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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Weighing in

Overweight - story of my life!

I am getting ready for yet another great adventure. It will probably take me away from home for a couple of months, which means I'll be changing seasons during my trip. This always complicated packing. Add to this the fact that I am going to a very remote location where it is essential that you be able to entertain yourself if you do not want to drive yourself insane, you can add a couple more kilograms to the luggage for art materials. With these factors to keep in mind, I bought an extra luggage add-on to my Kulula ticket which allows me double the weight. And I thought it would be enough.

A nifty device to weigh luggage with

I chose my clothing ensemble very carefully. I want to be prepared for any kind of event. I would really hate to have to decline an invite simply because I did not pack the right shoes! Still, when I was done, my clothing bag was bulging. Years ago, when I first went overseas, I bought a handy little luggage scale that you can easily throw into a bag and take along with you. I have been using this ever since for weighing my luggage when weight matters. I carefully set the scale to zero and weighed the bag. 31 kilograms! I was astounded. The permitted weight on the plain is 25 kg. Actually it is 20 kg booked-in luggage and 7 kg hand luggage. I was already exceeding the limit and I hadn't even gotten to the heavy stuff yet, which is the vanity case, technology case (hand luggage) and the art stuff! I knew I was in trouble.

When the luggage is weighed, both needles move down the scale, but only the red returns to zero. The black marks the weight, so you can easily check once the weight is removed from the scale. Afterwards, simply turn the black back to zero.

I decided not to get overly anxious by unpacking just yet. I would first pack the rest of the gear and then I would decide what to do about the weight issues. Doesn't weight always seem to be an issue in life? Whether it's attached to our bodies, or whether we carry it with us, we always seem to be dealing with weight issues!  Anyways, I now turned to the vanity, and knowing that I'd have to be careful, I removed all unnecessary packaging, both to reduce weight as well as space. Still, when I finally weighed the vanity case, it weighed 15 kg. Now I was really in trouble.

Wanna guess where I'm headed?

With the combined weight of the two cases at 46 kilogram, I as already over the allowed limit for booked in luggage. I would have to take drastic action. Then my brain got into first gear. I looked at the two bags and frowned. I was not a novice traveler. I had done this kind of thing before. There was simply no way those two measly bags could weigh as much as all that! Was the scale giving me an incorrect reading? I picked up the scale to examine it more carefully... and felt very stupid.

It is a place with spectacular sunsets

The scale had both pound and kilogram measurements, and I had been reading the pounds for kilograms. In actual fact the luggage weighed less than 22 kilograms altogether. I breathed a very thankful sigh of relief. I would still be able to pack the things that make life fun. After all, the whole idea behind this trip is to find a quiet place to write a book I have been planning for a while, as well as to paint. And if there is time left, perhaps I could still find time to illustrate my second children's book as well! But that might be pushing it a bit.

It is a fishing and mining community

Anyway, I am happy to report that the final combined weight of my luggage is now permissible and I should be allowed onto the plane. That said, you can certainly look forward to a couple of blogs in which I tell and show you more of my travel adventures. I mean, I won't allow myself to be trapped behind paint brushes and computers all day! I will make a point of taking long hikes of exploration, taking thousands of photographs and grabbing any other opportunity that comes my way. That's the way we roll!

If you guessed Hondeklipbaai, you would be correct!

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
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