What to take on a tour of Central Asia where there are no Laundromats, Beauty Salons or Drug Stores

The dog keeps eating the guest soaps spread out on the guestroom bed, leaving the wrappers on the carpet in the hallway. It’s amazing how she selects just the soaps from among the 3 oz. bottles of shampoo, conditioner, spray net, shaving cream, tooth paste, scope, deodorant, perfume, moisturizing cream, hand antiseptic sprays, powder, pill bottles, vitamin bottles, emery boards, q tips, tooth brush, comb, razors, hair dryer, first aid kit, spot removers, pantiliners, wet ones, room deodorizer, and Kleenex. Plenty of Kleenex. In Lithuania, the bathrooms never had any toilet paper. One of my friends who goes back and forth to visit her family in India recommended the pantiliners. You can wear the same pair of panties several days, she told me, just change the liner.

I’ll be gone for almost 4 weeks. There are no stops at laundromats or beauty salons built into the tour. Nor is there a CVS on every corner. I’m used to traveling on my own. When my husband and I were in Italy and running out of underwear, we simply found a laundromat. The only problem was that it was Sunday and we had to wait until Church let out for the place to open. We didn’t have the right change in liras, but the bar down the street opened at the same time the Laundromat did and we got change and lunch. In Lithuania, there were no drug stores that you could wander through, selecting your favorite brand of cough drops; you had to ask the pharmacist for them and she produced them from the back of the store. But at least there was a pharmacy. In Central Asia, there may be a place in the large cities to buy cosmetics or deodorants, but I’m not expecting to find them in the small towns along the way.

So I’m packing several of those 3 oz bottles of shampoo and tubes of toothpaste and packages of wet ones. It amounts to an awful lot of little stuff. Carol has one of those beautiful traveling kits to put all of her things in. I’m using baggies.

And I’m planning on putting together a one night baggie in my duffle bag just in case the airlines lose my bag. Deodorant, tooth brush and paste, comb, pantiliner. I’m a bit sensitive about lost luggage. Going to my first Conference as an educator in 1965, I arrived sans my luggage. Back in those days, men and women dressed to look professional. It was only a few years since I had gotten married and I had packed much of my trousseau (Is there such a thing these days?). My luggage never arrived. Then there was my trip as a consultant to TVA in Chattanooga. Once again I arrived but the luggage did not. All of my slides were in the suitcase. I spent the night trying to recapture my presentation on an easel board. My luggage finally arrived just in time to put it back on the plane home.

I’ll be carrying my Kindle and Netbook in the plane with me on this trip.

Filed under: Central Asia

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