This is Howard C. Park's blog. Interests: live music, simulations and modeling, languages, iPod, social and business networking, systems thinking, history of science, management, BBQ, trivia, good coffee, organizational learning, traveling, personal histories.
Friday, October 27, 2006
The Journey Starts
"Can you lose five pounds?" The attendant on the other side of the international kiosk asked as I punched thru the self-check-in menu. "A pair of jeans and some shoes should do it." I had overpacked, as I usually do. My excuse was that I needed both my backpack and by computer bag; the former for the flight, the latter for the client meetings. "They are very British, you know," our associate had told us in one of the first meetings we had months ago. The black no-nonsense laptop bag was to help me appear more professional and formal than a blue Eastpak bag would.
I had also packed two small bottles of water. With our arriving late Saturday evening into Africa, I didn't know what kind of supplies would be available for us. OK, so we're staying at a western hotel with Internet access. However, I though bringing a few bottles of water would be a wise thing to do.
Five pounds or $25 surcharge. I had packed dense. I had distributed the weight properly, with heavier stuff at the bottom. There was more room in the suitcase, but thought that I had packed enough clothes. I headed off into the corner of the check-in area and proceeded to open my backpack (which I would take on the plane) and the suitcase (which I would check-in). I took out a pair of jeans, but thought of no way of taking out shoes as well. I could carry the shoes in their shoe-bag, but wanted to avoid digging too deep into the suitcase where the shoes had been packed. I took out some shorts. I looked for other dense stuff. I had a limited amount of space in my backpack, already bulging with my laptop, power brick, and various power adaptors. I saw a belt. Then I remembered the water. "I'm thirsty", I said to myself, "and it's always good to stay hydrated, esepcially when flying through so many miles".
The scale shifted back and forth between 49.5 and 50.5 pounds. She let me go with it. "Checked in all the way to Africa." Then I remembered that I couldn't take water with me through security. "Oh well, better than losing my belt or jeans".