been doing all evening. Stupidly I bought a bigger bag than I'm used to... bad move...