Friday, February 1, 2013

Why I will never pack light again

I think I mentioned in Wednesday's post that I've been to Sydney a couple of times recently for work.  Well, this past week, I was there for two days:  Got up at 3am on Tuesday morning, caught a 5am flight. Worked all day. Stayed in a hotel that night, got up Wednesday morning, worked on Wednesday, and then flew home Wednesday night. (Now you have the logistical context for this story).

Well, as I was doing my customary 'throw some things in my small suitcase a few minutes before heading out the door' thing on Tuesday morning, it occurred to me that I really did not need a small suitcase, surely.  It was just one night. Surely a little overnight bag (that doesn't even have wheels) will be fine, right? I mean, I'm wearing Tuesday's clothes, so just throw in pajamas, Wednesday's clothes, and a toothbrush! There's shampoo, conditioner, soap etc. at the hotel.  And on a final whim, I didn't even throw in my hairdryer, because they have those in the hotel too.  I was taking my iPad and my laptop, so I had anything else I would need right there.

Delightedly, my little overnight bag was so empty that I was able to fit the iPad and laptop into my overnight bag.  Ohhhhh yeah.  I strutted that bag down to the car with all the swagger of a true packing-light rockstar.

Driving to the airport is always the moment where I stress and wrack my brain a little until I can figure out what it is that I've forgotten to pack:.... mmm.....mmmm....mmmm.... Ah! Deodorant.  I forgot deodorant...... Okay, well, there's nothing I can do about that, and it's better than the time I forgot my makeup, or the time I forgot my shoes.  I'll just shower at the last minute tomorrow morning, and I'm only filming for a few hours before I'm just laptop working by myself at the airport for the afternoon, so I should be able to get away with it. I have a plan. Disaster largely averted.

Shooting went well Tuesday, got a lot of laptop work done Tuesday night.  Had a good sleep.  Got up early Wednesday morning. Had a shower. Went to blow dry my hair, and realized that the hotel hairdryer actually blows about one 100th of the amount of hot air that an actual hairdryer does.  Oh no. Well, on the upside, I wasn't in too much of a hurry, so I spent the hour it took to get my hair mostly dry. Not a great hair day I'm afraid. Had to half clip it back and looked more like a 15 year old than anything else.  Oh well.  Don't think about it.  Went to finish getting dressed and got down the iron and ironing board to iron my clothes.  Realized the iron didn't have a place to pour water. Obviously a really cheap, dumb iron that probably wouldn't even get hot! Grrr! Just like the hairdryer. Nothing works. *sigh*  *heavy sigh*  Oh well, cranked it up and tried to do my best to iron my shirt even though the iron would be useless.

Promptly burned a massive, double fist sized hole right through the middle of the back of my shirt.

I just stood there, staring at it for a moment, and actually attempted the thought 'Maybe no one will notice?' which even I had to admit was a ridiculous thing to think.  Panicked. Realized I hadn't brought an extra shirt with me like I normally do, because I was a packing light ninja. Finally admitted that I would have to wear yesterday's shirt again (which I hoped no one would notice, although of course it was a bright red shirt, so anyone with a brain would notice), and of course I had no deodorant, and it was yesterday's shirt.  PLUS, it was wrinkled because I'd tossed it in my bag last night and it really needed an iron.  I couldn't chance that though - it was my last shirt and I couldn't really wear my pajama top!  So on went my smelly wrinkled top.  At least I had a new skirt for today.  Took some solace in that thought as I put it on.

Went into the bathroom to put on makeup.  My liquid foundation was almost empty, so I was shaking the bottle.  It slipped out of my fingers and landing on the floor - spraying (what turned out to be a lot of) foundation all over the front of my skirt. Like, all over the skirt.  My first thought:  "I can not wear yesterday's skirt too!".  So I pulled it off, lay it out on the bed, got soap and water and attacked that skirt!  Half an hour later, it was sopping wet, but the foundation marks were at least a little bit less obvious.  If you squinted your eyes a little. A lot.

Hung the skirt up to dry, put on yesterday's skirt, grabbed the book I was reading and headed down to have the lovely buffet breakfast that had been included with the hotel.  It was a lovely spread, and I was trying to forget that I was wearing all of yesterday's clothes.  I got a nice hot breakfast, sat down to eat in the lovely restaurant, pulled out my book to read. Cut into the grilled tomato and proceeded to squirt 87 tomatoes worth of tomato juice all over the white table cloth. The silver lining: it squirted away from me and yesterday's shirt, but I was still absolutely horrified. It completely covered the table cloth in a half metre ring around my plate.  How did that one tomato do that? It should be off winning some kind of 'world's juiciest tomato' contest, not sitting here on my plate!

At this point I froze, and decided not to move for the rest of the day. It had become painfully obvious that I was simply not business trip material! I was a serious danger to myself, and probably anyone else who came too close!

But then I got hungry, so I finished my breakfast.

The good news is that nothing too terrible happened for the rest of the day (other than working with the crew while sporting yesterdays crinkled, smelly top and a sopping wet skirt with a 15 year old hair do).

But I've learnt a few lessons:
1) Always bring deodorant
2) Always bring your hairdryer
3) Always bring spare clothes
4) It's probably a good idea to also bring the kitchen sink

Happy packing!!


  1. LOL! Gave me SUCH a good laugh, Tam, thank you!

    I've been on a two week holiday with all of our family of nine when you were little and been a packing light ninja too - Big mistake. Big. Huge.


  2. Haha, I actually burst out laughing when the foundation when all over your skirt. Lol, I'm almost a little disappointed story-wise that you managed to save it. Mostly. If you squint a bit. A lot. :P

    I totally always over pack. For just a weekend I take my Pumba suitcase (worlds fattest suitcase!) and others bags as well. I pack for any occasion I might need. I never end up using 95% of what's in my bad but at least I'm never without! :D

    (You can borrow Pumba next time if you need..)

  3. I think I would at the point of foundation, or perhaps even at the point of iron burn, have said to myself 'someone is telling me to go SHOPPING!' lol

    1. Kate - in the back of my mind, I was aware that the back up to my back up plan would be clothes shopping in my pajamas.... :)

  4. haha, this made me laugh out loud too. It reminded me of your formal dress story with the foundation. The times I have packed light and only packed one option of clothes to wear each day, I always end up not wanting to wear that outfit, or it didn't 'suit' me that that. Always good to have options :) But it is a totally awesome feeling heading off to a flight with one backpack!

  5. Oh Tammy!!!!!!! I was mortified for you. And laughing all the way too... sorry!!
    You have wonderful story-writing skills and I'm glad you got through ok. Seriously though, don't give up on the packing light thing, you were only missing 3 items. You could still do the small bag thing next time. And really, that was just unlucky with the hairdryer and iron. btw I hope you've written a note of reimbursement to the hotel for your shirt?!

    1. Bev - I thought about it, but what would my complaint say? "Your iron worked perfectly and I underestimated it?!' lol :)

  6. You have missed the most important benefit of packing light, the chance to use "I forgot to pack it" as a reason to go shopping :-)