Monday, March 3, 2014

Letters from the Equator, 5 - Marshall Islands

                                               The things I carried...
  (Letter 1 is from a Dec., '13 post, Letter 2 and 3 from Feb.,  '14.)                                                                       
         MAJURO - Stuck in a hotel waiting for a long hop to Tarawa, I spread the gear of the equatorial traveler on the bed. It deserves mention, since earlier, in Ecuador, I made fun of the sartorial excesses of the Galapaguppies.
       My two constant companions were the leather case stuffed with electronic gear that I have come to think of affectionately as The Pig, and the trusty canvas bag with a strap that has already been around the world once and knows its contents intimately. Between them they included:
    A pair of khakis.
    Four white shirts with long sleeves, the best choice for the tropics (they protect from insects and the sun, and provide pockets as well as the illusion of respectability.) 
   One polo-type shirt, for variety. A swimsuit with pockets that doubles as shorts.
   A Swiss army knife equally efficient at opening bottles, trimming nails (and removing piranha teeth), not likely today in carry-on.
 A Maglite (I try to note where I put it before the electricity goes out at night.)
   A rubber doorstop (keeps doors closed as well as open.) A small medical kit with water purification tablets. A small pair of binoculars.
An extra pair of shoes (leather for the cities, the jogging sort for the rest).
Travel books (always paperbacks - this before Kindle) and a couple of good novels, trash fiction being even more depressing in exotic places.
Ballpoints and two spiral notebooks.
A rollable, water-repellent windbreaker.
  A light, warm, aging wool sweater.
  A billed cap to block the equatorial sun and - yes, it was possible - the equatorial rain.
      And under my shirt I wore a tried and true if somewhat redolent synthetic, sweat-proof money pouch containing,  in ' addition to passport, tickets and travelers' checks, lots of $1 bills, acceptable - nay, welcome - anywhere.                                               
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