Thursday, July 10, 2008

what's in my bag (aka "haven't you left yet?)

Dr. Tichenor's. Diluted it's a mouthwash. Concentrated it's a great topical solution for easing bug bites, which is how I'll be using it. Contains arnica, which probably has something to do with it. Kathryn turned me on to this one: Once upon a time it was manufactured out of New Orleans, and may still be. Last I heard from them (via a radio story) their production facilities were hit hard by Katrina.

Ben's. Deet. Para los zaculos[1]. Have packed 100% solution in the past and it ate its way through the plastic, as well, I'm sure, as the sheaths around my nerve endings. Let's see how we fare with the 30% solution.

Chloroquin. Malarial. Para los zaculos enfermas. If you've been hanging out on Twitter you may suspect by now that taking this drug really freaks me out. Once a week for the duration of the trip + one week before + four weeks after. Rat poison, really. Gives you strange dreams and may make you crazy.

Do me a favor: If I start sounding crazy, tell me.

Hairdryer. Which is kind of weird, because I don't usually travel with a hairdryer. But this is the wet season and we're going to be slogging through the jungle: the hair dryer is for drying things besides my hair.

Colored pencils. Which is where it gets really geeky. We'll be traveling with a professional epigrapher and a whole lot of amateurs. The colored pencils are for the book of Mayan glyph inscriptions that I'm porting along with me. Part of geeking out in the jungle will be translating those glyphic inscriptions -- the color pencils help you keep track of the bits and pieces and what they mean.

No Jet Lag. That's fine: Go ahead and laugh. Yes it's homeopathic. Yes the chief ingredient is "talc". But I swear by this stuff. I take it when I'm traveling domestically too, even short flights. Makes things better for me somehow; I find when I don't take it I'm more susceptible to getting sick when I fly, so I just go ahead and take the talc.

Dr. Bronner's. Of course.

Raggedy old underwear. Whenever a pair has outlived its usefulness I tuck it into my "travelwear" bag which I pull out for trips like these. Each pair has one more wear in them -- then they get tossed in the trash.

So now you know the truth: If something terrible happens? I'll be wearing the kind of underwear that would embarrass my mother.

[1] Zaculo: A word -- pretty sure it's Mayan -- that means "goddamn mosquito". Or maybe just "mosquito". I may have embellished.


anniemcq said...

Safe travels, friend. Love the underwear bit.

a.m. said...

whooo hoooo... i grew up on chloroquin. that might explain a lot. Mefloquine is one that you really want to watch out for. that one is clinically shown to make you crazy.

if you can, drink a ton of schweppes tonic water (with real quinine.) that's the original non-crazy antimalaria medicine. non-crazy until you add too much gin, that is.

and, if it rains a lot and you are stuck indoors, you can always sit and read the label on the dr. bronner's...

have great adventures!

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