What’s Inside My Bag (In case you were wondering)

It’s not a kilo of marijuana. That would be a stupid thing take to Malaysia, where being caught trafficking drugs leads to a mandatory death sentence. And you thought the USA had a bad drug policy.

We are allowed alcohol so Josh and I agreed to pack up a box of beer for our stay. The selection in Malaysia and the rest of the region is dreadful so this will keep our mouths happy every few weeks or so. We even packed a mead. Here’s what I have in “The Beast,” my big REI rolling duffel.

1. A ceramic chef’s knife. Have you ever used one of these things? If not, you must. This one was a gift from my stepmom and I absolutely it! I can’t imagine living without a ceramic knife now. The thing weighs next to nothing, but its blade cuts nearly anything. Great for when we want to cook, which is more often than you would think.
2. A travel-sized wireless router/access point. Last year Josh and I traveled with my home router, which was large especially when the power adapter is taken into consideration. This year I bought a new travel-sized wireless router/access point. It’s the size of an iPod and allows Josh and I to go online when we are at a place with a good hardwire connection.
3. Vitamins, and pharmaceuticals. It’s pretty easy to find Vitamin C and other supplements all over the world, if you go to a pharmacy. It’s not cheap, though. You can’t get such things in a grocery store like you can in North America. Plus the variety is not so good. So, I take Emergen-C and a few other essentials like milk thistle for my liver and echinacea for when I first feel that tickle in my throat. Works for me! Any brand-name items you swear by at home (Advil, etc) just bring it.
4. Tampons. Believe it or not, tampons are not available even at expat/foreigner stores–in most of Southeast Asia. Pads you can get, but they are no substitute. (UPDATE: I HAVE LOCATED tampons in KL. At the Mercado supermarket in Pavillion Mall!)
5. Wet naps/moist towelettes. These things come in handy like when you find yourself ready to chow down with your hands and you realized you haven’t washed them all day and you’ve been on busses, etc. I also have a hand sanitizer but never use it…
6. Clothes. Lots of them. I learned last year that it’s crucial to have clothes for multiple climates. I was caught literally out in the cold–and rain–too many times without proper clothing to know that no matter how cumbersome it may be I need to bring a set of cold weather gear. So now I’m prepared for all but Siberian winter.

A lot of stuff is picked up along the way, lost and discarded, used and replaced. Umbrellas. Condoms. Random toiletries,

Inside my computer bag is my Macbook (old but still kickin), a new portable hard drive with Firewire, headphones, a paperback, and miscellany. No iPod. That’s a topic for another day.

Well, bon voyage!

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