Stuff You Forget
How to you pack for a trip of three and half weeks?
Well, I guess the simple answer is: carefully.
I started making a list the day after I learned of the project. I checked it over about every day and I still forgot stuff.
You realize that in that length of time your fingernails are going to grow uncomfortably long, right? I didn't bring clippers so I had to borrow some from a co-worker. They were exceedingly dull and tore rather than cut my nails. I went to the Spencer Plaza Mall and got ripped off by a clever merchant who answered very quickly (with a nice smile!) 100 Rupees! when I asked how much the clippers would be. 100 Rupees is about $2.24 and is quite a lot of money here. She took the cash without ringing up the sale at the register. I figure she pocketed more than half of it. :-)
I remembered to bring my beard trimmer but because of the polarity plug, you know the kind that has one fat prong and one skinny prong? It wouldn't fit into the adapter I brought. I had the chance to buy a set of universal adapters in Frankfurt but didn't. Wish I had. This weekend I filed down the fat plug and it fit into the adapter. There was a plug in the bathroom marked "110" but the clipper sounded funny. I brought it out to the main room and tried a plug there... STUPID! Those plugs were 220. I burned out my beard trimmer instantly. Groan... I'd been using the adapter with my laptop and figured those plugs were okay because the laptop was okay. I checked the power supply converter on the laptop and it was spec'd out to work on 100-220v. No wonder the converter was so warm. Ah well, live and learn. I've been using scissors to trim my beard, guess I'll have to keep doing that.
I packed a lot of medications for migraines but only one OTC painkiller: Aleve. It would have been smarter to bring along some Tylenol too. (My headaches haven't been any problem after the first week.) I should have brought a bathing suit and something to exercise in, I need to work out while I'm here.
Overall, I think I did a pretty good job of packing. I bought a nice back pack at the Spencer Plaza. That was part of my plan: Go light and come back a little heavier with the gifts and souvenirs.
Stuff You Miss
This is my last week. I miss the smells of clean air. I want to be able to rinse my toothbrush in the faucet water instead of my bottled water. It's dreary to be always getting whiffs of sewage in the air, it even comes out of this swanky hotel's air handlers!
I miss Fox News, 96.9 Talk Radio, and Imus in the Morning. I want to be behind the wheel of my own car again. I miss my family and my dog. I'd like to be able to wear a slightly better variety of clothing. I brought 5 shirts and have them laundered round-robin, it's boring.
I have a cell phone the company gave me but there's no one to call. I miss my own. It's nice to be in better touch with folks. I miss my friends at church and the normal "rhythm of life".
Don't get me wrong, this has been a great trip and it's not over yet. I'm just headed down the home stretch here and I'm starting to look forward to the trip home.
It's a healthy feeling.
I want to come back here and I'll look forward to that too. If I get to come
back, I'll want to arrange a trek up to Agra to see the Taj Mahal! It's one of
the 7 wonders of the world. It'd be a shame to come this close and not go see