I’m starting to pack for our grand tour to Kuwait, officially departing a week from tomorrow. By starting to pack, I mean I’ve sprayed my suitcase with Febreeze and I’m procrastinating about the rest of it.
The problem is, I’m really not that sure what to pack. If I knew what to pile into my suitcase, I think this whole thing would be smoother and I’d actually start getting my act together. Planning for a climate I’ve never experienced is stressful, though. Kuwait is in the middle of the desert. Sandstorms happen all the time. It’s hot and dry in a way that Alberta will never be.
I’m quite sure which articles of my meagre wardrobe will end up in my suitcase. I have gone through my clothes and figured out which articles cover enough of me to be appropriate without roasting me alive in the heat. I bought fancy new sandals.
My problem is having no idea what to take for my hair. The straight-haired people out there have just all rolled their eyes. I forgive you; you know not what you do. Curly hair is the most volatile thing on the planet. Think of an action movie where the hero has to diffuse the bomb without bumping it, breathing on it, or blinking too loudly. It’s the most finicky, delicate operation of his life. Now multiply that by twenty-seven, and you have something close to the experience of traveling with curly hair.
I’m not sure what will happen in Kuwait with my ‘do, particularly because we’ll be traveling there straight from the nearly subaquatic climate of England in the spring. I don’t know if the water is hard or soft. I am unsure whether to pack mousse or gel, and then if I need super or ultra or brick mortar level goop. I’m also trying to decide if taking leave-in conditioner is worth the extra weight in my suitcase: it almost always is but that’s a long way to haul it. Part of my fear stems from not being able to read the labels on the products over there: it’s not as if I can just pop over to Shopper’s Drug Mart in Kuwait and buy a stronger mousse if my bottle from home can’t do the job.
I’m not trying to sound so wrapped up in appearances that all I can think about is my hair. I am really excited to see The Electrician’s family, and looking forward to seeing all kinds of new things. I also don’t want to be in a zillion family photos with French poodle hair. If things go south, I won’t look like a coiffed poodle from a dog show: I will be closer to a stupid poodle that’s chewed a lamp cord after coming in out of the rain. My curls will have 90 degree corners.
I could rely on the ever-beloved updo to save me overseas, but the hat I’ll need to be safe from the desert sun will not fit over my hair. It may be Little House on the Prairie braids and enough goop to stick a holstein to the ceiling for this girl.
If all else fails, the blue of my swim cap really brings out my eyes.
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