I find myself fighting the pull of last minute shopping.
Tourists have a habit of spending a lot of money in preparation of a trip – a new suitcase, even when their old bag is fine. A year’s worth of shampoo and conditioner even though they’re gone for a week. Fancy new money belt even though they have one from the last time they traveled. New shoes that they’ll have to break in while they’re walking around Florence. It’s something akin to the primal urge to store for the scarcity, reinvented in the more familiar form of the modern suburbanite stocking up two week’s worth of milk and eggs before an alleged storm. Even if they’re vegan.
I am somewhat guilty of this. I have to dress appropriately for both South Asia and Western Europe, and most of my clothes are not appropriate for either. I know that I don’t need a year’s worth of shampoo and conditioner – but I did stock up on things like my face lotion and deodorant because my previous experience in Asia showed me that any lotions will have bleach in it (which my pale German self does not need) and that despite deodorant being MADE FOR ASIANS they don’t factor in enough antiperspirants to survive the month or so before the rainy season. Yours truly comes from a culture that is obsessed with cleanliness, over washing, and smelling like Spring Rain. India (and Europe, for that matter) will be a bit of an adjustment. I will come home embracing my new smelly, unwashed self, just wait.
I got new shoes, but I needed new shoes regardless of me going abroad.
I bought a new purse, but my second hand Coach hobo does not hold a lot and doesn’t zip anymore and there’s one or two holes wearing into the leather. The new purse is unoffensive, if not overly cute or professional, and has the nifty slash-theft resistance features that may or may not be useful when I’m navigating trains in India. Mostly, I would rather navigate trains than the Indian police system.
I bought a new phone, but even if I was staying in the country I would also need a new phone.
I bought mosquito netting, though I suspect I’ll be able to find that in India for cheaper, because the booklet Volunteer HQ sent me specifically noted me bringing mosquito netting.
But then there are things like MAYBE I SHOULD GET A WATCH. And a travel belt. And a new laundry kit. Regardless of the fact that despite my well organized self, I am morally opposed to owning a watch since I stopped owning one years ago. And that I’ve never used a travel belt even when I owned them. And that I can get laundry detergent just about anywhere (though I’ve never done laundry in Asia, the hotel used to do it for me, and overcharge to boot).
In other news, I am ten days away from leaving the country. Thankfully, I’ve been so focused on all the physical and emotional prep that I’ve been doing that I have been unable to focus on the fact that this Sunday, weather permitting, I am jumping out of an airplane.
When did my life get so ridiculous? Sky diving one weekend, getting on a plane to India the next. When it rains it pours.