Be Prepared

Today I fly from Krakow back to Paris.

I packed almonds in case my Easy Jet crashes in snowy mountains and passengers and crew begin to eat each other. I’m betting my America flesh will be marbled with fat much like fillet mignon. Why else would my doc prescribe all those anti-cholesterol meds? To be on the safe side, I’m taking almonds to offer on this flight in lieu of me. I’m thinking of stopping at the Express market for a few more packs in case we’re not rescued immediately.

I try to factor in all contingencies, so packing is stressful. I packed a flashlight for Paris, which would have been helpful if I had remembered to carry it around sightseeing every day. Helpful to use in climbing the unlit staircase I had to take to my apartment. But I never remembered the flashlight until I was trying to navigate three flights of narrow winding stairs in the dark.

And the flashlight is heavy. My carryall is heavy enough. Along with my notebook. on which this was typed, my I-Phone, my pens, my tiny paper notebook, a bag of essential makeup, tissues, change purse, which weighs a ton because Euro change is actually worth something, maps because I don’t trust my I-Phone to know where I am, Icebreaker mints, only available in America, sunglasses, easily lost so I carry two pairs, three pairs of reading glasses, even more easily lost, 2 packs of Compeed, a product only available in Europe. Wherever there is a lot of walking there is a need for this wonderful product. I carry around two packs, one bandage thing for the side of my foot which one pair of sandals bothers. The other for the heel of the other foot that is rubbed if I walk long enough in the other sandals.

Which brings me to the reason my suitcase is so crammed and heavy. To travel over here, I brought shoes I wore out as well as shoes that turned out to be bad for walking. In Galleries Lafayette in Paris I bought a pair of sandals, a pair of bright Converses I fought a Japanese girl for, and some Geox walking shoes. Along the way I put my new Bernie Macs in a bin for the Paris needy and threw away a pair of beloved Croc flip-fops in Krakow. I wore those Crocs everywhere this summer, but their tread was gone. On wet pavement they were dangerous. Still ours was a sad goodbye.
“We’re almost weightless and we don’t take up much room,” they said to me from atop of our apartment’s trash bin.

“Someone will come and fish you out,” I told them. I would have kept them as shower shoes until the end of my days if I had been home, but I am both disorganized and love to shop, so I have bought lots which has to be packed. I must sacrifice. Goodbye Crocs.

Last night in Krakow I had to get tough and say farewell to many other things, like the big bottles of olive oil shampoo and conditioner I bought in Paris. I am assuming my final European port, a boutique hotel across from Notre Dame Cathedral will have shampoo, etc. samples. I checked their website and found no mention of hair dryers, so the one I bought in Paris will return there. Perhaps it will remain there for the rest of its life since I have a Czech hair dryer at home.

Traveling is like life, a series of goodbyes and hellos, of acquiring stuff then letting stuff go.

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