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  • 1 Post By Shiva
  • 6 Post By maverick

Thread: there are times when you just cannot recommend an aeronaut...

  1. #1
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    there are times when you just cannot recommend an aeronaut...

    i took my aunt and uncle to the airport earlier this afternoon. they are off to india for about six weeks.

    they have seen how i travel, and i think that's why my aunt sheepishly smiled as she said that their stuff only occupies one and a half suitcases. the rest are gifts. the funny thing is that they travel a couple of times a year, and most every time with four big suitcases and two small roll aboard suitcases.

    the largest of the four large ones wasn't that heavy because it contained a comforter and related items (a gift). but we weighed the other three to make sure they weren't too heavy, each one weighing between 46 and 49 lb!

    this is one situation where i don't even mention the aeronaut, even though they know very well what it is because i've traveled with them before or i see them when i am in india.
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  2. #2
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    i should add that this sort of packing - two huge suitcases per person - isn't uncommon for people traveling to india.

    did i ever tell the story of the time i flew air india via new york's jfk airport with just an aeronaut? i flew delta from washington's iad to jfk. i changed terminals, and checked in at the air india counter because delta had just checked me in for the portion to jfk.

    the young lady helping me asked how many pieces of luggage i was checking in. i said none, pointing at the aeronaut on my back and saying i just have a carry on. the young lady looked very confused, looking at the computer, then back at me, uncertain of how to proceed. i really wonder whether the terminal where she has to key in the number of checked bags wasn't designed to accept a value of zero :). she asked a colleague, and they asked me the same question a few times in different ways - probably a half dozen times altogether, inquiring whether i had any bags to check, whether i had checked my bags all the way when i boarded on delta airlines at iad. i kept telling them no, all i have is this tom bihn aeronaut. :) eventually, i was all set to go with my boarding pass.

    then i got stopped by tsa as i went through security for carrying unlabeled bottles of shampoo and conditioner. these were little aveda 1.7oz bottles that you can fill with shampoo, conditioner or anything else. the security officer said that because there wasn't a label, i could have put anything in there. i didn't say it, but i wondered: and a label that says shampoo would prevent me from putting anything else in that bottle? i asked to speak to a supervisor but got no where. i ended up throwing the bottles with shampoo and conditioner away, though they did give me a option of going back and putting the bottles in my checked luggage (which would have required me to check in the aeronaut). i declined, preferring to know that i had to find shampoo and conditioner at my destination rather than wondering whether i would have anything with me at my destination.

    the funny thing is, at that time, the tsa web page talking about the 3-1-1 liquids rule had a picture of unlabeled nalgene bottles in a ziplock bag!

    by the way, this unlabeled bottle incident was a singular occurrence. this hasn't happened to me at any other airport, in the u.s., canada, europe or india.

  3. #3
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Wow. That is a lot of luggage. Just looking at that picture makes my heart skip a beat....to be tied down by that many bags, ahhh! It's lovely, though, that they are filled with gifts. There's always something so fun about a gift one receives from the travels of a friend/family member.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  4. #4
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    in contrast, this is usually how i travel to india...



    they're very kind and loving! they asked me to come and have lunch with them before we go to the airport. i asked them to finish packing and have a relaxing morning rather than worrying about lunch. so i got there and my aunt had made me indian flat breads (parathas), some stuffed with lentils, some with spinach and and some with potatoes, as well as banana bread to take home.

    um, not all of it is going to make it home... i just had a flat bread and a piece of banana bread as an afternoon snack :D

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    Maverick: this is hilarious..and a routine part of all our lives here as immigrants I think! the last set of guests I had this past summer --we had 10 suitcases altogether..each bigger and deeper than the other. I hate suitcases; and no one can understand my preference for duffles and softsiders. sigh!
    snowbot likes this.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva View Post
    Maverick: this is hilarious..and a routine part of all our lives here as immigrants I think! the last set of guests I had this past summer --we had 10 suitcases altogether..each bigger and deeper than the other. I hate suitcases; and no one can understand my preference for duffles and softsiders. sigh!
    hi shiva,

    i'm glad you got a laugh out of it! :)

    i don't take gifts back to india... but if i did, i'd want to take clear organizer pockets, field journals and stuff like that!

    i do bring small things back - i've brought dolls dressed in traditional indian clothing for my nieces, a wooden train for my son. i always bring back chocolates. we had the discussion a while back about chocolates and how i got extra attention from u.s. customs as a result :). the biggest items i ever brought back were some silk rugs some years back, and some stainless steel and copper dinnerware more recently.

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    Great stories, tnx for sharing. :)
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    My wife and I travel to China frequently to visit her family. I've gotten her down to one rollaboard but not yet convinced her to go wheels-free. When we go to China we take a cheap duffel to stuff with gifts then check in. On the way home, the duffel just gets crumpled into the rollaboard. This works out quite well.

    I hate checking luggage, but when taking gifts there is just no way around it.

  9. #9
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    Talking HaHaHa!

    Try being married to a Filipina! Whenever we're traveling, it's rolling luggage AND cardboard luggage. It's customary for Filipinos to bring home a "balikbayan" box of small gifts, household items, clothes for as much of the family as possible, and then on the return to a foreign country, carry back Filipino foodstuffs and snacks as gifts to their Filipino friends. I've given up pretty much trying to convert her to traveling 'lite', not going to happen! Oh well, I love her!

    Actually, I always carry my Swiss Army knife, and a Leatherman Tool with me, so that has to go into the checked luggage when we fly now.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    i took my aunt and uncle to the airport earlier this afternoon. they are off to india for about six weeks.

    they have seen how i travel, and i think that's why my aunt sheepishly smiled as she said that their stuff only occupies one and a half suitcases. the rest are gifts. the funny thing is that they travel a couple of times a year, and most every time with four big suitcases and two small roll aboard suitcases.

    the largest of the four large ones wasn't that heavy because it contained a comforter and related items (a gift). but we weighed the other three to make sure they weren't too heavy, each one weighing between 46 and 49 lb!

    this is one situation where i don't even mention the aeronaut, even though they know very well what it is because i've traveled with them before or i see them when i am in india.
    so, i get a call from my uncle this morning.

    he says to me - so, you just go with that one backpack when you go to india?

    i tell him, yes. he's seen me travel with just that many a time.

    he asks how?

    i tell him - i take 3 changes of clothes and have my laundry done while i'm at my destination.

    then he asks - can you help me pack like that?

    this is a great example of how it is better to teach through example than by preaching. i could never have suggested to him that he adopt the minimalist approach to traveling. it suits certain people, while others want to pack the kitchen sink or take lots of presents and do shopping while at their destination and bring stuff back - and that's totally fine.

    but i was very pleasantly surprised that seeing me carry the aeronaut all these times made an impact!

    i don't know if he'll travel with an aeronaut. he's up there in age, and a roll aboard carry on would probably suit him better. but it's a big step from checking two huge suitcases and carrying a roll aboard!
    -m

  11. #11
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    Well done - leading by example! And impressive that your uncle would consider packing light too. Cheers to you both!
    "Buy the best, cry once" - Pasquale


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