I am known for a number of things – some of which readers of GofaDM may been starting to work out for themselves by now. One of my rather feeble claims to fame is my tendency to travel light when I leave Fish Towers – and as previously established, much of what I do carry is nourishment for the journey.
The most obvious reason for travelling light is that I have to carry any stuff I wish to take with me – and as a chap who tends to use public transport, this can involve portage over some distance including the ascending of manual (pedal?) staircases. Being rather lazy, I prefer to limit the amount of luggage I have to lug – and frequently find myself astonished by the volume and weight of baggage other people are both willing and able to carry when they travel. I don’t know how they do it – I fear it would be beyond me, despite the weight-training.
I am aided in my desire to travel light by my relative resilience in the face of cooler weather deriving from my time living among the Geordies, by the wearing of dark, often drab colours and by the use of layering in the clothes I do choose to take.
When travelling by air, I am even more keen to travel light as I do not trust airlines not to lose any luggage I commit to their care and the hold. I’m also quite keen on missing the wait and the scrum surrounding the luggage carousel – which is much less entertaining than its cousins at the fairground. As a result, I have been around the world in 4 weeks (80 days is so 19th century) using only carry-on hand luggage on more than one occasion.
Probably as a result of my nervousness about flight, I tend to be somewhat paranoid to ensure that my hand luggage lies well within the quoted size and weight limits issued by the airlines. As a result, I usually have the smallest, lightest bag being taken onto the aircraft – I also only have one bag as required (but as never enforced or obeyed by other passengers). As a result, I am extremely irritated when, on busy flights, I am not allowed to put my very modest valise into the overhead locker, but forced to place it under the seat in front which further reduces the already limited leg room (and I am quite generously provided for in the leg department – well, in terms of length anyway). Why do I have to do this? So that other passengers carrying multiple, vast, time-dilating (i.e. high mass) cases can place them in the overhead locker. Why am I punished for travelling light? I’d force the oversize luggage brigade to put their bags in the hold – but I suppose I may be biased here.
The final straw came yesterday when an officious orange polyester-clad discount (may not actually be very cheap) airline employee also wanted me to put my suit jacket on the floor under my feet – the airline being so cheap, that the seats lacked the coat hooks provided on more traditional (theoretically, higher cost) airlines. This I refused point blank to do, on the grounds that Easyjet were highly unlikely to offer to pay to have it dry-cleaned at the end of the journey. No, I made her put it in the overhead locker in a rare act of defiance in the face of authority.
The worm may, finally, have turned – at least a little bit. (And a good rant always helps!)