Moving overseas usually encompasses three carefully planned stages of shipments- luggage carried on the airplane, air shipment limited to 1,250 lbs including clothes and linens, and a sea shipment limited to a certain amount of lbs usually involving furniture. The cargo of these shipments must be carefully chosen as each item has a weight 5 to 10 times your estimate. Further, once in the final destination, each item grows 2-3 times from its original size. One last consideration is the items that can not be bought overseas.
Moving from rural Pennsylvania to central Tokyo meant living in an apartment where finding storage space becomes like putting together a puzzle. I decided to bring trunks instead of large bags on the airplane. Upon our arrival, the trunks could be filled with extra linens, sweaters during the summer, etc, and then stacked in the storage area. I continually chuckled as I patted myself on the back and thought of new ways to use the trunks for additional space-saving storage.
I checked the airline web site for luggage limits. Size- fine. Weight- 70lbs to 200 lbs. involved a fee. Fine. I ordered red, lime green and purple. No one would mistakenly take our trunks. Wheels and handles so everyone could carry their own. Off we went.
US Air ticket counter. A chatty male agent asks for our passports- we are the only customers. He and spouse talk about Japan- It’s going to be so much fun- I wish I could go- yea we’re looking forward to it- put your bag up here- I’m the one that travels light wait until my wife puts her stuff up- hahahahahaha.Spouse weighs his bag- his weighs 70 lbs.
Offspring # 1 weighs his bag- 70 lbs.
Offspring #2 weights her bag- 65 lbs.
I weigh my bag- 75 lbs.
From somewhere I hear the music from the “Wizzard of Oz” as the US Air witch swoops in on her broom. “Your trunk is overweight” I’m still wondering where she came from why she needed to intervene? We were having fun with her male companion. Thus far he’d demonstrated an ability to weigh our bags, swipe our passports, and check us in. Maybe she’s actually the dementor of US Air. (You all know I like to come up with the worst name for the villains in the blog)
“Yes, I understand from the web site that I can pay for overweight luggage between 70 and 200 lbs”
“What web site” She says.
“Your web site” I say.
“That’s incorrect. I have the final say so. Nothing over 70 lbs goes on the airplane.”
She’s a very helpful and customer service oriented US Air employee. I wish I had her name so I could publish it here.
She and I start a stare down as I weigh my options. Do I have enough time to pull up the web site? I think she’s bluffing.This makes all the males in the vicinity start to scramble for solutions.
At this point, friendly male agent steps in. “Why don’t you empty some of the contents. Put some in your offspring’s trunk. Jeans weigh about 3 lbs. Hair products are really heavy.”
I open the trunk. Of course now there is a line forming behind us. Spouse is getting antsy. All this over 5 lbs?
All of my hair products are on the top. On a good day I look like Howard Stern’s ugly sister. Before good hair products I’ve suffered bad nicknames, “mushfro”- translation “mushroom-shaped afro” as an example. That’s the only one I feel comfortable publishing. Let’s also say that I’m probably one of the few, if not only, caucasian individuals most of you know who’s had a geri curl. I’m not throwing out the hair products.
Out go a pair of jeans- I have 2 of that kind. A pair of running shoes. I have 2 pair. I move a hand full of clothes to Offspring #2’s trunk. I’m still off by 2 lbs. Customers are grumbling. SHE’S toe tapping. OK- 2 big bottles of TIGI Foxy Curls and 2 bottles of the BOING I like. I have to go home in one month for my mother’s 70 th birthday party. I’ll re-buy then. I’m in on my weight.
Evil princess on the US AIR flight broom sniffs in triumph. I say to her ” Oh yea- well you live in Newark NJ evil, US Air witch of the East and I’m leaving you here while I embark upon the adventure of a lifetime” –in my mind. She might purposely have my trunk lost if I give her any lip. In cases where speech can not be trusted, one must keep the mouth shut and the eyes off the evil witch.
Fast forward. My mother and sister “can’t find” my hair products so my 24 hour fly by to Texas yields no TIGI Foxy Curls. For those of you who’ve never been to Tokyo, it makes New Orleans feel temperate with low humidity. Between my lack of Foxy curls and my rapidly greying hair, I’ve included a picture of myself below. Somebody please send me some Foxy Curls and a VooDoo Doll for the woman who made me look like this…..