Saturday, December 19, 2009

We Pack for Departure

Ok, so we are packing to leave. My wife is screaming at me becuase we have had 4 months to pack and here I am packing the night before our flight. I hurl curses at her. Liz arrives and sends me to a neutral corner, but not before I hurl curses over my shoulder to let them know I am down but not out.

Pam and Rachel pretend to be cheery about packing

We are flying on ElAl to Israel. The Jewish Agency is paying for our flight, as it does for all new Olim. Our luggage limit is three 50 pound suitcases each, one more suitcase than the two that are allowed for all other travelers. Because we have been living in Englewood four months longer than we thought we would, we have accumulated a substantial amount of clothing, shoes, coats, books, CDs, electronics, presents and other tchotshkies. We were planning to leave in late summer and here it is already winter. It will be difficult to fit our load into the six allotted suitcases.

It takes two near PhDs and a Harvard PhD computer scientist and Stanford JD to figure out that the optimum packing strategy is to overload each suitcase a little bit and then leave the rest for an extra suitcase, hoping that the airline agent will give us a pass on the overweight bags and only charge us for one extra. (As it turns out, $1 million of distributed education has not been wasted, since this is exactly what happens.) We end up with six overweight bags and a seventh at 50 pounds, plus many miscellaneous carry-ons that we hope they will allow us to carry on. (They do.)

Spot the Dog is flying doggy class in his kennel. I was supposed to get Spot kennel trained by keeping him longer and longer in it, but the most I can manage is to get him to sleep on the doggy bed in front of the kennel. This will have to do, as we leave in the morning.

Spot the Dog is none too thrilled about his trip to Israel

Finally at about 4:00am packing is declared complete, as there is nothing else to throw into the suitcases and no more suitcases to throw anything into. In the morning we will discover mounds of papers that I forgot to pack, and they will be stuffed willy-nilly into the outer pockets of our bags. We are almost done!

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