Saturday, October 17, 2009

My bag is packed!

Well, just two days to go and my rucksack is packed - all 5 kg of it! I will carry only the most essential items. One change of clothing will be enough as, apart from the cruise, I will always stay in hotels that have a swimming pool.

For somebody travelling as light as me, a pool is just one giant washing-machine: jump in fully clothed and do a few breaststrokes to remove whatever stains are on the front; a vigorous dog-paddle works wonders on the old jocks; and backstrokes remove all those sweatstains from under the armpits!

As a last-minute item, I've added a bright-red inflatable buoyancy jacket. If the old PERAMA boat should suddenly spring a leak, I will not only stay afloat but also be seen to have stayed afloat!

That just leaves the selection of suitable reading-material for those long hours on the plane and for those long, tropical nights under a starry sky. I've settled for Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" and, for a bit of thoughtful and slow reading, I've packed Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game.

I couldn't find anything in the local bookshop written by my old Greek "mate" Ἐπίκουρος, so he will have to wait until my next trip. Travelling is the perfect time for a bit of "heavy reading", quite apart from the fact that if something should happen to me, it's good if they find me clutching an intelligent book in my rigor mortis hand. It will make them think that I was somebody important enough to be stuffed into the body-bag with a litte more reverence.

When I'm finished with my books, I usually pass them on to fellow-travellers. In this way, I have introduced others to the thoughts of Joseph Conrad, Ernest Hemingway, Somerset W. Maugham, Patrick White, et al, which has resulted in the odd email, received long after the trip was over, saying "Thank you for having enriched my life."