Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Shoe Box and the Lists

By Cindy DeLong
UNL Graduate Student

Marin might have jewelery, but I have these really cool
Mary Janes. Plus they're comfy, comfy, comfy.
What clothes should I take? How much luggage is allowed? What about books…notebooks…snacks? These kinds of thoughts have been rolling around in my head for many months, and now the time has arrived to figure it all out. 

For the past three weeks or so I have been gathering things like electricity converters, a magnifying glass, a variety of cold, stomach and other over-the-counter medications (better to be prepared!), a money belt, an umbrella, camera and charger, flashlight, iPad (for blogging!) and charger keyboard, the lovely bilingual business cards Marin made for us (that woman has talent!), and most importantly the passport with China visa. They’ve all gone into a large shoe box. It’s getting full.

Then, there are THE LISTS. The list of things that can’t go into the box because they are too big or I might need them before we go – like my raincoat for instance. Which shoes? Comfy shoes for all the walking we’ll be doing are a must. Dressy shoes for visits to museums, Jiaotong University, and some social occasions are on the list too. And what clothes? Marin said she is bringing jewelry…jewelry? Awwww really? …Marin will be stylin’. Me? I can hardly remember to bring more than one pair of earrings. Okay then, gotta rethink the wardrobe a bit (and evidently the coordinating adornments) and go over THE LISTS….there are things I haven’t thought of and clearly they aren’t complete…but they will be….soon…I keep repeating that to myself over and over.

Is all this really necessary?
Is the food in this exotic destination going to agree with me? Maybe not = a trip to Sam’s for power bars, trail mix and I will keep my fingers crossed. Do the hotels have hair dryers? Thankfully yes. An extra set of clothes in my carry-on bag? YES! Credit card companies called? Check. USD to Yuan money conversion app downloaded? Yep. It’s about six yuan to every US dollar. What will it cost to exchange money? I dunno but I’m gonna find out when we get there. I think it depends. Oh yeah, very important, a translator app is on my phone too. Very cool, you type in the phrase you want to say and the app writes and says it in Chinese. Thankfully Marin is a Chinese speaker. Note to self: when the app fails (or I type too slowly) ask Marin. She may tire of me…rather quickly.

Not to forget that life will continue in the U.S. I am paying bills, addressing graduation and mother’s day cards, clipping the shrubs, stopping the mail, and hoping to remember to turn off the air conditioning, unplug the computer, and probably other things I can’t think of right now… hence THE LIST. 

Very soon THE LISTS will be complete – ha ha, not a chance! Even so, the packing is about to commence (well, gotta do laundry first). Then the grand adventure in this wondrous foreign land begins! Can’t wait!! Look out China! Here we come!

Cindy DeLong is working on a master's degree in textile history with an emphasis in quilt studies at UNL. She has a bachelor of sciences in home economics (clothing and textiles) and journalism from the University of Missouri. She has worked at the New England Quilt Museum as a curatorial intern and the International Quilt Study Center & Museum as a collections intern.

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