Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Random Bullets of Travel

  • I got underway for my research trip to Blargistan at 6 a.m. Monday morning, with a ride to the airport. Everything – everything – fit into a camera bag and a carry-on suitcase. Including four gift copies of the book. I imagine that I will be purchasing some clothing items while I'm in Blargistan.
  • Another item in my suitcase is a book to help me with improve my knowledge of Blerg. No, not Blarg; Blerg. Blarg is the primary language you learn when you go to Blargistan, but in some places (including some of the ones that I'm going on this trip), a good working knowledge of Blerg opens some doors. Currently, I speak Blerg like a buddhist – I remain firmly in the present. I hear that there are other tenses.
  • Why pack for five weeks, including such heavy items, in only a carry-on? Simple: my connecting flight at JFK gives me only 50 minutes to de-plane, get to the international terminal, go through security again, and get to my gate (actually, probably less than that, as they close the gate a bit before departure). I'll have enough trouble getting me there; I don't trust that my luggage would make it separately. Expect this point to be updated (hopefully from the plane, and not from some JFK-adjacent hotel room).
  • Yes, the stove is off. Yes, the coffee pot is off. Yes, the alarm on my clock is off. Hell, I even took the batteries out of the smoke alarms, just in case.
  • I'm also having guests (relatives of friends) stay at my house for a week while I'm away. So I put out clean sheets & towels, and cleaned the place a bit yesterday. What's the appropriate cleaning effort for houseguests who are staying for free? I determined that "one hour" was the right answer.
  • A smart thing to do: when you have an early-morning flight, go buy your latte the night before. Pop it in the fridge for reheating the next morning. This will guarantee that you don't have to face the pre-dawn hours un-caffeinated, and there are no dishes to wash before you go.
  • I have determined to practice the yoga principle of non-attachment for the duration of this trip: If I find tons of fabulous documents, great. If I don't, well, there's not much I can do about that.
  • Yep: Made it. Slept almost not at all. It's now 8 a.m. where I'm at, and the middle of the night where I started out. Wondering if I should take a nap. Wondering how the melatonin experiment will go.
  • I'm hoping that my European cell phone will still work. I promised a ridiculous number of people that I'd call them "as soon as I arrived." I'm barely coherent in my own language right now.
  • aaannndd.... it's been 30 hours since I last slept. But in general, everything went smoothly. Time to call it a day.

4 comments:

Medieval History Geek said...

I'm also having guests (relatives of friends) stay at my house for a week while I'm away. So I put out clean sheets & towels, and cleaned the place a bit yesterday. What's the appropriate cleaning effort for houseguests who are staying for free? I determined that "one hour" was the right answer.

I think there may be some sort of continuum which could be worked out for this. For example, does one clean more for the houseguests than for one's SO? Does the cleaning level for the SO vary with relationship tenure so that, say, an SO of six months or less earns more cleaning than houseguests but one of a duration of over a year less? Is there a difference with frequency of visits - an SO who is over 3 times a week vs the one you see every two weeks?

As an aside, I found the best way for me to improve my housekeeping was hire someone to come in and clean once a week. I don't want her thinking I'm a slob do I? Have to clean up after myself before she shows up to, er, clean up after me.

I believe there's a market for a "pseudo-housekeeper." Someone who won't actually clean your house but might show up once a week to see how clean it is. I think I'd hire this person for about half the price of my real cleaning person. After all, by the time I clean up preparatory to her visit, I don't need any actual cleaning services.

I am impressed by your economy re the packing.

profgrrrrl said...

I am amazed at your packing abilities!

Susan said...

I'm very impressed by your packing. I thought I'd done well for two months, but the climate here means you pack for late winter/spring and summer. Sigh.

Welcome to Blarg, and good luck learning Blerg. Tenses were always my weak point in my other languages!

Jonathan Jarrett said...

Currently, I speak Blerg like a buddhist – I remain firmly in the present. I hear that there are other tenses.

I love this, and could indeed learn from it. Good luck with the documents!