Taking Clothes to Last Four Weeks for Two Climates in a Suitcase that can't weigh over 33 Pounds on a Tour of Central Asia

The others on the tour started weighing in yesterday. While American airlines allow 44 lbs. per piece of luggage, Kyrgystan only allows 33 lbs. Anything over, you are expected to pay for right then and there in local currency only. And the cost ranges from $1.00 to 10.00. I'm not as worried about paying as about the hassle if I'm overweight.

So far, Marty's suitcase is the lightest--29 pounds. Riva is up to 36. John and Paul claim they are going to be way over that. Obviously, Carol and I are the only two working. We didn't start packing until today. In fact, as of this morning I was still washing some of the clothes I needed to pack.

But I'm finally packed and weighed. My purse is 3.6 pounds, my duffle bag is 10.4 lbs. but my 25 inch suitcase is 35.6 lbs., 2.6 pounds over the Kyrgystan limit.

There's actually still a lot of room in the suitcase. The heaviest items are the bottles of shampoo, hair spray, conditioners, etc. I'd put some of those things back in my bathroom closet but I want to keep some for those hotels that aren't quite modernized. However, Kyrgystan is the last stop. I can jettison most of that stuff before we arrive. And I can probably stuff additional items into my duffle.

The real problem is going to be lugging the suitcase when we arrive in Istanbul. Thank heavens for wheels. Once we're in Turkmenistan, the tour company will take care of the baggage.

The clothes are actually quite light. I'm limiting myself to black, beige and navy. And I'm figuring on layers. Short sleeve in the hot areas, long sleeve in the cooler places and a sweater or sweatshirt for early morning and late evening when the temperature drops.

Here's my list.
. A pair of light weight black slacks, a pair of beige capris and I'm wearing jeans on the plane.
. A broomstick skirt and black A line skirt.
. Light weight crocheted sweaters for evening in black, white, beige and blue (Do I really need the blue?).
. Four short sleeve, light weight knit tops in black, beige, brown and navy
, Three long sleeve tops in black, beige and gray.
. One sweater and a sweat shirt. These are for Kyrgystan where it's going to be in the low 60s.
. A pair of good walking sandals, a pair of nice looking sandals for whatever dressy dinners we have, and I'm wearing a pair of sneakers on the plane.
. No jewelry.
. One black scarf I can wear to the mosques or wherever I need it. I'm planning to buy jewelry and scarves there.

It doesn't really seem that much. I may take everything out and repack tomorrow to see if I can eliminate 3 pounds.

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    Carolyn Boiarsky

    " I am an American," but not "Chicago born" like Augie March. Only Chicago aged. I'd like to think that if Henry Louis Gates were to investigate my geneology, he would discover in my past three women who traveled around the globe, chronicling their adventures. Sarah Kemble Knight traveled 112 miles by carriage from Boston to New York in 1704, a journey most women did not embark on alone (and men did so only with some trepidation). In fact, women were only just beginning to exercise their independence in the 1920's when Emily Kimbrough took off with her friend, Cornelia Otis Skinner, to explore Europe. But it is Auntie Mame, transforming herself from a New Yorker to the wife of an Austrian Baron and climbing the Matterhorn, whose mantra I have adopted. "LIFE IS A BANQUET...LIVE!" I began travelling in the 1960's when I traveled around western Europe between graduating from the Univiersity of Pennsylvania and my first job as a statehouse correspondent for UPI (United Press International) in Charleston, West Virginia, which was about as foreign a place as Europe was to someone who grew up in the environs of Philadelphia. Since then, I've also traveled to Kaunas, Lithuania, to teach at Vytautus Magnus University and to Sheffield, England, to present a paper at an engineering conference. I've been to the Alps and seen Auntie Mame's Matterhorn while climbing, by a series of cable cars rather than by foot, toward the peak of Mont Blanc. For 10 years my husband and traveled to unique places: a sheep farm during lambing season in England's Lake Country, a hotel on one of the Barromeo Islands in the middle of Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy, and a cottage in Dun Quin on the Dingle Peninsula which the Irish claim is the last parish before Boston. Between excursions, I'm a professor in the Department of English at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Indiana,. My husband passed away recently and, Auntie Mame-style, I am in the process of transforming myself. I've joined a tour to Central Asia and traveled to China to work with the pandas. This year I'm on my way back to Europe--Inreland, England, and France--to present a paper at a Conference and then visit friends. A new adventure. Old friends. Another banquet.

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