Saturday, May 3, 2014

I Should Be Packing

I love to travel, and I'm fortunate enough to have worked at a lot of jobs that have allowed me to travel. I'm good at packing efficiently and lightly, and I've packed enough times to know that, no matter what, I'll find a way to fit all my shopping necessities into the luggage I've chosen for that trip.

I'm leaving tomorrow for a work trip to Houston. It'll be hot and humid, but I'm also expecting a good dose of freezing air conditioning during the day while I work. I am grateful for air conditioning, but it's a huge pet peeve of mine when it's cranked so low that your fingers are turning into icicles. 

This friends, is why I knit shawls. I'm taking this one with me for warmth:

But packing also entails choosing the right luggage. And tonight, I'm distracted most by this beauty:

It's an old vinyl bag I bought used off Etsy a couple of years ago. Old, used, but in good shape, thusly termed "vintage." And it's one of my favourite bags. I use it as my gym bag, because it is lightweight and sturdy, and it is just the right size and has just the right number of nooks and crannies for me to store my gym card, hair elastics, lifting gloves, sweatbands... all that good gym-y stuff.

But it's old, and things don't last forever, so I had to pull it out of rotation a few months ago because not one, but both zippers were broken. Not just wonky, but totally broken, missing zipper teeth and all.

I wanted to fix it myself, but fixing luggage is just not part of my repertoire. I knew I'd have to pay someone to do it for me, and I knew it would probably cost me the same amount as if I'd bought I new bag. And being a relative newcomer to the area, I didn't really know where I could take it to be repaired.

So, it sat in my spare room for a few months, in a sort of luggage purgatory, while I weighed out whether I would throw it out and buy a new one or figure out some way to save it. I kept making up my mind that I'd toss it, but each time I went to go but it in the trash, I stopped to admire the colour and all its little splotches of imperfection.

One day, I sat down at the computer, did a little bit of searching and made a few phone calls. Then I got into my car one day during my lunch break and drove around to different places. I showed it to people at tailor shops and luggage stores. I eventually arrived a shoe repair shop and explained my dilemma to the man who ran it. He looked at it, turned it over and around, and he said, "I have a problem."

"What?" I said, nervously.

"I don't have red zippers. Is black ok?"

Yes, black was ok. And a week later, here it is, saved, repaired, and better than ever.

I would take it with me to Houston as hand carry luggage, but I'm already lugging a laptop with me, and it's not large enough for the shopping  rest of my things. It'll have to stay behind, but I'm glad that I was able to save one more item from going to the landfill. 

Yay recycling!

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