"The Wondering Jew"
2000-08-01 - 11:48 MDT
August 1, 2000
A column by Robyn Blumner of The St. Petersburg Times, in our local paper this morning tickled me. Seems that she overpacked for a trip to Africa. Another chuckle is that she mentioned the ADA instigated ramps for the people in wheel chairs - - - noting that they work pretty well for the wheeled travel bags.
Yup, she is right, they are handy to have around. I think maybe it was her first foreign trip.
It sure is great to embark after family and friends help get the luggage to the check in. Dealing with it at destination is another problem containing minor problems galore.
My first trip as a Tech. Rep. I had with me, a one drawer file cabinet, jammed with blueprints - - - A toolbox overloaded with metal tools it was approximately 7" x 9" x 20" and as small as it was it was heavy. In addition a crammed Attache case and a small suitcase. Arrived Tokyo during their rush hour, bound for Atsugi about thirty miles away. Fnally a Nipponese equivalent of our redcaps got me into a taxi. The taxi driver didn't know where Atsugi is. So, a periodic stop for him to ask directions. Finally he dumped my bags in front of my destination and took his money and left. When I finally found someone and got transportation to where I was going to stay my gear had become an albatross around my neck, dragging my nose to the pavement.
My next trip was to Viet Nam, I had learned a bit. My luggage was the afore-mentioned one drawer file cabinet still crammed. No tool box. A lightly loaded Attache case and a small suitcase. Arriving at the airport in Saigon I tried to stay in touch with my gear while disjointedly jockyed by an uninterested telephone operator haphazardly plugging in here and there until I could let my coordinator arrange to have me picked up. One mistake I made was to be wearing a business suit, necktie and all. Finally my transportation arrived, just as it started raining, a pickup truck with the front cab full of Brass. My stuff was shoved in the back and I had to hop up there and ride with it. Where I reported, in a dripping suit to the people wearing short sleeved shirts and shorts, I was ready to crawl into a hole and hide from embarassment. The top man took one look at me and said to a seargeant, take this gentleman and his gear to X hotel, get him some beer and pick him up tomorrow morning to come in here. I thanked the Lord for his kind people then.
My next trip was to Thailand. No toolbox, and I had verified that the prints on base were complete, so no file cabinet, a light Attache case and a very light suitcase.
On my return my philosophy and attitude had been pretty well adjusted as to travel needs. Then we went on a Caribbean cruise, Heather, our daugter and myself. I preached, practically rolled on the floor, banging my head on the floor, crying and beating my hands on what ever was in reach. But, no matter, we departed with enough clothes and gear to outfit us for a year. Schlepping it around was a job and only with aid of redcaps were we able to get aboard the aircraft bound for Miami, where fortunately our luggage was transferred to the ship. Every place we made port my ladies bought something, figuring they could stuff things in nooks and crannies, which things became disoriented enough to be full up crooks and nannies. The upshot of that was buying a huge suitcase in Nassau for the excess. We had been cautioned to keep items subject to duty in one separate case or cases, which my ladies didn't. We ended up going through customs with this dude praying that they would not want to open up our stuff. If they had decided to do that, we would probably still be in Miami.
Then came a trip to Puerto Vallarta, much less luggage and the women left room for the goodies they would buy there. The complication didn't come from luggage this time, however, our travel agent had not informed us that a departure fee would have to be paid out of our pockets. My dear ladies spent the last hour spending all our money, which was in pesos and nifty stuff. We arrived at the airport broke as we were to be picked up at our destination by family. Once more we were rescued, a kind couple saw our distress and paid our departure fee, which we paid back to them on our return.
On our 50 th wedding anniversary we took a delightful Med. cruise that our children had given us as a present. Heather had a suitcase, I had a suitcase, we each had a carry on and that was it. Oh, of course her huge purse.
The last few times we have traveled anywhere we went light, light, light. I am trying to cut it down to a carry on each but meeting opposition. So I am a reformed, burro, packhorse or jackass.0 comments so far