Sunday, September 16, 2012

Oh, luggage

Many of you have probably never seen me pack.  Let me say that I have inherited at least these skills from my father, if none else...I know what is necessary and what isn't and I know how to make things fit where they simply shouldn't.
Luggage restrictions on flights have never been a problem for me.  No checked bag?  Fine!  My backpack can fit two weeks worth of clothes; my briefcase can hold my laptop and all additional items. (I have made obscene amounts of things fit in my "briefcase/purse" that goes under your seat in US flights.)
Heading out of the condo, I was not too concerned.  I have a beautiful expanding suitcase and rolling briefcase given to me as graduation presents from my Granna, Uncle, and Aunt.  Clothes, toiletries, and the necessary items I had to keep in the condo go in the suitcase.  The disgusting amount of computers, DVDs, and paperwork I am taking go in the rolling briefcase.  Everything fits.
(I should take a moment here to explain that two months ago, I shipped off several other cases of clothes, shoes, and living equipment via the Marshall Shipping Container.  So I will have more for two years than one suitcase worth, but I had to be able to live out of the suitcase and briefcase for about three months.)
Come Thursday, we receive a letter about our flight itinerary and final details.  So.  Virgin Atlantic.  I'm sure you're delightful.  BUT A THIRTEEN POUND LIMIT ON TOTAL CARRY-ON HAND LUGGAGE IS JUST NOT GOING TO CUT IT.
Thirteen pounds.  I don't know if you can visualize that.  Thirteen pounds is what the average five-month old baby weighs.  It's nothing, in terms of luggage.  It is my briefcase and a laptop.  A single laptop.  Power cord, wallet, movies, other computers, camera equipment, paperwork, books, candy, Kindle...nope.  One Macbook.  One briefcase.
So tonight has been some fun scrambling.  I'm apparently leaving a bit of a bag at Franna and Leila's in DC, to be retrieved someday.  Because while I can make everything physically fit in my suitcase (again...I want it to fit, it's going to fit.  It doesn't have a choice in the matter), I can't magically make two laptops and a ton of DVDs weigh less.  And, of course, checked baggage has a weight limit of 50 pounds.  (This is reasonable.)
Five hours of packing and repacking's close.  My suitcase is right on the edge.  I have taken out all of the clothes, etc. I can reasonably bear to part with (part of the problem is that I need to be clothed appropriately at fancy receptions on the way...).  The briefcase is going to be close.  I have two ideas: one, either they'll be nice (I did some research online to see if they actually weigh the things.  Apparently they do), or, two, I will happily rooming with some other Marshall Scholar who magically has a lot less and is happy to take ownership of a computer and case of DVDs for a few days.
Hope springs eternal.
I am also allowed a "purse," which may only be used for "normal" purse items, not things that are actually luggage.  I am going to consider heavy candy, DVDs, and several other items "normal" for my "purse."  Since I never carry a purse, I think I get to define what is normally in it the day of.  I'll also be wearing a hoodie with some rather bulging pockets that day.
Good grief.
Thirteen pounds.
This is how they keep flights within the EU cheap.  I applaud them.  But I would have preferred to know a bit earlier in order to have made other arrangements.  Alas.

1 comment:

  1. And here we thought we were being so smart getting that luggage for our travels! Perhaps we should have invested in sturdy, but light-weight, plastic bags to reduce the weight.