There is no way around it… I am incapable of traveling light. People don’t believe me, but I do genuinely try to head away with the minimal amount of kit, but it rarely seems to work out.
I’m not sure if its my penchant for contingency planning or some weird nesting instinct, but chances are I will turn up at the airport with the most shit and ultimately pay the price (which involves either being called the ‘Luggage C*nt’, a massive excess baggage charge or having Das Wolf finger his way through my gear in a borrowing rampage).
A couple of events though recently on our TP trip have helped shock me into reform and means I will be trying to curb my overpacking ways:
- Emirates trying to charge me $1500 excess one way from Singapore to France (eventually rescued and reduced to $750) and;
- Navigating Monaco and ultimately being too physically weak to get my bags up the 18th flight of stairs and having to call in Herr Doktor dead lift air support to sort it.
So, here was my best effort this morning rolling out:
Honestly, the giant Fox bag IS lighter than usual… Probably offset by the 50kg bike bag. Lets face it though, I am off to the MTB equivalent of the Hunger Games, so I need all the protection I can get and at 43 pounds, the downhill bike is gagging to incur additional baggage charges.
As per usual, I tried to pick a sympathetic looking check in Aunty at Terminal 1… Smiling as I approached, being polite as my DNA will allow, asking how her day was etc, we even shared a joke about letting air out of the tires! Joy! But, I still expected the beat down at any moment.
So – It was to my wonder and amazement that when I went to load my bike onto the scales Aunty smiles and says “No need! I can estimate!”… Hmmmm… Really? How much? “10kg!”. I stalled and frowned, a good 40kg light… This is not how its supposed to be… we’re supposed to barter and fight and go back and forth and then call your team leader down to ask for additional allowance… I am then supposed to roll my eyes and say Fuck under my breath before begrudgingly paying the ransom… and all I get is a smile and am sent on my way with my boarding pass?! I was conflicted with a mix of euphoria at finally being let off, but also a strange gap that the usual dance hadn’t been done. Not one to look a gift aunty in the mouth I dished her a 5 and hit the MF road.
Motto of the story: It does pay to flirt with old ladies.
And yes, this has been a whole post about baggage, but look at it this way, its context for when I undoubtably get smashed by a charge in the next few weeks and its helped me fill in time as I wait for the next flight from HK to Vancouver.