Friday, 19 October 2007

All my bags are packed...

All my bags are packed..., originally uploaded by hoobiewan.

I take an irrational pride in the fact that I can fit things into small spaces. As with most of my irrational prides, this is one first pointed out to me by someone else. Bending the laws of physics in this way really is a skill of sorts, and it is useful enough that a small amount of pride is probably justified. I take it to extremes, unfortunately, regularly making outlandish claims about being able to fit large stone monuments into small leather pouches. What is most unfortunate about my skill of packing tightly is that it is a necessity, because any space savings I gain stuffing socks into intra-molecular spaces I lose by way of a serious ailment: Overgrown Boy Scout Syndrome (OBSS). "Be prepared," implores the Scout motto, and I take it very seriously. When packing for a trip to Florida in the summer, I will always briefly consider whether I might need my parka. My worst offense is usually shoes. On my trip to San Francisco a few years back, I believe I had two pairs of shoes and sandals. This was a five-day trip, with no hiking excursions or the like planned. In the end, I'm not sure the shoes I chose were really the best for the trip. I long thought OBSS was an incurable lifelong ailment, but I have come to believe that this was just an enabling conviction. If I set a real limit for myself, surely I could make do with less. The goal: fit everything I'd need for a week in the Netherlands into one backpack.

For a while, I thought I was going to have to buy myself a larger backpack to meet my goal. Indeed, I went shopping for one the day before my trip. Ultimately, though, I succeeded, and I now have another skill of which to be irrationally proud.

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