Packing (or Not)

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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8 Comments Add yours

  1. We share the curly hair thing and it can be horrible to manage. I tend to get lazy with mine, when in doubt, and just throw it up in a ponytail. Where I live is constantly humid so it’s almost always out of control! I am enjoying following you as you prepare for your trip – love your new sandals! I do wish for you a most wonderful time!

    1. Thanks Lisa! Curly hair is most certainly a balancing act. At least I can wet it all down to start over again and it will dry super fast in the desert heat. I am a fan of the “emergency bun,” rather than the ponytail, since my hair gets extra cranky if I ponytail it on an already grouchy day.

  2. FL Liz says:

    Swim cap. HAHA. You might start a new fashion trend over there!
    The pony tail thing sounds good, or a couple dozen hair clips or something.
    Kay, don’t worry too much about it, just enjoy the trip. The pictures taken of you will then reflect your smile, not your ‘do. Electrician’s family knows you and your hair. They will only see ‘you’ in the pictures.

    1. Hey, I have a really nice swim cap. Can you imagine wearing a silicone wrapper on your head in that heat? Ugh.
      You’re right about the photos. I guess I can just untag myself as the disasters hit Facebook.

  3. FL Liz says:

    One of my travel mantras: “Oh well, it’s not like I’m going to run into anyone I know here”

    1. I’m working on that! At least I’ll have pretty sandals, right?

  4. I always wait until the last minute to throw things into my suitcase. It’s amazing the clarity that you suddenly have when you have no more time. You will realize immediately what you need and what you don’t. A week ahead of time is way too far in advance!

    1. Last minute packing always leads me to having a black bra and all light coloured tops, or no deodorant, or forgetting my (very necessary) glasses at home. I also have a super-hectic week ahead, so I’m attempting not to screw myself over for Thursday night.

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