Monday, November 2, 2009

Packing Priorities

We've been duped. Since I last travelled, airlines have conspired against us, the passengers. No, I'm not referring to the the two flights out of four in which our luggage didn't make it. And I'm not talking about the incredible hassle which ensued to locate said lost luggage. And I'm not talking about the scrawny financial token we received for enduring the same pair of underwear for a (long) while and the eventual cost of buying replacements.

I'm talking about the 50 lb per bag limit. A whole twenty lbs less than before. Times eight suitcases equals 160 lbs less to bring back. Ouch.

All of us that have lived overseas for a chunk of time have become expert packers. We know when to roll, when to fold, when to tuck.

We are masters of weight distribution. On our return from the East Coast we had to pack without a scale. When we got to the airport and saw that our bag weighed in at 49.9 lbs, we high-fived, we jigged and we whooped! Never mind that those in line behind us prayed they didn't have to sit next to us.

As the end of our month-long vacation came to an end, we started packing our suitcases. We gauged our purchases against our luggage space, making sure we left enough time to run to Target or the local grocery store to fill the empty space.

And so I packed. I distributed, I rolled, I tucked and I folded. And then we weighed the first suitcase. And to my dismay, it was way over the 50 lb limit. And so I unpacked, unrolled, untucked and unfolded and redistributed until the suitcase topped off at 50 lbs.

What we were left with was a half-empty green suitcase that represented all that could be, all that should be. But never will be.

So with emaciated suitcases, we returned to Dushanbe. After much triage, here are the items that made it with us. They were considered High Priority and Required Items (HPRI).

By far the heaviest item hauled back. And I'm so glad I did. A richly brown-hued cast iron dutch oven.

Another required luxury (pardon the oxymoron). Good olive oil.

In the baking department, new knives, tiered cake pans and a Chicago Metallic super heavy jelly roll pan that's too big for my oven. $18 and 3 lbs that shouldn't have been. My bad.

Trader Joe's was invaded three times. And here's what happens when your husband enters a Trader Joe's sans wife the first day back in the U.S. after a year away. Not my choices, but he's still master over his allotted 100 lbs.

And we'd be remiss if we didn't load up on cheese while in the land of Cheese Heads. The prosciutto is earmarked for asiago stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto for Thanksgiving. Oh, and I heart Sam's Club.

And on to the tiny things. Considering my jalapeno crop was a total bust this year, I couldn't pass this up. It's quite curious.

My most favorite purchase of all because of the hope they hold. Perhaps some jalapeno redemption will be in order next summer.

And my most indulgent purchase. Can you guess what lies under the pretty fuchsia cover?

It weighs a mere 10.2 ounces, is 1/3 of an inch thick, and holds up to 1,500 books. Yes! It's my new kindle. And I will say, I'm falling in love all over again.

I'm curious. What would be on your list of HPRIs?

1 comment:

phamlin said...

Julie, great adventure! I got a Kindle for my birthday in April and in spite of my loss of good vision I am able to read comfortably again.
Uncle Paul