I like Pam, but… : A guest post

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

(Note: Laurie traveled with me for two weeks from Nairobi to Dar, so I asked her to write a post to give you all the unvarnished truth about what it’s really like to travel with me. And once again, no photos yet, so just suck it up.)

Laurie, your guest blogger, with the kids of Lushoto, Tanzania

I have always thought that Pam was quite a nice girl, but since traveling with her in Africa I have discovered she is actually the Packing Nazi. Her first mention of my luggage was favourable: “Not bad, Laurie. I thought you would have way more stuff than that.” This was, of course, before she found out that I didn’t bring a towel, rain gear, insect repellent, flashlight, and extra batteries or any kind of timepiece. The look on her face was memorable as she asked me how many things I would need to plug in and recharge each night, and I told her none (a cross between amazement and glee).

We have different systems of packing. Her system appears to have a specific place and order for each and every item, while mine involves throwing it all in until there’s nothing left lying around. I started to roll up a clothesline one morning and was told politely not to bother, she was going to have to do it over anyway.

Ah, laundry. Pam taught me how to do travel laundry. Rule number one being: Don’t even bring jeans, much less try to wash them (I ended up having the hotel staff rewash them and wore them until they dried). There is a neat trick of rolling your wet clothes in your towel (should you happen to have brought one) and squeezing the excess water out. I’m pretty used to damp, wrinkly clothes by now. Others on the tour have commented on how “well turned-out” Pam is. I guess her system works.

Africa is amazing. There are so many more people and animals than expected, maybe because I come from sparsely populated Canada. And traveling with Pam is great. She is fun and relaxed (well, once the packing is done) and very good at getting around, figuring out money, and knowledgeable about things and places. She took good care of me, even unpacked for me, when I was too sick to look after myself, and afterwards admitted I did have a system “of sorts”. (My system involves grocery bags. One for wet clean-ish laundry, one for dirty laundry, and one for really gross, smelly laundry.) Unfortunately, I hadn’t told her before I got sick so she opened all three. Poor girl.

Anyway Pam, thanks for inviting me, and for letting me include this blog (my first!). And thanks for letting me phone my kids and my guy on Christmas Day.

She really is a nice girl.

Laurie, Pam, and Daisy the giraffe. Nairobi.


Karen said...

Laurie - It must be so strange for you to be living part of the adventure now rather than just looking from the outside in. I just can't imagine Pam being so fussy about her packing...ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ya right!

Great guest post.

Lisa said...

So fun to read about things from another person's perspective...Sounds like you guys got along swimmingly...

The spices would have been a highlight for me...how cool was that?!

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