Friday, June 10, 2011

Travelling Light

One of the long running joke-arguments between my mum and me concerned the concept of traveling light. I prefer to travel with a small backpack- the same one I usually carry to work. In it are a couple of changes of clothes, a book, a pen and journal, and just enough toiletries to prevent me from being a bio-hazard. If I do carry any gifts, they are always small and foldable, and I take no souvenirs.

My mum, on the other hand, travels with the kitchen sink. I get distressed at the amount of stuff she considers it necessary to tote around, and explain to her- loudly and shrilly- that life is much easier with less stuff. 'you can buy everything everywhere. You don’t need to carry things from one end to the country, there are professionals who do it for you!' has been my constant refrain. What my sis and I find endearing and exasperating is mum's tendency to carry plants everywhere. When we go to pick her up, its always easy to see what seat Amma is in- it's the one with branches jutting out of the window. We have told her that it is an unnecessary cause of stress and discomfort. 'Look at me, I travel so well' was my unspoken message.

Until now.

I am visiting my mum this month, and I traveled here with far too much. All my gifts were bulky and perishable. And to top it all off, I was carrying a tree. I was also carrying lilies, but they were discreetly tucked away in my suitcase. The tree, on the other hand, needed to be planted in my berth, from where it benevolently spread its branches over the rest of the passengers.

I discovered three things during this trip. First, I am turning into my mum. Second, traveling light IS better. Most important, I discovered that a tree possibly trumps a dog as a conversation magnet. Just so you know.


nadi said...

hey tree-carrying woman,

Grumpy Granny said...

Oh, I SO love this post. We all turn into our mothers in some way or another. It's a universal law, it simply has to happen. I can certainly think of worse ways for you to do it than by carrying a tree! What an adorable, uplifting image I have of you...the Traveling Tree Lady of India!

Thank you!


Amy Zimmer said...

love that trees are better conversation magnets than dogs...maybe not so much here...
Where is the pooch's picture?