Tuesday, March 16, 2010

strategic packing

If you have not already done so, go read my last two posts to get up to speed. Otherwise, you'll wonder what I'm talking about here.

I'm in the midst of trying to complete a handover at work, let clients know I am leaving, and generally pack up all my stuff that I have here. The work handover is pretty self-explanatory, right? Letting clients know is also mostly self-explanatory but I should say mine is the face they normally see at meetings. And packing, well, it's something I'm fairly good at now.

I have done a good job of holding the party line and not acquiring very many things while here. It helps to be a heartless and non-sentimental robot. In fact, outside of soft goods (sheets, towels) and kitchen-ware, I have added almost nothing to my realm while here. Additionally, I have managed to wear a good number of socks and other clothing basics down to near-rag status and these items will not find their way into any of my bags or boxes. However, I have discovered that I possess way more black and brown socks than I think is necessary. Additionally, almost all the clothes I plan to wear for the next few days will be items consigned to the trash pile when I leave. Furthermore, my clothing is getting a good review and several more items will be left here for donation. Perfectly useful, maybe a little worn, but just clothes I never wear and will definitely never wear in Congo. Really now, I only wore turtlenecks in the high desert winters of Farmington. I do have some jackets/coats that will make their return/arrival to California where they can just hang out in a closet and look cool, or possibly warm. That average low of 65 degF in July (remember: southern hemisphere) is going to be awful tough to cope with.

Everything will eventually be whittled down for the plane ride into two suitcases, a carry-on (a small proper carry-on), and my personal item (a backpack which I concede is on the large side but we've all seen purses the size of Flemish rabbits that qualify as "personal items" that could resupply commando teams if air-dropped. This is even with my awesome nesting plan for a bag within a bag and I'll likely leave a bag back in California. This will make the bag heavy, but one way or another, it's either an overweight bag or a third checked bag and the fee be damned since it's getting expensed.

Of course, my suitcase mastery is only part of the equation. The other part if the crafty packing of two boxes from work with ostensibly mostly work-related materials, but there's always wiggle room. The truth is that blankets and towels are excellent for packing with books and binders of papers because they help to pad the books and also to provide lighter filler material because a box of nothing but books is heavy and will likely break. My life, somehow condensed into a Ford Fiesta's cargo space worth of stuff. Charming.


H-goulash said...

Did you acquire any other native arts & crafts stuff that you cannot find in the US just to remind you that you were in Hungary? Donate the winter clothes to others since you won’t need them any more. Anything things you can easily replace, then give them away. Don’t waste your time to pack them.

Don’t forget to bring some good Hungary paprika home. It’s hard to find here except some cheap and not so good one. We'll make some Hungarian goulash!

Scott said...

While it would be technically correct (the best kind of correct) to refer to 4* South as "the Southern Hemisphere", I laugh at the notion of pretending any location between the 23s (or hell even the 30s) has seasons, which was decidedly your implication.