Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ice, Ice, Baby

In about ten days time I will be flying home for a brief visit to attend the wedding of a very dear friend indeed.

So back to the homeland, home of big shops that sell things cheaply (namely Tescos) and home of all my wordly possessions that I don't have with me here...

So what is it that I shall be bringing back? What is it that I should have brought, but didn't. Or didn't bring enough of? I agonised long enough about packing to come out here - it will be interesting to see what I forgot.

1. Three quarter length cargo pants. I can't come up with a more English name for this item of clothing but they are designed for this job, this climate, and this place.

I came out with one pair. I need about seven. I live in them. They have lots of pockets for all the bundles of notes and big bunches of keys I have to carry around all the time. They're long enough to hide a pair of legs the wrong side of 30, and they're light enough to keep me cool in the heat.

I shan't be getting seven, but as it was my birthday I have treated myself to three new pairs in various practical shades (the red earth gets everywhere) and will be hoping to convince various members of my family to pay for them in lieu of birthday presents.

2. Thick soled flip flops. I have one pair with me. They're a trusted pair of plain black fabric thonged reef flip flops with an uber-thick rubber sole. Except I've owned them since 2004 and I've put about as much wear on them in the last three months as I have in the last four years. The thick soles are getting thinner. Rapidly. So I've ordered a new pair. God bless the internet.

3. Non-white underwear. The previously mentioned red earth stains everything. And white clothing is possibly the most impractical thing I've brought with me. It's still nice to save the white t-shirts and linen for a sunny day where I don't think I'll be hoisting boxes around, but inevitably I'll be covered in it by lunchtime. Bra straps that were once white are yellowing rapidly. So, to M&S online and some camel coloured bras. I once told a friend I thought that buying flesh coloured underwear was the mark of maturity as it was so goddamned unflattering and said neither virgin nor sinner about the wearer. I was right, as this is a choice driven by practicality over all else, but since when did flesh coloured underwear start being called camel?

4. Basic toiletries. Our starter supply of lotions and potions is ebbing low. We are not fussy. In most cases, own label toothpastes, soaps and shampoos will do it. But to get anything decent here it's five times the price of the Tesco's economy version. About the only thing we're both fussy about is deodorants. Since breast cancer, I've religiously used a stick of aloe vera. Rich has also adopted a non-aluminium option with a rock of crystal. Except he keeps dropping that on our concrete floors and has very little left. Another one for the shopping list...

5. As for my own belongings, I will be picking up my ice cube trays. The first time I used one here it broke in half. I was expecting some flexibility and it did not budge an inch, so my bending the sides simply snapped the frozen plastic. Oh how I longed for my rubbery, press and pop trays that the ice simply slides out of.

Aaah, home comforts...


ida b. said...

Steer clear of Terminal Five. Holy mother of chaos!

Guess what? I miss my Kampala Brits. Keep me in the loop with life in Uganda.

Thanks for checking up on me when I needed it most.

Let's rally!

Dr Jude said...

3/4 cargo pants, flip flops and dark undies are always the way to go in Africa. I've rarely seen a white shirt survive more than a week. Just too much sand/dust.

I hear (dark) blue attracts tsetse flies -- we didn't have those in Namibia but you might, so keep it in mind.

And good on you for the alternative deo -- I tried rock crystals for a while, but I sweat so much that they sadly don't do the job on my stinky armpits!

We plan to come over in December -- is it a good time???? (we promise to bring lots of toothpaste from America)