I'm sure it was extremely unpleasant at times for my immigrant ancestors to cross the Atlantic in glorified tin washtubs with only one small satchel and a change of underwear. On the other hand, just at the moment it seems that it must have been wonderfully simple.
How many times I've read that piece of travel advice that chirps, "Pack your suitcase, then take out half what you put in." Whose bright idea was this originally? Most likely a WASP travel writer who was built, like so many of her brethren, without sweat glands.
When you're a mixture of Mediterranean and Semitic peasant stock, you can't recycle shirts three times without becoming an olfactory nuisance to every person within a fifty-foot radius. And I'm bourgeois enough to wish not to be remembered by my university travelers as "that smelly dwarf with the knitting needles."
My bag is full, but not stuffed. After five of these trips I know enough to leave room for whatever flotsam I might accumulate along the way. (I'm not a souvenir hunter, as my favorite souvenirs are photographs. But I'm on a mission for bellydancing clothes for Susan in the Grand Bazaar. And of course, books fly off shelves and cling to me like lint, even when they're in languages I don't read.)
Dolores, meanwhile, has managed to whittle her absolute necessities down to the regulation one suitcase, one carry-on, and one purse. We nearly came to blows over the issue of paying extra so that her seven vintage Lily Daché picture hats could come along in their own boxes, but a bottle of Stoli liberally applied helped her to see reason. (Well, sort of. After she passed out I smuggled the hats up to Buzz, who is going to hide them in his apartment until after we leave.)
This is the part of traveling I detest. When I'm ready to go, I'm ready to go, with no fooling about. Once the stasis is broken, I 'm certain I'll feel better and stop trying to bite people.
I may blog a little while I'm away, but rumor has it that Web access on the ship runs about $15 for 30 minutes, none of which I can expense unless I'm engaged in university work.
So, to keep the place lively, I've invited the Wolverinas–the jolly band that I met at Rhinebeck last year–to chime in as they wish on whatever topic they choose.
Consider yourselves warned.
Next stop, Istanbul. As they say in Turkey, "Peace out."