High Heels and Asian Leopards

First, a note on shoe fashion:

Insane. I say this with complete awe and an injection of disbelief. There are a lot of women here who get around on crazy-high heels. How do they do it? I’ve seen them hiking up Emeishan, running down rain-slick ramps, chasing after buses, navigating crosswalks. And yet, their ankles have yet to snap like brittle twigs. Well done, ladies.

Now: Asian leopards, or Asiapards for short. I’m referring to the brand of the suitcase I just bought. It is 24 inches of four-wheeled convenience. This is my first time using a luggage with four wheels, and I think I’m going to enjoy it. A lot. Remember that blue duffel I moaned and groaned about lugging around in the very beginning? Yeah. I lent it to a classmate. I bought the Asiapard instead because I have souvenirs and boots and textbooks to get home, and that shit ain’t light.

Regroup. Let’s see. I have one 24″ four-wheeler, one 22″ two-wheeler, and a ~19″ school backpack. I have vacuum-sealed my bulkier sweaters, because I’ll be in Singapore for a week of travel and it’s going to be the armpit of hell pretty darn hot. It will be–dare I say it?–shorts weather there. Chengdu is cold. Shanghai will probably be cold as well. I’m still brainstorming which clothes will make good transitions. I should brainstorm faster, because I’m leaving Chengdu tomorrow morning at 5:15am.

I’m packed. Sort of.

PFFFFF who am I kidding? Not me. Not my mother, certainly. (Hi, Mom!). Technically, I have my clothes, souvenirs, shoes, books, and documents packed and/or ready to go. I need to pack my toiletries and medicine, which I will do as soon as I finish procrastinating. I mean. It’s just two drawers full of stuff. I can do that.

It’s just. I have so many littles. What the hell do I do with the little things?

Stuff them in the nooks and crannies, sure.

I wish I didn’t have to check my bags.

I didn’t think I accumulated so much stuff. A coat, a sweater, two scarves, gloves, a pair of reindeer socks…

They’re going to fit…how?

Hm.

I always did like a good puzzle.

Corner pieces first.

GIRL WHERE YOU AT

Please. Allow me to elaborate upon my previous, slightly-cryptic slightly-suggestive photo post.

Tomorrow morning at early-o’clock in the morning, I will be taking a plane from Chengdu, China to Lhasa, Tibet. For realz. I will presumably be out of range from the usual methods of communication (Facebook, email, Skype, WordPress), so this is my “See you later!” to everyone for whom this is a surprise. (surprise!)

Pretty sure this has the potential to be one of those life-changing experiences. I mean. It’s TIBET with capital everythings. Mysterious Tibet, shrouded in wispy clouds, herds of sheep, deep valleys and tall mountains, and, and. Still not exactly sure what to expect. Pilgrims, shallow air, mountains, and yaks? Will emend upon further research.

I am expecting both too much and too little from this excursion. The epiphany that found me in El Salvador was a simple thing (staggeringly so). An easy thing. It would be lovely if such a thing finds me again, but I’ll try not to seek it out. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way, though. Looking for a conclusion when instead it should find you.

Yeah.

In any case, I have few expectations (knowledge, really) of Tibet, and I intend to enjoy my experiences there. I’ll be away during the week off everyone gets here (hurrah for national holidays), so I’m keeping to my school backpack. If anyone’s interested:

  • 2 pants (1 leggings, 1 jeans)
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 1 tank tops
  • 4 undergarments
  • 1 running shorts (for sleeping, not running)
  • 2 sweaters
  • 1 button-up long-sleeve shirt
  • 1 coat
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses, contacts, contact solution
  • Sunscreen, appropriate toiletries
  • Hat
  • 1 (thin) hoodie (still debating)

I hear it’s going to be cold. Like, 65F as best case scenario and 35F as worst case. Not so sure my Sketchers Go walk shoes are going to cut it, so I’m bringing my boots.

Now is of course the time when I discover I can’t find my cell phone charger. Perf. I’ll make do with another picture-taking device.

OK. I’m really going to bed now.

TIBET: LEGGO! Adventures await on the roof of the world. I will dream of riding yaks, them shaggy beasts. 

Packing Pro? PFFFF.

Left the States August 27, 2013 at 1:20pm. Arrived in Beijing, P.R.C. August 28th at 4:30-ish in the afternoon. All in all, a little over 14 hours of travel that day for me. I checked both luggage pieces and took only my backpack aboard the plane.

Turns out, my “down-sizing” was my downfall. By taking a rolling luggage with a width far shorter than the length of the duffel I had precariously stacked on top of it, my load was top-heavy and just plain HEAVY. Now. 20ish lbs. is an OK weight for me to lug around. But with gravity dragging the weight of both bags downward, my arm and hand muscles were in for an extreme work-out! I was already the girl with the most (biggest) luggage…why did it have to be so heavy, too???

Also, it was extremely muggy. Inside of the airport. Beijing is HOT with capital everythings.

At this point, I’m worried about bending the rolling luggage’s extendable handle from the weight of my duffel. Dragging it down a narrow road in the uncertainty of the dark was no picnic. My duffel twisted itself around and generally made a giant nuisance of itself. (Luckily, the hotel has an elevator to the 4th floor.)

Solution A: Carry the duffel using the shoulder strap and instead place the smaller backpack on top of the rolling luggage.

Solution B: Buy a different luggage ASAP. 😡

In any case, I’m sure I could’ve packed less. Even taking out five pieces from my duffel in the final packing process wasn’t the help I thought it’d be. By the time I get to Chengdu, I’m going to have serious guns.

Packing Pro? PFFFF.

Left the States August 27, 2013 at 1:20pm. Arrived in Beijing, P.R.C. August 28th at 4:30-ish in the afternoon. All in all, a little over 14 hours of travel that day for me. I checked both luggage pieces and took only my backpack aboard the plane.

Turns out, my “down-sizing” was my downfall. By taking a rolling luggage with a width far shorter than the length of the duffel I had precariously stacked on top of it, my load was top-heavy and just plain HEAVY. Now. 20ish lbs. is an OK weight for me to lug around. But with gravity dragging the weight of both bags downward, my arm and hand muscles were in for an extreme work-out! I was already the girl with the most (biggest) luggage…why did it have to be so heavy, too???

Also, it was extremely muggy. Inside of the airport. Beijing is HOT with capital everythings.

At this point, I’m worried about bending the rolling luggage’s extendable handle from the weight of my duffel. Dragging it down a narrow road in the uncertainty of the dark was no picnic. My duffel twisted itself around and generally made a giant nuisance of itself. (Luckily, the hotel has an elevator to the 4th floor.)

Solution A: Carry the duffel using the shoulder strap and instead place the smaller backpack on top of the rolling luggage.

Solution B: Buy a different luggage ASAP. 😡

In any case, I’m sure I could’ve packed less. Even taking out five pieces from my duffel in the final packing process wasn’t the help I thought it’d be. By the time I get to Chengdu, I’m going to have serious guns.

Packing Pro? Hm…

I like to pretend I’m an organized person.

Image

1. Lounge-wear

2. Sweaters/thicker tops

3. Skirts (1-2, in the end)

4. Light jacket, blazer

5. Shorts

6&7. Jeans

8. T-shirts (the “T” stands for “Trusty”)

9. Blouses

10. Undergarments

11. Tank tops

 

And I’m not, except that I managed to pack everything comfortably. Nothing’s bursting at the seams! Each luggage is approximately 20-22lbs. each. Image

I will be wearing leggings, a tunic, and a safari vest (lots of fabulous pockets!) on the plane, none of which featured in the photo.

 Lookin’ good!